Hong Kong’s handover to the Chinese government after 150 years of British colonial rule is a major historical event
My paper analyzes whether or not China handled Hong Kong well 10 years after the Handover occurred. It also aims to look at the changes that have taken place since the Handover, and how they have affected the situation in Hong Kong.
Important questions regarding this issue are:
After 10 years, did China handle Hong Kong well?
Has China fulfilled its promise to maintain Hong Kong’s status quo as a leader in Asian economy?
Have the policies and changes that the Handover has brought been beneficial to the people of Hong Kong?
My position is that China did a good job in the sense that they did not do harm to Hong Kong and was able to preserve the liberal economic and political spirit of the place.
My conclusions are based on the following parameters: One, the economic situation of the territory, and two, the political situation of the territory.
Background of the Issue
Why was the Handover a source of anxiety to Hong Kong citizens?
The Hong Kong way of life is different than that of Mainland China’s
China is under a Communist System while Hong Kong adopts a free market economy
The Impact of the Hong Kong handover can be brought to light with the following facts:
Hong Kong is a small piece of coastal island below Mainland China.
Its strategic location made it an important port for the trading of goods and is regarded as an ideal base for military and tactical operations.
When it comes to its economy, Hong Kong is a force to contend with. Hong Kong:
Is one the modern world’s most important financial hubs
Enjoys one of the world’s highest gross domestic products
Provides jobs to millions in Mainland China as well as in neighboring countries
Aftermath of the Handover
Accounts of life in Hong Kong right after the Handover were promising. Generally, it was “life as usual”.
The general consensus is that the Handover did not cause the major political and economic upheavals that many feared it would.
While there was a slowing down in the economy, it was not at the level expected.
The changes were milder and subtler than expected
The reaction of the business community to the Handover reflects the reaction of the locals:
Businesses were able to ride the change without much difficulty.
Multinational companies based in Hong Kong have been loyal, and were able to transcend political upheavals.
The most important policies implemented after the Handover included “One country, two policies” and “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong”. China also increased public spending and reduced tax.
These policies have allowed Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region (SAR) government a free hand to implement decisions with respect to Hong Kong’s political and economic environment. Such a moves also proved to be effective because it kept businesses in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s Performance under China’s rule has been on the large part, successful. The following are evidence of China’s good handling of the Hong Kong Handover:
Hong Kong was one of the least affected during the Asian economic depressions
Hong Kong was one of the first to bounce back from the depression.
Hong Kong survived the health problems of SARS, bird flu and mad cow disease.