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

Photogallery Pope Condemns IS 'Persecution' of Minorities

Pope delivers annual 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and the world) blessing, appeals for end to conflicts in Africa, dialogue in Middle East, condemns Taliban attack in Pakistan More

China Reduces Number of Crimes Punishable by Death

Earlier this year China announced plans to remove nine crimes from the list of capital offenses, including counterfeiting, fraudulent fund-raising and forcing others into prostitution More

Analysis: For N. Koreans, Parody Has Grave Tone

Most North Koreans who might see 'The Interview' would be horribly offended, outraged, and confused More

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.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid