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Fading Opportunities: Hong Kong in the Context of Regional Integration

  • Tai-lok Lui
Chapter
Part of the Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy book series (PEPP)

Abstract

As Hong Kong people nervously watched Britain and China negotiating over the political future of the British colony in the 1980s, the major concern is economic prosperity. Few people would have much faith in the idea of “One Country, Two Systems” (a proposal put forward by China partially to pacify the business sector and avoid a drastic outflow of capital), worrying that the socialist economy will undermine the dynamism of Hong Kong’s free-market capitalism. Many, especially those who left China immediately after 1949 and during various waves of massive illegal migration to the colony (such as in the early 1960s, triggered by the Great Leap Forward campaign) also had fresh memories of the political aftermath of socialist authoritarianism. The foci of people’s fear primarily fell upon the domains of economics (an erosion of market capitalism) and politics (political suppression and a threat to personal freedom). Few paid serious attention to the fact that on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong formally became part of China, some kind of integration, be it at the national or the regional level, was inevitable. As a result, the wider (socioeconomic, cultural and political) implications of regional or national integration were totally out of the picture. The neglect of this concern went largely unnoticed until 2003. But from then onwards, there emerged a new social agenda in the changing Mainland-Hong Kong relationship.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Academy of Hong Kong StudiesThe Education University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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