Beautiful and world-class Hong Kong is disappearing. The city that was once considered the freest in the world is no longer in the running. China has basically fully taken over the city.
Only a few years ago we wrote how China was better at dealing with Hong Kong than Democrats were with the major cities in the US. In 2017 we shared this:
Today Hong Kong is recognized as a separate country in most country classifications because of the “one country, two systems” approach by the Communist Chinese. Hong Kong has a budget surplus nearly every year. This is in spite of the country providing basically free health care to all its citizens and proving free housing for 30% of its population. Hong Kong is rated number one in the world with the world’s freest economy and Hong Kong is known as the financial center of Asia.
How things have changed in only a few years.
China is now running Hong Kong by most accounts. They have now fully taken over the government and are postponing elections for another year while blaming it on COVID:
China passed a law this past year that allowed them to arrest anyone who speaks negatively about China and throw them in jail and they are doing it:
Now China is preventing people from leaving the country. The Guardian writes:
Hong Kong has passed a new immigration law that includes powers to stop people entering or leaving the city, raising fears of Chinese mainland-style “exit bans” in the international business hub.
The legislation sailed through a legislature now devoid of opposition, as Beijing has quashed dissent and sought to make the semi-autonomous city more like the authoritarian mainland after huge and often violent democracy protests.
Activists, lawyers and some business figures have sounded the alarm over provisions in the bill, including one allowing the city’s immigration chief to bar people from boarding planes to and from the city. No court order is required and there is no recourse to appeal. The city’s bar association (HKBA) said the bill’s wording gave “apparently unfettered power” to the immigration director.
Labour activists and legal critics said the legislature had ignored concerns about the law’s broad wording, and they feared exit bans could now be used in Hong Kong. “When they have this power, absolute power, you don’t know who they will use it on,” said one barrister, Chow Hang-tung, from the pro-democracy Hong Kong Alliance.
Currently, there is little travel in and out of the city after more than a year of restrictions on travel due to COVID. Travelers who enter the city must go on quarantine and pay for it themselves. The city once had one of the most active and efficient airports in the world with a quarter-million travelers visiting the airport every day. Since COVID, travel has been as low as 5,000 travelers a day. Again, this has gone on for more than a year. Small businesses and those related to the travel business have been devastated.