Hong Kong eyes Shenzhen as way out

By Elaine Duan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 16, 2012
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Hong Kong eyes Shenzhen as way out

Most Hong Kong residents have never viewed Shenzhen as a threat to Hong Kong's growth, and instead believe Shenzhen could gain access to more development resources and favorable policies brought by the special status of a municipality. [Photo: nddaily.com]

Song added that such status would be granted not only to serve the interests of Shenzhen's economic growth, but also to build a nationally strategic financial center based on the two cities' cooperation.

According to Hong Kong cultural critic Lin Peili, Hong Kong residents would be very "generous" if Shenzhen could upgrade its municipal status, and thereby win more support and favorable policies from the central government.

Most Hong Kong residents have never viewed Shenzhen as a threat to Hong Kong's growth, and instead believe Shenzhen could gain access to more development resources and favorable policies. As cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong grows, Hong Kong will become a stronger and more vibrant environment, Lin said.

Freelance writer Xia Yang believes Shenzhen will be able to brush off the restraining presence of the Guangdong provincial government after being granted special status, and would have more tools to promote Hong Kong-Shenzhen integration.

Xia said that Shenzhen will undoubtedly become the next municipality, as the city symbolizes the forward social progress and economic achievements that China has made over the past 30 years of reform. The support from the central government guarantees the city's success because Shenzhen is the most tangible example of the country's reform and opening-up strategy.

A netizen referring to himself as "Thinker of China's Delta Economy" said Hong Kong residents raised the proposal in an attempt to keep an advantage over their competitors in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou through cooperating with Shenzhen.

If special status is granted, a Hong Kong shopping assistant named Lily predicts a salary increase resulting from an imminent mainland tourist boom to Hong Kong. She believes the upgraded municipal status would help mainland tourists easily clear Hong Kong Customs

Dina, a student studying in Hong Kong, often buys books in Shenzhen and boasts about being more familiar with the layout of the city's central book store and restaurants than many Shenzhen residents.

But she has noticed many problems in the city. The Hong Kong transportation card is not accepted in Shenzhen; a transfer of subways is required from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, which can take a maximum of 2 hours; Hong Kong mobile website are unavailable in Shenzhen; and public Wi-Fi networks are not easily accessible.

If Shenzhen is granted municipality status, Dina argued that the city would become closer with Hong Kong, and the customs clearing procedures would become more efficient.

For Tony, a Hong Kong-based kitchen utensils company employee dispatched to work in Shenzhen, the status will bridge the gap between the two cities, and living in Shenzhen would no longer cause him to feel " aggravated."

Liang Yuqing, a Ph.D. with City University of Hong Kong, said the status will upgrade Shenzhen's political and economic position to gain more autonomy and deepen the level of cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The municipality status would also reduce communication costs.

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