The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government published the “Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environment: A Place with Unique Advantages and Unlimited Opportunities” last week in response to concerns about the future of Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world. The report is the first of its kind issued by the HKSAR government since Hong Kong returned to China in July 1997, and it contains undeniable facts as well as ample data and statistics proving the city’s business environment has become healthier and more stable since the National People’s Congress Standing Committee promulgated the National Security Law for the HKSAR, which took effect on June 30 last year.
It is a fact that Hong Kong is blessed with many advantages but none greater than the strong support by the central government and mainland compatriots in integrating its own development into the overall development strategy of the nation. That is also one of the main reasons why the US-led Western powers have been trying so hard to bring Hong Kong down but have failed spectacularly so far
The report bears indisputable evidence for the conclusion that Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability is better assured than ever, and its status as a center of international finance remains as solid as possible. It is a resounding and convincing rebuttal to arbitrary smearing by United States-led Western powers trying to obstruct China’s development by sabotaging Hong Kong with vilification campaigns and illegal interference. It will go a long way in shoring up investor confidence in Hong Kong’s free-market economy.
Hong Kong has been rated the freest economy in the world for many years in a row despite intensified, unjustifiable interference by US-led Western governments aimed at undermining China’s progress by destabilizing Hong Kong in recent years, especially through the violent “black revolution” perpetrated in the name of freedom and democracy in 2019. The subversive campaign preceding the COVID-19 pandemic severely damaged the Hong Kong economy but failed to achieve the evil goal of its masterminds. The “one country, two systems” principle, which Hong Kong relies on for its long-term stability and prosperity, was severely challenged during the “black revolution”, as US politicians went out of their way to encourage and support separatist groups’ violent rampages. The US government even issued an official “warning” against doing business in Hong Kong earlier this year, only to be refuted by none other than the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
People may remember Jimmy Lai Chi-ying, Washington’s pick to fight America’s “war against China in Hong Kong” (his own words during an interview with CNN). He was one of the few die-hard separatists who urged Washington to launch more sanctions than there already were against the HKSAR government as well as the central authorities just to make 7.4 million Hong Kong residents suffer and then blame Beijing for it. Suffice to say, Lai did much more than his Western masters’ bidding and hastened the collapse of the anti-China forces in Hong Kong so painstakingly built by Washington politicians with no small help from politicians in London and a few other eager followers. At the end of the day, they were the ones harming the business environment in Hong Kong with street violence and all kinds of human rights abuses while claiming Beijing made them do it.
Following the enactment of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, the central authorities took another crucial step toward restoring peace and order in Hong Kong with the NPC’s decision to improve the city’s electoral system through local legislation according to amendments to Annex I and Annex II of the Basic Law of the HKSAR. There is no denying the two historic measures achieved the desired results immediately, as Hong Kong is enjoying social stability and is now able to focus on the economic recovery and on containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the National Security Law took effect last year, a series of new IPOs in Hong Kong raised a total of more than HK$500 billion ($64.2 billion) in new capital for a 50 percent surge year-on-year; while its banking industry saw its total savings increase by nearly 8 percent to over HK$15 trillion. The number of nonlocal businesses has also grown, with more operations creating more jobs as a result. In the latest Global Financial Center Index, Hong Kong has regained its third-place ranking after a drop caused by the “black revolution” of 2019.
The “Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environment” is completely fact-based, with honest responses from actual investors and businesspeople to independent opinion polls as the basis for statistical conclusions to the contrary of bad-mouthing by Washington and its cronies. With all the verifiable facts and figures, the report yet again exposes the despicable liars and quintessential hypocrites in Washington, DC.
All said, Hong Kong’s greatest advantage or strength comes from “one country, two systems” and the fast-developing motherland, which is already the second-largest economy in the world and is expected to overtake the US as No 1 in a few years’ time. This year marks the beginning of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), which contains specific targets for Hong Kong through broader and deeper involvement in the overall development strategy of the country. In addition to the Belt and Road Initiative, the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is also in full swing as we speak, both offering unlimited opportunities for Hong Kong-based businesses in the next five years and beyond. Still, opportunities are for the prepared — a cliche but no less true than any other — meaning Hong Kong can only blame itself for those it missed.
It is a fact that Hong Kong is blessed with many advantages but none greater than the strong support by the central government and mainland compatriots in integrating its own development into the overall development strategy of the nation. That is also one of the main reasons why the US-led Western powers have been trying so hard to bring Hong Kong down but have failed spectacularly so far. What more can Hong Kong ask for, moving forward?
The author is a current affairs commentator.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.