Hong Kong’s young people know truth about China’s ‘Greater Bay Area’ plan
The Pearl River Delta, Greater Bay Area or whatever they call it this time should be publicly toasted and then forgotten about
More than half of Hong Kong’s young people have never heard of the “Greater Bay Area” development plan, and their continued ignorance will mean the city missing out on opportunities, a local think tank and youth group have warned.
City, November 24
My faith in Hong Kong’s young people has been restored. They have ignored the forgettable and the city will consequently continue to enjoy its great opportunities.
How many repeats of this “Greater Bay Area” idea have we found ourselves assailed with over the years? I’ve lost count but it hardly matters. They all come down to the same old thing.
The idea is that we will subject ourselves to the whims of cross-border town fathers who, although they may be fierce rivals among themselves, have one unified message when it comes to Hong Kong – Gimme-your-money.
There are slight modifications on this theme, of course, such as Rent-our-empty-buildings-from-us and Sell-us-your-land-cheap but it all amounts to the same message. They are not thinking mutual benefit. It’s all one way and it goes from us to them.
I wonder sometimes whether these people ever hear themselves talk. In one breath they tell us Hong Kong is way behind the times, has completely lost it, is finished for eternity and then in the next breath they all want in and they’re pushing us for Pearl River Delta, Greater Bay Area or whatever they call it this time.
Here is a simple truth and pardon me if you have read this here before but it does need repeating. Hong Kong has a parasite economy that thrives by doing for China what China cannot do itself or, for reasons of ideology, will not do. When China can and does do it, Hong Kong must move on to something new.
This is how it has been from the day that Britain stole this place by armed robbery for the purpose of drug trafficking and it continues so now. Along the way the Hong Kong economy has have gone from drugs to shipping to agency trade to pots and pans to garments and now to trade and financial services.
Take note of that last change particularly. Over the last 30 years the Hong Kong economy has made a dramatic shift out of manufacturing into services. I don’t think anything like it has been seen anywhere across the world since Los Angeles gave up fruit and took up film.
And they say Hong Kong people aren’t innovative. Where is the canned laughter machine, please? The population of this town has reinvented itself several times and never more greatly so than the last.
But while our future lies in a shared existence with the mainland it does so only insofar as the parasite shares an existence with its host. We do different things. Theirs is the productive economy. Ours are the services that crucially rely on the rule of law and the preservation of civil liberties, which they envy but do not really understand and cannot yet emulate.
Parasite and host, if they serve each other at all, are in what is call a symbiotic relationship. It is a very close one but it is not cooperation. Each has only its own interests in mind and yet they complement each other.
The problem with Greater Bay Area is that across the border they all do indeed have only their own interests in mind but they also expect us to have only their interests in mind. No thought is spared for what our interests may be.
And the best way for us to deal with this is to take the approach we have always taken in the past. It is to pledge full support and commitment to this wonderful initiative, to toast it at hurrah ceremonies in as many glasses of paint thinner as required and then go home and forget it.
But apparently I don’t have to tell our young people that this is how you do it. They already know. Hurrah!