HK fortunate to have Beijing’s backing in volatile times
What will 2017 bode for Hong Kong? Socially and politically it will depend very much on our relations with the central government and among ourselves, and hinge heavily on the outcome of the upcoming Chief Executive election. It is likely that 2017 will be a very volatile year; Hong Kong as a cosmopolitan city is subject to every change in the international environment.
2017 will be a highly volatile year with the American and EU economies on the brink. Anything can happen, not the least likely is another international financial tsunami much bigger than the 2008 one, the aftershocks of which is still reverberating and affecting us.
As a result, governments will fall, and wars will break out. In fact if you do some Google searches, you will find the word “WWIII” has come up more frequently in recent months. The war in Syria is a mini world war with many countries participating, not to mention Donald Trump’s overt hostility toward China. In any case, 2017 will not be a peaceful year.
It certainly won’t be for Hong Kong, especially for the first half of this year when we are going to hold a CE election and prepare for the 20th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the SAR, while the Leung administration is in transition period. On top of that we are going to face an international financial crisis at the same time.
Few people have noticed, apart from Hong Kong the rest of the four Asian dragons, namely Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea have suffered negative growth in the second half of this year. How Hong Kong will fare in 2017 depends on how the Western economic crisis unfolds and how the nation reacts to it. All in all, with the unwavering support from the central government Hong Kong will fare relatively better than its neighbors.
But our politicians and mainstream media aided and abetted by external forces, will not stand idle. They will blame everything on the SAR and ultimately the central government. They claim that the ultimate reason for all these unfortunate things taking place here is that Hong Kong people are not allowed to take their destiny in their own hands. They therefore have to fight for independence. The problem is more young people believe this.
Our economy has so far been enjoying full employment, and yet young people are so restless. We will have to see how they will behave in future. There are no references to draw on. They might be more mindful in The author is a veteran current affairs commentator.
It (2017) certainly won’t be (a peaceful year) for Hong Kong, especially for the first half of this year when we are going to hold a CE election and prepare for the 20th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the SAR, while the Leung administration is in transition period.”
finding a steady job, or they might be more prone to take to the streets to express their grievances. We are going to find out in the next few months.
One thing is sure, mass rallies will become more frequent and will attract more people. This will be especially true for the events leading up to the annual July 1 demonstration in 2017 as President Xi Jinping is expected to come here for the 20th anniversary of the SAR. The objective of these rallies is to harass our national leader to make international news that he is not welcome here. Whether they will succeed with this mischief is a test of will for the out-going and in-coming Chief Executives.
Hopefully things will start to stabilize politically and socio-economically in the second half of 2017 after the new Chief Executive takes office. Our citizens will learn to accept the new reality and live with it. It will not get any better, but it won’t get much worse. The world will probably stop growing for a couple of years before it bounces back, but China is set to enjoy a 6.5-percent growth, which will spill over a bit to the SAR. Hong Kong after all is still very fortunate to be basking in the loving care of the motherland.