News / Asia

    China's Likely Future Premier Visits Hong Kong

    Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (2nd L), wearing a floor trader's vest, poses with Hong Kong Stock Exchange Chairman Ronald Arculli (L), Chief Executive Charles Li (R) and Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang during his visit to the Hong Kong Stock Exch
    Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (2nd L), wearing a floor trader's vest, poses with Hong Kong Stock Exchange Chairman Ronald Arculli (L), Chief Executive Charles Li (R) and Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang during his visit to the Hong Kong Stock Exch
    Ivan Broadhead

    Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang is on an official three-day visit to Hong Kong, where he is expected to attend a forum on the role the Special Administrative Region of China will play in the mainland’s future. Li’s arrival in the city is significant for other reasons, as well.

    Li’s ceremonial arrival is yet another indication that the relatively unknown 56-year-old will succeed Premier Wen Jiabao next October after the Communist Party’s 18th congress.

    Willy Lam, professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said, “This congress is particularly important because President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will have served their two five-year terms. Of nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest ruling council, seven will retire. So there will be a wholesale changing of the guard.”

    Economic measures to bolster Hong Kong

    Li announced several initiatives Wednesday to support the Hong Kong economy, whose growth has declined in successive quarters. They include a $3 billion quota for Hong Kong companies to invest in mainland securities and pilot projects for foreign banks to replenish their capital with yuan. The moves are seen as enhancing the Chinese currency’s global position as an alternative to the dollar.

    Along with Wednesday’s sale of more than $3 billion of so-called “dim sum bonds” - which are yuan-denominated debt issued to foreign investors through the Hong Kong market - Li’s initiatives will help Hong Kong develop as a gateway for international investment in China, particularly the growing trade in its currency.

    Hong Kong faces a growing wealth divide, however, as inflation hits a three-year high. Even the prosperous middle-class is struggling to make ends meet, and chief executive Donald Tsang saw his popularity fall to a new low last month.

    Concerns about stability


    Emily Lau, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, said, "If you look at the difficulties America, Europe and Japan are going through - this huge debt crisis - in Hong Kong we have a huge surplus. But we don’t use the money to alleviate disparity between rich and poor.”

    Political analyst Lam said that Li is expected to remind Tsang in private meetings of the significance he attaches to maintaining social cohesion in this former British colony, which retains considerable political autonomy.

    “There is an intimate connection between political development in Hong Kong and the mainland. Because of the massive contradictions in the Hong Kong economy, there might be instability, riots. Beijing is obsessed with stability in Hong Kong, partly because of this possible copycat effect,” said Lam.

    Lam says that despite Li's liberal reputation, preserving stability remains his overriding task and likely will define his premiership should his elevation to the post be confirmed next year.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora