An analysis of hong kongs economy and its peculiar political past

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An analysis of hong kongs economy and its peculiar political past

What's Really Going on in Hong Kong? After days of mostly peaceful protests, tensions increased over the weekend as people opposing the demonstrations began assaulting protesters, angry over their disruption of the city and accusing them of trying to fix a political system that is not broken.

The current upheaval in Hong Kong goes beyond the fight for electoral reform, however. Nor is it simply about the its relationship with mainland China, as the media has largely framed it.

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The discontent is rooted in the massive social inequality in Hong Kong — one of the world's major financial centers — and the growing lack of opportunity for its citizens.

What Sparked the Protests On August 31, the National People's Congress NPC, the Chinese legislature ruled that Hong Kong would be granted universal suffrage for its upcoming elections, on the condition that the candidates who run be pre-screened by a nominating committee. The ruling has angered citizens who say it is an obstruction to the democratic process.

China promised future universal suffrage for Hong Kong when it was handed over to them by the British in While The Basic Law guarantees future elections, it also stipulates that the candidates will be selected by a nominating committee — thus China is not revoking a past promise, which has been commonly reported in the media.

Currently, Hong Kong's head of state, the chief executive, is selected by a committee of 1, members, which is formed mainly of people who are sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party CCP. Up to three candidates will be allowed to go forward to a public vote. Although China is not trying to implement more control on the island nation that lies only 1, miles from Beijing, it is exercising control over its electoral process.

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The political reform will be presented to Legco, the legislative council of Hong Kong, in the first quarter of Students were the first to organize and protest against the NPC's new ruling, mainly under the auspices of three main groups: They began by boycotting classes, and by the last week of September had organized major demonstrations and occupied various public spaces — including the city's main political and financial districts — with the support of tens of thousands of citizens.

Why Unrest will Continue Although students make up a significant portion of the demonstrators, the movement is very diverse and includes everyone from white collar and middle class workers, as well as several unions. But supporters did not join the movement solely to fight for the right to vote in open elections, but also for social justice in one of the most unequal developed economies in the world.

Hong Kong has long been hailed as an economic powerhouse. According to the Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation, Hong Kong is the world's freest economy, and has held this status over the past 20 years.

Its stock market is also the sixth largest in the world, and second largest in Asia, according to a report by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council released in May. Yet, despite this economic prosperity, one in five Hong Kong citizens live below the poverty line, while 30 percent of the population, some two million people, live in cramped public housing estates.

The city's Gini coeffcient — an economic indicator where 0 represents total equality in a society and 1 represents complete inequality — is currently at 0. Workers in the region also see very few rights.

There are no collective bargaining rights, no unemployment benefits, and no pensions, while the average workweek is 49 hours.

An analysis of hong kongs economy and its peculiar political past

One of the major sources of Hong Kong's wealth is real estate — in terms of proportion of income, housing in Hong Kong is more expensive than New York, Paris or London, said Friedman.

Zhao echoed these concerns saying that many of Hong Kong's wealthy elite have close connections with the Chinese government. The concern for the people of Hong Kong then, is the extent to which this close connection between the elite and political power will be maintained when citizens are not allowed to chose their own political candidates.

The current chief executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, has long been criticized for his close connections with the Chinese government. When he came to power inhe promised to fix the gaping inequality in the region, but two years later has failed to address the issue. This is one reason why students have singled him out in the current protests, demanding his resignation.

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Their list of demands also include: These reforms include regulation on working hours, universal pension and collective bargaining rights, Hong Kong activist Au Loong Yu wrote in New Politics. Despite China's firm hand in Hong Kong politics, the region has more autonomy than it did under the years of British Colonial rule, when its leaders were appointed by the queen and its laws dictated by London.This paper draws on the insights of Karl Polanyi and Fernand Braudel on “capitalism” and “market” to analyze the experience and discourse of the economic development in Hong Kong, the role-model of “free market capitalism”, with a specific focus on the last two decades -- the so-called “neo-liberal” era.

Over the past decade, China has opened its economy further and more investors are doing business directly with the mainland, causing Hong Kong to lose its relevance as . Hong Kong’s transformation—from manufacturing powerhouse, to global trade engine, to world-class financial center—reflects its unique commitment to openness, to combining home-grown talent with fresh ideas and expertise from across the world.

This means that while the country was reunified with China, Hong Kong was supposed to retain its own economic and political system. In practice, China has continued to exert an increasing degree of control over Hong Kong and any illusions of autonomy have become more and more diminished.

Political and Legal Factors That Impact International Trade

As the Taiwanese economy depends heavily on its exports, especially on the Chinese market, considering increased competition from South Korea and Hong Kong along with China’s new policy of.

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