HK for­tu­nate to have Bei­jing’s back­ing in volatile times

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - L AU NA I-K E U N G

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.