Analysis: Hong Kong is Less Competitive, Thanks to the Heavy Hand of ChinaPosted: May 24, 2015 | |
Jenny Li and Larry Ong write: For the first time in a decade, Hong Kong no longer tops the list of competitive cities in China, and its due to the stifling hand of the Chinese regime, commentators note.
“On the surface, Hong Kong’s economy is in the hands of the mainlanders.”
— Canada-based political commentator Meng Tianyu
According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ recently released Blue Book on Urban Competitiveness—a survey of 294 China cities, Taiwan included—Hong Kong now ranks number two, falling behind its neighbor just across the border in mainland China, the metropolis Shenzhen.
“If this situation continues and Hong Kong loses its judicial advantages, its financial and information center position would inevitably disappear. Hong Kong, the well-known Pearl of the Orient, would be gone.”
—Epoch Times Hong Kong branch president Ms. Guo Jun
The survey report claims Shenzhen topped Hong Kong, a bustling international financial hub and former British colony, because the mainland city better backed innovation—in 2014, Shenzhen government spent 4.05 percent of its gross domestic production supporting its innovation and technology sector compared to Hong Kong’s 0.73 percent.
The report also said Hong Kong’s standing was affected by last year’s student-led Occupy protests. From the end of September to mid December, hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers held three areas of the city to protest a restrictive Beijing diktat on political reform in Hong Kong.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ ranking is suspect, writes Canada-based political commentator Meng Tianyu in her regular column for the Chinese-language Epoch Times. But Meng says Hong Kong has been slipping as a competitive place to do business since 1997—the year the Chinese regime assumed sovereignty over Hong Kong from the British.
Economically, Hongkongers have been overtaken by mainlanders, Meng says, citing the increased Chinese shares in Hong Kong’s real estate, finances, power, construction and stock market.
And Hongkongers aren’t exactly helping themselves. Local bosses of big business have started becoming members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Party’s multipartite political advisory body. Today, none “dare challenge a ‘lecturing edict’ from Beijing,” Meng writes.
Small business owners are increasingly catering to the mainlanders by stocking up on commodities they seek, and in the process, transforming the local economy and livelihood of the common folk….(read more)