After decades of serving as Beijing’s default platform for international trade, Hong Kong-China financial relations find themselves on the back foot and this unfamiliar position was no better showcased than the past month.
Already there were signals at Beijing’s fifth plenum in late October which featured an understandably downbeat tone when discussing Hong Kong-related matters. Along with Macau, the two semiautonomous cities were highlighted for their need to enhance national awareness, patriotism and integrate via the Greater Bay Area project.
While China has traditionally spotlighted Hong Kong’s role in growth-related matters such as international development, finance and trade, the latest meeting by the 19th Communist Party Central Committee focused more on something acutely different: stability.
Even Hong Kong officials now openly admit that the security of the hub’s status has been shaken and efforts are being made to reinvigorate links to the mainland.
The primary objective of this policy address is to look at ways to get Hong Kong out of the impasse and to restore people’s confidence as soon as possible, said the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam in her annual speech to unveil new major plans.
It’s clear to everyone that if we want our economy to bounce back, there is no better place than the mainland of China for us to tap into, because other parts of the world are still struggling with the pandemic, with high unemployment, with economic slowdown and so on.