Beijing's influence over Hong Kong prompts locals to pack up and leave

Beijing's influence over Hong Kong prompts locals to pack up and leave

The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984 by then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang, laid out how Britain would end its century-and-a-half long rule over Hong Kong.

That's changed. "Actually, Hong Kong is shifting its role from Asia financial center to supporting the growth of China now", says William Hon, a trader for Liquidnet, a USA equity broker.

Small group of pro-democracy protesters had been arrested before Xi's three-day visit to Hong Kong, and released on its second day.

Of the 1,995 companies listed on Hong Kong's main board and Growth Enterprise Market in 2016, 989 were mainland companies, according to data from the Hong Kong Exchange.

Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai expressed disappointment with Xi's speech, saying the president had focused on the importance of one country and the city's economic development, but failed to elaborate on how to respect the two systems. "It used to be that you got out of college in Hong Kong, you were an invaluable resource because you had some sort of Mandarin skills, you spoke English and you were trained in finance, and you had no competition", says Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital, and author of Shadow Banking and the Rise of Capitalism in China.

Xi is presently in Hong Kong it is his first visit to the city since he took power in Beijing in 2013, and comes amid fears by some Hong Kongers of increasing Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy-guaranteed under a framework known as "one country, two systems".

It was meant to be a routine demonstration by pro-democracy protesters.

Yu also said the Hong Kong Chinese helped bolster the private school system in Vancouver because many had sent their children to similar schools in Hong Kong, and sought them out once they arrived in Vancouver. The protesters, including activist Joshua Wong, a leader of Hong Kong's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, managed to obscure the statue from view.

He also referred to the "humiliation and sorrow" China suffered during the first Opium War in the early 1840s that led to the ceding of Hong Kong to the British.

President Xi Jinping today warned against "impermissible" challenges to China's authority over Hong Kong and said any attempt to question Beijing's sovereignty in the former British colony would cross a "red line".

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"In the 20 years since Hong Kong was returned to the motherland, the success of 'one country, two systems' is recognized by the whole world", Xi said.

In the latter part of his speech, Xi adopted a softer stance by calling on the public to solve problems through sensible communication instead of political confrontation.

In his words, China had made it "categorically clear" in talks with Britain in the 1980s that "sovereignty is not for negotiation".

Lam said she recognized the political and economic challenges facing Hong Kong but added that the city's problems can not be solved overnight.

Hong Kong has a good foundation and the Hong Kong people are excellent, Lam said.

By building on and leveraging its strengths, Hong Kong will surely be able to seize opportunities presented by economic globalization and regional cooperation to promote innovative local business start-ups, and develop new growth drivers, he said.

The city of Hong Kong on Saturday celebrated the 20th anniversary of its transfer from British authority to China. Due to heavy dredging and construction work, these rare animals, a symbol of Hong Kong at the time of the 1997 handover, have nearly completely vanished. "We hope the relevant people can be aware of the reality", Lu said.

President Xi Jinping Saturday inspected major infrastructure projects in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), urging more efforts to keep and improve its competitiveness. This principle is stipulated in the Basic Law of Hong Kong, equivalent to a constitutional document.

In a short speech, she reviewed the dynamic financial centre's achievements and challenges, pledged to support central government initiatives and declared that "the future is bright".

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