Mark Lutter on Hong Kong in Ireland

This is from my email, I shall not impose any further indentation:

“Thanks for sharing the article about the Victoria Harbor Group. We, me being Chief Strategy Officer, are in discussions with Ireland. However, it is important to note that the information mentioned is dated. As any early stage company, our ideas have rapidly evolved. While the term we are using is ‘International Charter City’, we are not pursuing full scale autonomy. Our priority is to acquire land and build political support in the host country to build a city for the Hong Kong people with the target population being 50% HKers and 50% citizens of the host country. Of course, we wouldn’t say no to tax and regulatory relief, but that is not our focus.

Our key assumptions are as follows

1. The next 10-15 years will see 1m to 2m Hong Kongers migrate, the first mass migration of high skilled labor in the last 40 or so years.
2. There is value from coordinating this migration, keeping network effects, ensuring housing supply, etc
3. We see this as an opportunity to build the city of the future, cutting edge urban design, welcoming of new technology, self-driving cars, drone delivery, etc.
4. We are in discussions with several countries, not just Ireland, which we will make public when possible. We prefer English speaking countries with common law traditions, but are open to considering others.
5. Our goal is to acquire 50,000+ acres within 2 hours of an airport to build a new city for several hundred thousand residents. Obviously this depends on the political support in the host country. Smaller countries like Ireland would have smaller developments.
6. Political support from the host country is crucial. We are not asking for independence or autonomy. Of course, we wouldn’t say no to tax and regulatory relief, but that is less important than land availability and domestic buy in.
7. The city will fit in the national plans of the host country. The Hong Kongers excel in finance and manufacturing, as well as education and healthcare. While little manufacturing is done in Hong Kong, Hong Kongers own many factories in the Guangdong province. Any country looking to revive their manufacturing base could do so by attracting a bunch of talented HKers. Additionally, a good location could become a top 10 global financial center in 10 years by attracting HK financial talent.
8. We believe this is a great opportunity for any country which wants to attract a talented, hardworking, entrepreneurial population.
9. I have seen a lot of charter city projects and this is the first one I wanted to become part of the leadership team of.

For more information please see my podcast with Ivan Ko, the CEO. Our website will be launching soon.”

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There is your selective immigration.

He talks "migrate" but his intent is "invasion". Who benefits? Will the citizens of Ireland benefit? Or will a handful of the elites benefit at the expense of the Irish? This brings a new light to the Trojan Horse. Will every new immigrant be allowed to bring all of their immediate and scattered family to Ireland too? Once the several hundred thousand "new" residents are in Ireland will that morph into several million or even more than the current population of Ireland? Don't believe me, just watch.

I disagree, but anything like this is just inviting trouble. Beijing will never let something like this happen without doing their utmost to eventually take it over.

If Hong Kongers think that coordinated migration will be beneficial, the United Kingdom is there for them. Yes, they will need to negotiate provisions for people without BNO passports. I’d be surprised if any move generous offers are in the pipeline.

Frankly, a non coordinated migration is probably better off long term, building up some new city with a million plus Hong Kongers in residence will just draw Beijing’s fire. I’d be fine with that if I thought Beijing would lose, but I sort of doubt it.

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Correct!

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All the people leaving the US after Trump's reelection can go there.

Can they still get their welfare if they leave the U.S.? Asking for a friend.

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Just call it HK2 and run a contest along the lines of Amazon's HQ2.

+1 Ha ha

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This sounds like a mirror image of the premise of Neal Stephenson's sci-fi novel "Diamond Age" in which whites have their own utopian community based on Victorian values in China.

How does that end, anyway?

Who cares how a piece of fiction ends?

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This could be a great fit for Canada's west coast (already has a large Chinese diaspora). Would be a good strategic move against the PRC's increasing encroachment too.

The coast of British Columbia is one of the few places in Canada where there is actually no room to build a city of a few hundred thousand. The more temperate places to live in Canada are fairly built up and densely populated (i.e. Vancouver, southern Ontario). Perhaps on Vancouver Island. Maybe Nova Scotia/New Brunswick.

interior BC has room, though Kelowna is not very well connected. If that is a concern then Vancouver island is also not great but international flights to Victoria could increase substantially with a HK charter city nearby. Not sure whether locals on the island would approve. Perhaps up the coast near Prince Rupert, though it rains a lot there. A Lot.

Reminds me a bit of the book by Michael Chabon "The Yiddish Policeman Union" that imagines a world where Zionism takes off in a corner of Alaska prior to WWII. Hassidic Alaskans with lots of rain.

