Tue, Sep 04, 2018 - Page 9 News List

China’s Silicon Valley threatens to swallow up Hong Kong

Beijing’s push to create a US$1 trillion economy is facing resistance

By John Follain  /  Bloomberg

Macau has felt similar pressure from China, as rich Chinese have poured into the territory’s casinos and Beijing has followed with crack downs on money laundering and capital flight.

Still, convincing more Hong Kong people to pursue careers in China would require more than a multibillion-dollar bridge and railway projects. The State Council, China’s Cabinet, earlier this week announced that residents of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as those from Taiwan, would receive new identification cards allowing them greater access to social and public services in China.

Another major barrier is a maximum tax rate of 45 percent — more than twice the level in Hong Kong. That is why some Greater Bay Area advocates, such as Legislative Councillor Holden Chow (周浩鼎), are seeking accelerated efforts to close such policy gaps.

“It’s not about Beijing swallowing up Hong Kong — that’s just scaremongering,” said Chow, vice chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the largest Beijing-loyalist party in the territory. “Hong Kong needs economic integration with China, and it needs support from the central government.”

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