Karen, Kason, Man, Winnie: Week 3 "Death of Hong Kong"

Response to the article “The Death of Hong Kong

A fictional scene of Hong Kong after the 1997 Handover is exaggerated in the article “The Death of Hong Kong” by Louis Kraar. He uses the article to reflect the western perception of “reality”, portraying that the future of Hong Kong is “over”. Though the media are often said to be the “mirror of reality,” it appears that the prediction of Hong Kong’s future is not totally “real”.

In the article, it hypothesizes about Hong Kong after the Handover, affirming that Hong Kong is “over” after 1997. However, it is shown that many of these hypotheses were not correct. For example, the author stated that Renminbi (RMB) would replace the Hong Kong’s currency. He pointed out that Central Government would not allow two different currencies occur in the same nation. Referring to today’s Hong Kong situation, it is obvious that this prediction was wrong.

Meanwhile, Britain provides a high degree of freedom for Hong Kong. In contrast, China tends to implement strict controls in the nation. So, the article argues that after the Handover, Hong Kong would be a tightly governed Chinese city. The concept of “One Country, Two Systems” would be a bogus issue. The freedom of Hong Kong citizens would be deprived, such as press freedom, speech freedom and even the freedom on business running. Capitalism may vanish and invaded by communism. There is a solid indicator showing that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of freedom in the business environment. According to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom conducted by The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong is ranked the first in 18 years consecutively. It reflects that after the Handover, China endeavors to minimize the restriction on Hong Kong’s economic freedom.

Then what does the article correctly predict? The article mentioned that China would plan to replace Hong Kong’s elected legislature with appointed members. The election methods support the correctness of this assumption. In the Basic Law, there is a statement to fix the remains of the Functional Constituency in the Legislation electoral system in favor of the Central government. Even though all the Legco-members are supposed to be elected by Hong Kong citizens rather than appointed by the Chinese government, the Functional Constituency election is just an alternative appointment. The reason is that the legislators of the Functional Constituency came mostly from the business fields who are believed to be more pro-Central government.

After commenting on the article, we found that most of the predictions were wrongly assumed. Now, we would like to specifically examine how China is beneficial for Hong Kong. The Handover is not necessarily leading Hong Kong to “Death”, but fostering the development of Hong Kong.

After the Handover, China plays a stronger economic role for Hong Kong. There are many economic policies that are benefiting Hong Kong, such as CEPA (Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) and Individual Visit Scheme for Mainlanders.

CEPA strengthens trade and investment cooperation between Mainland China and Hong Kong. It also promotes the joint development of the two areas. Through eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barrier on trading, many Hong Kong companies take this advantage to expand their business into China. Meanwhile, the Individual Visit Scheme shortens the procedures for Mainlanders to visit Hong Kong. It is an important police to boost up Hong Kong’s economy during the economic recession in 2003.

More significantly, after the Handover, more and more Chinese-based companies are listed in Hong Kong. It leads Hong Kong’s stock market to a thriving development. All the above-mentioned policies are executed after 1997. We can see that Hong Kong is different from the prediction of the article. Comparatively, China provides a lot of economic opportunities for Hong Kong. Through collaboration with China, Hong Kong sustains the position of international financial center.

Apart from the economic aspect, China Central government allows Hong Kong to enjoy the high degree of autonomy. Hong Kong has the executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication. The principle of “One Country, Two Systems” is protecting Hong Kong’s capitalism. What’s more? Central government guarantees the society, the lifestyles and the rights of Hong Kong people shall remain unchanged for 50 years. So, the invasion of communism is different from the assumption of the article.

To conclude, the author of “The Death of Hong Kong” is afraid that the Handover would change Hong Kong from a capitalized city to a communist city. As a result, Hong Kong is no longer a favorable environment for business operations. The article also assumes that the tragedy of Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989 might occur in Hong Kong. However, these predictions did not emerge in the current Hong Kong situation. Central government allows Hong Kong to maintain a high level of independent city and provides a strong support for Hong Kong. These supports pave Hong Kong’s way to a bright future.






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