Party Congress expected to give HK role in development

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will no doubt readjust development strategies in response to the fast-changing geopolitical situation, including policies concerning Hong Kong’s long-term development under the “one country, two systems” framework. It’s safe to assume the Party Congress will introduce, as part of the updated national development strategy, more supportive policies to offer Hong Kong tailor-made assistance in exploring new economic growth models as well as new growth engines.

The geopolitical situation is worsening as we speak and will adversely affect China, including the special administrative region of Hong Kong. This is reason enough to predict that the central government will increase policy incentives for Hong Kong to quicken and deepen the integration of its own development into the country’s overall development strategy, which is set to strengthen the “dual circulation” growth pattern in the near future. Hong Kong stands to play a bigger role in it and benefit more from it.

Hong Kong enjoys a unique advantage of having the mainland to fall back on, serving as a “superconnector” between the mainland and the rest of the world. This advantage will only grow as the motherland becomes stronger and more prosperous in the years to come, further strengthening Hong Kong’s world-leading status in global finance and trade along the way.

Hong Kong did not become a center of international finance, trade, shipping and professional services naturally or as a blessing from the United Kingdom. Apart from hard work and an enterprising drive by generations of local residents, what has been attracting foreign businesses and capital to Hong Kong is without question the unparalleled Chinese-mainland market, which has created insatiable demands for Hong Kong services, capital and know-how. Had the mainland not launched the epic reform and opening-up strategy back in 1978, Hong Kong would not have had the perfect opportunity to become the world-class financial, trade, shipping and business hub it is today, not to mention the promise of greater development in such areas as sci-tech innovation, high-end health services, and international cultural exchanges, to name just a few.

Hong Kong must keep in mind there is no room for second thoughts when it comes to integrating its own development into the nation’s overall development strategy because the city’s future prosperity and stability depends on it, as has been the case; and the worsening geopolitical situation leaves the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region no choice.

It’s believed that the 20th CPC National Congress will point Hong Kong in a clearer direction of development and entrust it with a bigger role in the nation’s development strategy, especially in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development project. Similarly, Hong Kong is also expected to do more as a “superconnector” in facilitating the “external circulation” of the country’s “dual circulation” growth pattern from now on.

The global economic downturn has impacted all countries, and China is no exception, but the second-largest economy in the world is still a main growth engine of the global economy and will remain so in the foreseeable future. It’s not empty talk but an undeniable fact when we say: “The greatest opportunity for global development lies in China, and the greatest opportunity for Hong Kong’s development lies on the mainland.”

The world is facing great challenges from an unprecedented paradigm shift in global-power balance, but no hostile forces, great or small, can block China’s robust development or derail the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The reform and opening-up strategy has afforded China more than 40 years of fast and extensive development that has greatly built up its national strength. The nation is not only the world’s second-largest economy but also “the world’s factory”, the leading trading partner of dozens of countries, and the second-largest consumer market, second-largest foreign investment destination, and biggest contributor to global economic growth 14 years in a row so far. Its economic aggregate in GDP terms has exceeded 110 trillion yuan ($17.7 trillion), accounting for 18 percent of the world’s total.

It’s safe to say the global economy needs China more than ever to grow, and attempts by hostile forces to decouple with China are bound to fail sooner or later. The British think tank Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) maintains in a recent report that China’s strong development is in sharp contrast to the decline of the US economy, which is why the CEBR expects China to overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy five years sooner than the previous prediction, around the year 2028, to be exact. The CEBR is not alone in making such “bold” predictions, which see China’s quality development as an enormous growth opportunity for the world economy in the years to come. How can Hong Kong afford not to be a significant part of it?

Once the 20th CPC National Congress concludes and lays out an updated development strategy, the nation will no doubt overcome any difficulties and challenges on its way to a brighter future, and Hong Kong is expected to contribute to the country’s modernization drive while building up its own competitiveness and advantages by taking up a more significant role in national development.

The author is a current-affairs commentator.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.