Why Hong Kong is nothing like Macau

Posted by Ed 7 mths ago
As Hong Kong’s summer of civil unrest staggers into autumn, among the least helpful inter­national commentaries that have appeared have been comparisons between China’s two special administrative regions – Hong Kong and Macau.
Focus has been directed at how Macau appears largely devoid of organised political dissent. Less attention has been directed to the under­lying reasons for this.
Extensive mainland Chinese influence over Macau’s internal affairs goes back several decades before the Portuguese handover to Chinese rule in 1999. Since the mid-1960s, political and economic power in Macau has been held by a handful of prominent Chinese families, who control virtually the entire economy.
Two post-handover chief executives came from this circle; the first, Edmund Ho Hau-wah, was the son of Macau’s leading “red capitalist”, Ho Yin. After the communist-fomented riots in 1966 – known as the “12-3” incident, for the December date on which they occurred – the Macau government effectively capitulated, and henceforth did whatever mainland authorities indicated.

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Ed 7 mths ago
Unlike Hong Kong, where serious rule-of-law considerations still prevail, modern Macau has little permanent appeal for mainland China’s wealthiest citizens. The law-abiding, especially, are materially better off elsewhere in China. Historically, Macau, even more than Hong Kong, was a conveni­ent offshore/onshore bolt-hole for those out of favour in the Chinese mainland. But this appeal has greatly diminished in recent years.
Many suggest that Hong Kong is no longer important to China... it's just a mid-sized city that is on the wane...
Yet why is it that commercial deals are generally signed in Hong Kong?   Why is it that companies (and individuals) absolutely prefer that their disputes be handled in a Hong Kong court -- not a Macau court... not a Shenzhen court... not a Beijing court.
Internationally recognized rule of law applies in Hong Kong.   And that is why Hong Kong remains far more than 'just a mid-sized Chinese city'. 
And that is not going to change anytime soon...

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