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THE FATE OF HONG KONG by Gerald Segal

THE FATE OF HONG KONG

The Coming of 1997 and What Lies Beyond

By Gerald Segal

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09805-7
Publisher: St. Martin's

 Incisive but dispassionate speculations about the future, come 1997 and beyond, of Britain's last vestige of glory and empire as Hong Kong reunites with China. Segal (Rethinking the Pacific, 1991, etc.--not reviewed), editor of The Pacific Review, speculates that ``as Hong Kong and southern China converge, there is a risk of major upheavals in the region....'' This warning calls to mind vivid images of Tiananmen Square, but, rather than getting involved in the human drama, Segal chooses to examine the economic and political aspects of the onetime jewel of East Asia. Convergence with China, he concludes, will slow down Hong Kong--though not its brain drain, with the US, Canada, and Australia being the ÇmigrÇs' chief destinations. Though ``Hong Kong is not doomed to become another Shanghai,'' other nation-states, including Singapore and South Korea, will surpass it economically. Because Hong Kong and Britain have been coupled for over one hundred years, it's not surprising that the British government has been criticized by many for signing the 1984 agreement that reverted sovereignty to China. But Segal contends that, because Britain wasn't prepared to defend Hong Kong militarily, the hand-over was inevitable. And while the loss of Hong Kong lessens Britain's world status, that nation will gain by sheltering about 400,000 industrious, moneyed people from its former colony. Plausible, well-supported prophecies.