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Globalisation and the Governance of Hong Kong - page 3 / 28





3 / 28


This paper will analyse the impacts of globalisation on governance in Hong Kong. As a former British colony, Hong Kong began integration into the world economic system in

the 19th



provides an



in the East

Kong’s subsequent emergence as a world or ‘global’ city thus to examine the complexities of analysing the impact of Asian context. The strength of Hong Kong’s economy, the

economic growth potential of the neighbouring stability, its status as a regional financial centre, places Hong Kong in the ranks of world cities.

East and The

Asia region, its relative political its international outlook certainly epithet ‘global city’ appears more

appropriate, as Hong Kong These conditions require cities world economy’ and to act as

appears to fulfill Sassen’s conditions for global city status. to function as a command point ‘in the organisation of the a ‘key location and marketplace for the leading industries of

the current period, which are finance and specialised services for firms’. cities should be ‘major sites of production for these industries, including innovations’ (Sassen 1994: 302). For instance, the decision by the Hong to construct a ‘Cyber-Port’ in 1999 reflects a stock response to challenges by emphasising the development modern information technology.

In addition, such the production of Kong overnment global economic

Hong Kong’s spectacular post-war economic growth has also ensured its ranking among the irst-tier East Asian Newly Industrialised Economies (NIEs). As with other Asian NIEs, Hong Kong is characterised as an ‘administrative state’, largely as a

consequence of its ex-colonial status. of Hong Kong and this aspect will Kong can be described as a ‘small

This is important for understanding

be discussed later in the paper. state’, although care needs to

In be

the governance addition, Hong taken with this

description. The Commonwealth Secretariat (1983: definition based on population, with a population of Clearly Hong Kong, with a population of seven million

9) follows the United Nations one million as the upper limit. and rising exceeds this de inition.

However, ‘small’ can surface rea of 1,000 ‘small city state’, as urbanised, the rest is

also be defined in terms of geographic area; Hong Kong only has a square kilometres. Therefore, another term we could use is that of a only a relatively small amount of Hong Kong’s surface area is mainly national park, the topography of which is unable to sustain


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