Or in this case Cantonese Irish or Pacific Northwesters.

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Why bother with a whole new city? My bet is that exiting Hong Kongers will go where there are already ethnic Chinese, especially those from Hong Kong, from where many left when HK fell under PRC rule. There are several locations where they went, but Vancouver is way at the top of the list, and while there may be no room for a whole new city on the coast of BC, my bet is that a large proportion of those leaving will go to Vancouver where they will simply build some taller buildings to house them. They will do fine there.

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Canada's west coast (already has a large Chinese diaspora)

A large Chinese diaspora already has Canada's West Coast

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"Nextpolis"!?

Nice idea, terrible name.

New Hong Kong would make more sense.
And poke a stick in Beijing's eye if it succeeds.

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Fantastic: Compete, countries, compete!

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Two points:
1) This could have been a great opportunity for Malaysia: geographic proximity to HK, common law tradition, and existing Chinese population, many Cantonese speaking. However, they have messed up for years with authoritarianism, deep corruption, and official racist policies against the Chinese population.
2) Reminds me a bit of the 'Multifunction Polis' idea which was floated in the late 80's in Australia as a Japanese-funded new city. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multifunction_Polis
Note how the fear around Asian immigration at the time helped sink that.

Well Malaysia had it's "Nextopolis", which broke away to become Singapore.

Didn't break away, but got kicked out, mainly because they refused to formally entrench Malay supremacy. Singapore is perhaps the only country in the world to invluntarily obtain independence.

Labuan is one possible option, although there might need to be a bit of land reclamation as it is less than 10% of the area of HK.

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there is very little incentive for 2 million hong kongers to leave. This is not like the chinese leaving Indonesia, that was caused by actual genocide. This plan is dead in the water. The few people in Hong Kong who would want to leave will just go to Taiwan or singapore or the US no one is going to want to move to some new town in lol ireland where there is nothing and a bunch of racist irish people.

Out for a nice troll?

Quite a large minority of the Chinese population say would leave to Europe or the US/Canada if they felt they were welcome. Young people in Hong Kong think their future is just another polluted Chinese city with cutthroat competition from lower wage Chinese and no political freedom. Their home isn't going to feel like home much longer. There'll be plenty who will leave if given the chance.

if they wanted to leave they can do so right now. are they leaving? the ones with the ability to sell up and leave immediately are the 0.1% which is barely 50,000 families.

also, where would you think has better economic prospects, hong kong despite political changes or some dead ass county in ireland :D. I know where I would rather live.

5,000,000 x .001 = 5000 individuals. Divide by 3 for families. That's 1667. There are that many Hong Kongese in one restaurant in Vancouver (OK kidding).

Ireland is very pleasant, and Hong Kong could remain semi-free or become a most awful tyranny. At this point we just don't know, but if I lived there I would be hedging my bets.

Ireland is very pleasant, but they barely want to give you a permit to build a house, never mind a city. A lot of European countries are like that too.

How about Detroit? Take over all those boarded up houses.

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the young people of ireland would give their left nut to live in Hong Kong PRC or no PRC. any Hong Kongers moving to ireland would be shocked and apalled with how shit the place is.

I have no personal knowledge, but Ireland ranks around #16 in the UN happiness survey whereas China ranks #92 (out of 150).

Now granted, the UN Happiness index may not be the best source. But surely it's a broad indicator of how people feel.

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+1

Seems a lot of Seasteading, which is dead in the water.

I welcome all the people that want to leave HK, but it seems obvious that there are plenty of places for this to move already that don't involve the difficulties of setting up a charter city.

This has what has replaced science fiction in his mental gum chewing.

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"there is very little incentive for 2 million hong kongers to leave. "

There's very mass migration of this type, (an entire local moving) without a tremendous emergency (natural disaster, genocide, etc). And in any case, the Chinese would probably put a stop to it, if they thought it was likely. The Soviets built the Berlin Wall after all.

There's very little mass migration of this type, (an entire locale moving) ...

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If we as a country had half an ounce of sense, we could set up a city in half a dozen states. Hong Kong residents might appreciate a business friendly environment like Texas, with access to Mexico for low wage labor and lots of land to build on. And much of Texas is actually quite calm about immigrants; they've seen a lot in their time.

But federally we lack the ability to do something smart like that. Too many Americans don't understand the value of immigrants, particularly educated hard-working English-speaking ones like those from Hong Kong.

I am, personally, wondering how countries that can't build extensions to thriving urban spaces well or cheaply are going to build an ersatz international city that is competitive in an international scale.

