Joe Biden’s presidency, not yet 100 days old, has continued and intensified the anti-China policies of his predecessor Donald Trump. The president sums up his position in the slogan, “extreme competition”. Expectations in some quarters — including sections of the Chinese regime (CCP) — that the new Cold War between the superpowers would moderate after Trump left the White House have not materialised. Rather the direction is towards further escalation. This is what ISA warned before last November’s US election.
The economic crisis under Covid-19 has arrived in full force. Hong Kong’s unemployment rate in the period from March to May was 5.9 percent, which is higher than the 5.5 percent during the global financial crisis in 2009 and the highest in 15 years. Workers’ layoffs, wage freezes and forced unpaid leave have become commonplace. According to a survey from website Jobs DB, 40 percent of Hong Kong wage earners have had their salaries frozen this year, while the average salary increase is only 1.3 percent, far below last year’s 5.1 percent. In the most severely hit sectors, retail and tourism/hospitality, the average monthly salary has fallen 8.9 and 8.1 percent respectively.