In 1997, when Hong Kong was passed from Britain to China, a brutal crackdown was feared but never materialized. But death by a thousand cuts now seems possible, with China refusing to allow free elections and acting to gradually compromise Hong Kong’s free-market might. From Rachel Lu at Foreign Policy:
“Hong Kong is losing its edge as a global financial and commercial center, and the territory’s economic clout will be overshadowed by China’s major cities by 2022. That’s the argument in an August 27 report released by Trigger Trend, an independent Chinese research firm based in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou. The report emerged just days before Beijing declared it would not countenance open nominations in the planned 2017 popular election for Hong Kong’s chief executive, and its findings are likely to stoke further anxiety about the former British colony’s economic and political future.
In the wake of Beijing’s decision, Hong Kong’s democracy advocates now face a hard choice between carrying out what some have called a ‘nuclear option’ to occupy the city’s Central financial district en masse, which could disrupt businesses, or swallowing what they call a ‘fake election’ for the Chief Executive, the head of Hong Kong’s government. Either way, Beijing says it does not plan to yield to acts of civil disobedience in the special administrative region, even if protests make investors or business owners jittery.”
Tags: Rachel Lu