Guessing if they ever did this, on the current trends of English speaking nations, it'd be a bunch of shipping containers with windows, connected by a dirt track and still cost more in inflation adjusted terms than all of New York's Gilded Age infrastructure, with a maintenance and service charge which was the same again every 5 years.

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"access to Mexico for low wage labor"

God forbid they build businesses that employ their new countrymen at decent wage levels not affected by competition with imported helots or the Third World next door.

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California City California could handle 50,000 families over 2-3 years. Roads, water, sewer, power, telco are already in place for easily 25,000 vacant lots. California City was planned to equal LA in size.

There is another failed city a couple hundred miles to the north, near Tracy. These don't tend to work well if they're sited in the middle of nowhere.

How about inviting the Hong Kongese, if they don't want to go to Ireland, the UK, Singapore, Taiwan, or mainland China, to fix up our rundown medium-sized cities. They can start with Cleveland. The Bangladeshis are doing a good job with Detroit. Cleveland is prettier and is in slightly better shape.

Of course, I kid. As far as I am concerned, Hong Kong immigrants are welcome anywhere they want to live in the United States.

I assume you mean Mountain House. Poking around on Zillow reveals nothing failed about it.

No, much larger and farther away from Tracy; I forget the name and exact location. Way up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere.

Mountain House is fine.

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Alaska. We squandered our chance to invite the Jews there in the thirties. Still lots of space up there.

I mentioned it in my other comment but this is a neat bit of fiction about a world where the Jews end up there: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16703.The_Yiddish_Policemen_s_Union

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Also https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/researcher_us_planned_new_finland_for_refugees_in_alaska/5656866

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Alaska wasn't a US state in the 1930s. That's probably why we didn't invite anybody.

It was still a territory...

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Doesn't Neom, MBS's pet project, need people?

Whew, not sure which is worse, living under the CCP or MBS. Probably not an appealing option to Hong Kongers fleeing encroaching Chinese authoritarian rule.

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"2. There is value from coordinating this migration, keeping network effects, ensuring housing supply, etc
3. We see this as an opportunity to build the city of the future, cutting edge urban design, welcoming of new technology, self-driving cars, drone delivery, etc."

This sounds a bit like central planning. What if a sizable number of HKers -- especially people with children -- don't want to live with "cutting edge urban design" but would rather live in a detached house surrounded by a yard? What if they would rather not be at the forefront of allowing self-driving cars? Would this new development be democratic and responsive to the desires of the people who live there or would it be guided by a top-down central plan?

And, while it is understandable to want to keep HK communities together while not overwhelming an existing metro area, this idea sounds a bit like a Native American reservation. Let's find some relatively undesirable and undeveloped plot of land somewhere and dump people there. If no one else wants to live there, that's a hint about how easy it will be to convince large numbers of immigrants and employers to move there.

Nowadays, a detached house surrounded by a yard is "cutting edge urban design". COVID has proven the value of a little bit of space, and those with a larger house have dealt with Mom, Dad and the kids all working & schooling from home a bit better.

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'What if a sizable number of HKers -- especially people with children -- don't want to live with "cutting edge urban design" but would rather live in a detached house surrounded by a yard?'

They probably would have left HK decades ago.

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I wonder if Ghana is pulling out all the stops to try to get HKers to consider Accra? Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, UAE should all be vying too, if they're smart.

But ultimately I think this is a pipe dream -- too much to organize in too short a timeframe. I expect HK exodus to be piecemeal and fragmented, with gains dispersed, but the greatest ones probably being in Canada, UK, and ASEAN countries. US is likely to skate by on reputation and get a few too, despite the current administration's best efforts.

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" The next 10-15 years will see 1m to 2m Hong Kongers migrate, the first mass migration of high skilled labor in the last 40 or so years."

That's a very bold assumption right there. Given how prosperous the Chinese state has become in the last decade, why would HKers flee all of a sudden even if HK loses their autonomy altogether? Most people primarily care about money and security, which is something that China can easily provide these days. Sure, protesting against the Communist party will land you in jail, but otherwise there are a lot more economic opportunities in Asia than anywhere in the West.

"The Hong Kongers excel in finance and manufacturing, as well as education and healthcare"

Are they saying 1-2m HKers excel in these areas? Or a smaller percentage, with the rest working in non-high-skilled areas of the economy? A smart immigration policy would only invite the white collar employees and their families, rather than randomly letting in everyone based on their current citizenship.

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I'd say a fair number will come to Australia and fuel the further development of South and South-Western Sydney. The land is cheap and available as part of a push to develop the area off the back of the 2nd airport construction. It would plug into an existing Alpha+ city with a large and prosperous East Asian population, with established amenities (industrial, transport, cultural, etc.).

