By Bilal Hafeez
Why China No Longer Needs Hong Kong (The New York Times, 6 min read)
(You can read the article by clicking here)
Recent protests in Hong Kong have highlighted the creeping shift in political and economic power. At one time Hong Kong’s economy was one-fifth the size of China’s; it is now barely one-thirtieth. China leveraged Hong Kong’s international presence in the period after 1997 to accomplish much. Firstly, given that China had not yet been allowed to join the WTO, it was able to push half of its trade through Hong Kong employing is as an entrepôt. Hong Kong was also recognised as an international financial centre, which benefited kickstarting Mainland China’s economy, and allowed the Renminbi to gain traction in the financial markets. The article suggest, however, that through three decades of high economic growth and financial clout, China has now positioned itself to detach from its previous heavy dependence on Hong Kong. Further, it is actually infiltrating its vision of rule into Hong Kong’s currently shaken democracy. This quick read makes an important addition to the wider case that China can isolate HK issues from the mainland. China also has ambitions to accelerate the rise of Shanghai as a financial centre and also boost Singapore as the region’s favoured offshore centre.
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