Hong Kong is Booming again, but it’s democracy languishes.

Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper has a special “Report on Hong Kong” and its booming economy, but no mention of democracy.

It’s hidden away on their website – no way to do a “special “Report” with their expense CMS? – under it’s International Asia / Pacific section with these articles :

  • 24/7 BOOMTOWN : Reports of the territory’s death have been greatly exaggerated. The prices at Hong Kong’s newest luxury hotel are almost as breathtaking as the harbour views from its windows….
  • Territory’s fortunes rise on China’s economic flood: Investors are playing the mainland’s growth story through the city’s markets. Mi Laoshu and Dang Laoya have come to Hong Kong. For the uninitiated, that is Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The opening this month of Hong Kong Disneyland is yet another sign of changed times…
  • Canadians by choice, Hong Kongers by nature: A growing tide of Canadian passport-holders are returning to the city, lured back by the booming economy and growing business opportunities,…
  • Hong Kong never sleeps — it moves all the time. It’s a deal-making city’ : Montreal-born Allan Zeman is the man behind the enormously popular Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district. He talks to GEOFFREY YORK about making it happen…
  • What China lacks just makes its capitalist enclave stronger : Communism is the best thing that ever happened to Hong Kong. Communism at arm’s length, that is…

There are also 3 pieces not online (Update: buried Links below) about 1) Hong Kong’s new Disney Theme park; 2) the recovery of property market (an important source for government revenue); and 3) Hong Kong thinks big and works fast in creating some of the most spectacular infrastructure in Asia (something they do very very well ) like the facelift of the Peak Tower, the worlds longs road and rail bridge Tsing Ma and much more.

and certainly ET’s Family and Friends are moving there, doing well and finding opportunities that didn’t exist a couple of years ago.

However, the “Report on Hong Kong” didn’t mention the political dimension, which is a mixed bag at best.

on the plus side news the Hong Kong’s HK Democracy Bloc Visits Mainland : The pro-democracy bloc of Hong Kong’s elected lawmakers has been allowed back onto the Chinese mainland for the first time since the 1989 massacre in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. , during which (See Glutter) elected legislator, resident trouble maker, Leung Kwok Hung, as usual causes a bit of ruckus and pushes the boundaries . Now if only Chief Executive Donald Tsang, aka “The Duck“, could show some back bone.

News out of China continues to be negative (bad to worst) with :

  • new rules against Internet “Subversion” in China which ban the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest. Established news media needed permission to run a news Web site, while new operators had to register themselves with government information offices. (slashdot). Also Peking Duck on China’s bold vision of a bland, kowtowing, harmonious Internet
  • The uprising in the village of Taishi, a small village of Taishi (population about 2,000), in Panyu districty, Guangzhou, after local village “elections”. Simon World has the details, of which I only heard about.
  • The G&M also inculded a commentary “The truth about truth in China” by Frank Ching about the fact, then –and even now — anything that has not appeared in the official press can be considered a state secret, no matter how innocuous.. Joy. 1984 is alive and well. If you can’t see it otherwise read it as a PDF. And Danwei has more on Chinese state secrets.
  • and today news also includes : Chinese audit uncovers mass corruption :China’s annual audit of government departments uncovers litany of abuses.

Unfortunately many in Hong Kong may not care about politics if the economy is doing well. It will be easier to stand up to the CPP when times are good. And a modern economy needs the free flow of information, and open and transparent governance. (So, yes democracy is a economic issue) Lets hope they continue to shout out, push for, and demand real and full Democracy for Hong Kong. For their sake, for China’s sake and for our sake.

For More see linkroll

Update Sept 30th: Ok, I missed one story from the Globe &Mail Macau: Vegas of the East gives HK a run for its money, and found – buried – links to the other 3 stories : Prices are on the way back to sky-high :With China surging, Hong Kong housing is going merrily along in the slipstream; Making mega marvels; and The mainland’s newest theme park? Hong Kong : Tourism is booming again, thanks in large part to the burgeoning middle class of the People’s Republic of China.

Also Simon kindly linked back to me in Hong Kong boom town with some add info and Andrea makes an interesting comment pointing out that Sir Donald and Guangdon’s governor are heading to a number of North American cities for a “invest in HK & Guangdong” roadshow and which lead me to find that they are going to be in San Francisco on 14th October 2005, and Vancouver on October 24th, 2005. So is the whole “Report” is really a softing up “special advertising insert”, pay for by whom?

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