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How economically important is Hong Kong to mainland China today?

Is it still credible to argue that it is in China’s economic self-interest to respect and preserve Hong Kong’s special constitutional status? Ben Chu looks at the numbers

Thursday 02 July 2020 23:38 BST
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Hong Kong has been a route for a growing number of Chinese to move their savings out of the mainland
Hong Kong has been a route for a growing number of Chinese to move their savings out of the mainland (AFP/Getty)

One of the reasons the Chinese government was willing to accept a high degree of political autonomy for Hong Kong when it was negotiating the 1997 handover of the territory was that the communist leadership understood its economic importance to the mainland.

Hong Kong was a hyperconnected global financial and commercial hub on China’s doorstep.

This was an era when China was itself opening up to the world, attempting to increase exports and welcoming foreign investment and expertise into the country.

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