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Countering insitutional ossification (e.g. Nimby etc.) is actually just a matter of good political framing.

Germany's otherwise fierce NIMBY-ist local authorities hastingly abandoned any building and zoning restrictions to house 1.5+M refugees in 2015, temporarily of course. Framing it domestically as a humanitarian effort helps weeding out a lot of woke-minded opposition.

So what about the Netherlands? Closest a continental country can get to common law. Part of their DNA is terraforming, house HKers next to whatever Island will be built in the sea.

"Hong Kongers excel in finance and manufacturing, as well as education and healthcare" - the Dutch do as well.

If the Dutch excel in these things already why do they need the HKers? Surely they should be attracting people who can do the things they can't?

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A smart immigration policy would only invite the white collar employees and their families, rather than randomly letting in everyone based on their current citizenship.

Once again, someone advances as a fact that desk-bound, abstract-thinking data entry drones are the "skilled workers" so necessary to society. No modern country actually needs workers that must combine knowledge with manual skills, which will be increasingly replaced by robotics manipulated by AI.

Ergo, if models of the CoVid pandemic prove correct, those most exposed to the virus, ie. workers in retail, construction, transportation, etc. will become extinct and the world will be left with those who successfully shielded themselves by working at home (private and public bureaucrats and data entry drones) and wearing masks when they periodically emerged from their bunkers. There will be no one left to perform the manual tasks these people require to survive, no sewer rodders, truck drivers, roofers, brick layers, electricians, HVAC mechanics and so on. It appears that in the very near future society will be made up almost solely of "planners", who will issue instructions to AI entities that will implement their ideas, no ignorant and unskilled needed. A true Utopia.

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The CSO mentions Guangdong province. The largest city in the province is Shenzhen, whose population went from about 30,000 in 1980 to almost 20 million today (including short-term residents). It is where western firms went to build supply chains. I mention this for two reasons: one, the phenomenal growth as the result of trade, and two, the level of economic integration between HK and Guangdong province. Can the highly-skilled in finance, education, health care, and technology in HK prosper without a Guangdong province next door? If not, does Ireland, or any other country, want a Guangdong province?

Any such city in Ireland would be quite small by international standards and based on digital realm and services not trading hard goods.

You miss the point: the trading of goods between HK and Guangdong province is minor, but the services provided by the highly-skilled in HK help facilitate the trading of goods between Guangdong and the rest of the world possible. What's HK absent Guangdong? I suppose it's possible for HK to be relocated on the other side of the world (Ireland) without HK losing it's main business of facilitating trade between its neighbor Guangdong and the rest of the world but I doubt it.

The wealthy entrepreneurial class all across SE Asia is Cantonese speaking Chinese, stretching back decades to centuries depending on location.

Is it your theory that this is due to factories in Southern China built in the last 2 decades?

Not just Cantonese, also Teochew and Hokkien.

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Lutter knows, as do most Westerners who support demographic replacement, that he doesn't have to ask for autonomy or independence in a democracy. Simply importing immigrants en masse creates a voting bloc to which politicians pander.

It is notable that they are taking the fast track, since 50% HKers is a ready-made majority for their definitely-not-autonomous-don't-be-silly city.

This is the sort of insidiousness that Tyler could push back on if he so desired.

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Back in the early 1990s, I proposed a mass resettlement of Hong Kongers in Cape Breton. Still an interesting idea.

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shouldn’t they be talking to Musk about doing this on Mars?

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If the US were recruiting for world talent, this kind of scheme wouldn't have a chance.

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Welcome to Ohio.

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Ireland’s population is very small. They’re doing pretty well economically. Why would anyone think they’re likely to make the necessary invitation?

Perhaps the HKers would be open to building in Connemara, where my father’s family emigrated out of for lack of opportunity? Probably worst farmland in Ireland. I don’t think the Irish would be happy with the ecological impact though.

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No topic in Ireland is as sensitive as land, the one historical sensitivity that has survived Ireland's rapid modernization and Europeanization. The notion of somehow acquiring a major city-sized piece of real estate on the island, even in the least wealthy, least populous parts of Connacht, with substantial ownership in the hands of foreign citizens is politically impossible to imagine.

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Hong Kongers are accustomed to dramatic scenery: mountains, forests, and water interlaced with verticals towers. I could pictures towers rising on the banks of The Columbia River in Clark County, WA, USA. It beautiful land, close to Portland’s airport, and mostly undeveloped. I’d welcome them.

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This is totally unacceptable in ethnically terms.

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