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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid