With the world media outside China focusing on Hong Kong’s democracy protests, it’s easy to forget that it began as a fishing village, became a British crown colony in 1841, and had Canadian soldiers help defend it until the Japanese seized it in late 1941. From 1945 to 2011, its population ballooned from 600,000 to seven million. Today, Hong Kong is a leading world financial and trade centre, enjoying the ninth-highest GDP per capita ($53,203 vs. $11,904 for China) and supporting about a third of the foreign capital flowing into China.
Various factors have assisted Hong Kong’s development, including: The rule of law/independent courts, economic freedom, free speech/media independence, and an influx of entrepreneurial refugees from Maoist China after 1949. Despite efforts by Beijing to favour Shanghai before and since the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, Hong Kong still surpasses its rival as the principal financial centre in China.
Canada’s Clive Ansley, who practised law in ShanghaiRead More »from Hong Kong: It's a difficult battle, but the students should get their say