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Hong Kong chief gets shanghaied

[ 2010-03-16 13:04]     字号 [] [] []  
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Donald Tsang, consider yourself shanghaied.

It happened on March 5, as Hong Kong's chief executive visited Beijing. Local media confronted Tsang with a Bloomberg News article pointing out that Shanghai's economy exceeded the size of Hong Kong's for the first time in at least three decades.

Tsang's retort was predictable: Shanghai's rise is "not a threat".

For years now, Hong Kong has argued the city's uniqueness enshrined its prosperity. Also, investors haven't made lots of money betting against Hong Kong.

Yet Shanghai is rapidly regaining its position as China's dominant financial center. And investors betting on Hong Kong's once-indisputable place in Asia might think again.

Financial Secretary John Tsang said last week that Hong Kong is at the early stage of a recovery. Its economy is growing at about 2.6 percent - not bad in a global context. The problem is the longer-term picture.

For the first time, the mainland has the most billionaires outside the United States.

Even if the mainland grows more slowly in the next few years, its need for a middleman economy like Hong Kong's is dwindling. Shanghai is now the mainland's biggest port and stock market operator.

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's biggest bank, may soon be the first foreign company to list in Shanghai. Policymakers there are wooing more overseas issuers seduced by its potential. That dynamic is likely to siphon off capital that otherwise might gravitate to Hong Kong.


1. At what rate is Hong Kong’s economy growing right now?

2. Who has more billionaires, Hong Kong or Chinese mainland?

3. What bank might become the first foreign company to list on the Shanghai stock exchange?


1. 2.6 percent.

2. The Chinese mainland has more billionaires than Hong Kong. The mainland has the most billionaires outside of the United States.

3. HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Hong Kong chief gets shanghaied

About the broadcaster:

Hong Kong chief gets shanghaied

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.