Is Hong Kong losing touch with its openness?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2012, 10:22am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2012, 1:29pm

Is Hong Kong still the free harbour that embraces diversity and upholds openness, efficiency and pragmatism above all else? Recent changes in government policies and popular sentiments, such as Leung Chun-ying’s "Hongkongers only" housing scheme, the shelving of new multi-entry permits to more mainlanders, ethnic minorities' long struggle for permanent resident status, curbs on cross-border trading activities by mainland traders, all point towards a more walled-off, protective attitude. The majority of respondents to a recent poll also seem to agree. 

Are these natural defensive responses to a slowing economy, as well as stiffer economic competition and political threats from mainland China? Or are Hongkongers becoming too complacent and protective of their current way of life to seize more opportunities for advancing their beloved city?