Washington Post: China’s Xi lays out plan to build Shenzhen into global rival to troubled Hong Kong
Wed October, 2020, Age: 2 weeks
In a Wednesday speech marking the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen’s designation as a special economic zone (SEZ), China’s leader, Xi Jinping, announced plans to build Shenzhen into a “model city” of innovative industries and rule of law, while touting closer integration of Hong Kong into the mainland economy. Xi also pledged Beijing’s continued support for an initiative known as the Greater Bay Area, a plan to integrate several southern metropolises, including Hong Kong, to form a regional growth engine to rival Silicon Valley. This plan has met with pushback in Hong Kong. Pro-democracy activists view the Greater Bay Area as a way of eroding the city’s distinct culture, way of life and economic value to China, neutralizing its international advantages. Hong Kong was supposed to enjoy a high degree of autonomy within China until 2047 under the Sino-British Agreement. But it has seen many of its freedoms curtailed with the passing of a national security law summer, and its status as an international financial center is in flux.