The slow recovery of Hong Kong’s tourism, as Hongkongers themselves flock north, is a cautionary tale about reliance on easy money. While Hong Kong cannot possibly compete with mainland cities on price, it must strengthen and highlight its unique, even high-end, attractions.
With all the toxic politics in Washington and the US obsession with global dominance, isn’t America a greater threat to global peace and stability than China?
Multiple initiatives are in place to stem the outflow of civil servants and recruit new talent, but departures continue. The government should explore changes to officers’ retirement age, sweeten benefits packages and offer tailor-made training and promotion to those who excel.
A decade ago, John Kerry suggested a polarised US learn from China and boost domestic investment. Instead, Washington chose to target China and stifle its rise. It may be working – but slowing Chinese growth will cost the US and the rest of the world.
There is no need for Taiwan to be a tinderbox for US-China relations. The US can simply return to its one-China policy, laid out in three joint communiques.
A mantra of ‘small government, big market’ has held Hong Kong back while its regional peers have made impressive strides in innovation. But now an industrial policy is finally taking shape, with Beijing’s support and backed by a raft of measures and generous funds.
Government must rethink the balance of approaching private developers to fund mega projects, or it will never break the property hegemony nor free Hongkongers from the yoke of high land prices.
From tackling housing and youth development to reconnecting the city to China and the world, the chief executive crammed a lot into his first six months on the job. His early successes will pave the way for achieving more long-term goals like economic integration and growth.
From children to civil servants, Beijing is determinedly teaching the Basic Law, constitution, national security – and that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. Such nation-building efforts are likely to intensify in the coming years as China looks to reshape Hong Kong in its image.
If Hong Kong wants to continue to succeed in China’s new-era socialist system, its people must maintain their capacity for independent thinking and outward-looking character.
The US needs to work towards preventing financial Armageddon and realise that China is not seeking to become a global hegemon. Washington should come to terms with a new, multipolar and multicivilisational world, and resume its role as an agent for growth and peace.
A brain drain is nothing new for Hong Kong but, this time, it faces a particularly difficult task in retaining talent and replenishing its depleted base of skilled manpower. Beleaguered employers are looking to John Lee to announce bold, ambitious talent-acquisition measures.
Hong Kong’s spokespersons must counter both accusations of suppression of freedoms and the narrative that the economy is withering under the weight of Covid-19 restrictions. But our political and business elite are experienced at promoting the city overseas, which itself has a track record of overcoming adversity.
Hong Kong’s legal safeguards, wealth and depth of talent remain intact, while its mainland connections and international mindset continue to be its greatest strengths. It’s up to Hongkongers to build on these unique advantages and voice its role to both the mainland and the rest of world.
As more officers from the disciplined services take up key leadership posts, there’s talk the Administrative Service – a legacy of British rule – may fade in importance. The opposite is true: administrative officers’ expertise in various fields, command of detail and loyalty to the system are still much appreciated.
The violent protests over Carrie Lam’s ill-fated fugitive offenders bill, and Beijing’s subsequent strong measures to assert its overall jurisdiction have caused a sea change in Hong Kong. The next leader bears the twin responsibilities of safeguarding national security and reviving Hong Kong’s global linkages and dynamism.
The British government sees fit to criticise the national security law even as it introduces a harsh new police bill at home. As for the Sino-British Joint Declaration, London itself has gone back on its agreement with Beijing that it would not grant BN(O) status to future generations
Even with mainland support, Hong Kong will struggle to bring coronavirus infections under control if it takes a half-hearted approach to “dynamic zero-Covid”. Reluctance to pursue more stringent measures for fear of backlash will only prolong the outbreak and put many more vulnerable lives at risk.
In its search for the best governance model, China has come to prize social stability as a prerequisite for the good life. Meanwhile, Hong Kong should open its eyes to evidence that democratic elections elsewhere have not delivered the good governance people crave.
US-led criticism of Hong Kong’s Legco election should not be taken seriously when the sustainability of American’s own democratic system is in question.
The Northern Metropolis offers more promise than Lantau Tomorrow, which smacks of a Hong Kong-centric, inward-looking mindset. To seize this chance, the government needs a concrete plan and a new developmental approach to bypass complex planning regulations.
The Election Committee subsector elections next Sunday will be a far cry from the 2016 polls, in terms of electorate size. But, under new rules made by Beijing, the revamped committee will ensure the right candidates are elected to govern Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s housing crisis has reached such a dire state that the government must stop dodging tough issues and put all options on the table. With the legislature now rid of filibustering democrats, there’s no better time for bold action.
China’s strength in mass mobilisation and organisation, which was on full display at the Communist Party’s centenary celebrations, is also apparent in its coronavirus response. It is a system that has deep historic roots and has delivered results for the people.
Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying has revived his proposal for a culture bureau. However, the government has a dismal track record of grooming new industries, with Hong Kong entertainment success stories having developed more organically.
With power concentrated in the hands of a small number of gatekeepers, will there be meaningful competition in the chief executive election? Even if pro-democracy candidates can overcome the tough entry barriers, will any want to take part in legislative elections?
Western criticism of the revamp should be dismissed as meaningless and empty. Worldwide electoral democracies are exhibiting serious flaws, and Hong Kong should not shudder at embracing new thinking.
Beijing’s requirement that Hong Kong’s leaders must love the country and Hong Kong is not new, but has been emphasised now following repeated attacks on the city’s law and order. To ensure ‘one country, two systems’ continues, the SAR must choose a leader who’s trusted and capable.
Twenty-three years after the handover, Hongkongers who make a conscious decision to leave the city and, by implication, give up on Hong Kong, should be asked to make their choice – China or a foreign country.
As the West remonstrates about perceived violations of Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights, surely China has the right to protect itself, and a vital part of its territory, even though its systems are different.