Hong Kong’s size renders it extremely vulnerable to economic and political globalisation (Scott 1989: 185). However, despite Hong Kong’s relative size and its lack of natural resources, its status as a port of international significance has meant that it has weathered economic integration into the world economy remarkably well and has turned it to its advantage. Hong Kong’s history as an entrepot for commerce within the British Empire and the neighbouring region brought it into the world economy relatively early.
This was largely due to its integration with the British
colonial network of ports, which Kong was strategically important
too, as a military and naval base for Britain in the Far East.
1949 accelerated Hong Kong’s economic advancement with
commercial expertise from communist China. relationship with neighbouring southern China, and
More recently, the Pearl River
the exodus of close economic in particular, is Considering the
region as a whole (with the addition of advantageous position of Hong Kong status as a world city’. However, now
Taiwan), Chiu et al (1997: 168) argue that, ‘the in this emergent economic subregion lies in its that Hong Kong is reunified with China, foreign
investment is increasingly flowing into China via Hong Kong. China’s pending to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is likely to accelerate this process. Hong Kong is undoubtedly ‘internationalised’, Hong Kong’s trans-national trade the discretion of the state, the ‘bureaucratic polity’.
accession Although relies on
Furthermore, the dominant section of Hong Kong’s community and its way of life are internationalised. Economic prosperity has allowed Hong Kong people to receive higher education abroad, for instance. Moreover, many professionals achieve their qualifications in western countries, particularly Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States. The new westernised elites had become dissatisfied with the colonial system of government ‘that led to the administrative absorption of politics’ (Hook 1997: 560). Unless economic hardship severely curtails the travel opportunities of the Hong Kong people, policy ideas from abroad will continue to circulate but must be compatible with the Basic Law if they are to be implemented.
Hong Kong achieved a high level of economic development in a relatively short space of time. As a colony, Britain’s promotion of Hong Kong’s economy was more to do with steering the colony away from conflict in China rather than a conscious attempt by