People wearing face masks following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak sit on a bus in Hong Kong, China July 14, 2020 Photograph:( Reuters )
Slogans and passages that advocated for the freedom of Hong Kong --- are being deleted.
Hong Kong is dying a slow death and self-censorship is now the norm with people looking for ways to leave.
Businesses want to exit and the city has lost its special status around the world. Free speech is dead in Hong Kong with publishers censoring their books.
Raymond Yeung, a publisher in Hong Kong has scrambled to change the draft of a book in the past week. It is called “to freedom”. It is a collection of essays by 50 protesters, lawyers, social workers and people who took part in the pro-democracy protests but now the new security law has stifled freedom of expression.
Words like revolution are being replaced with protests. Slogans and passages that advocated freedom for Hong Kong are now being deleted.
Words like "independence" and "revolution" are out of the books in Hong Kong and now something else is going out of Hong Kong - money.
China has moved swiftly to exert greater control over Hong Kong but it has also sacrificed its biggest cash cow. A report claims that Chinese professionals want to move out of Hong Kong and it's not just about the national security law.
China is now tracking down its citizens living abroad and taxing them. They face a tax rate of 45 per cent. Hong Kong has one of the lowest tax rates in the world and that’s the reason why many professionals and businesses prefer to operate from there but the demand for more taxes could force them to leave.
It is a double whammy for China, not only will its tax revenue reduce, businesses leaving Hong Kong will trigger a brain drain too.
China has only created more trouble for itself with the national security law. Hong Kong was vital for the Chinese economy. It was China’s economic gateway to the world, not anymore.
China uses Hong Kong’s currency, equity and debt markets to attract foreign funds. Chinese companies use Hong Kong to expand globally with bulk of FDI into China channeled through the city.
Last year, Chinese companies raised more than $64 billion globally with $35 billion coming through Hong Kong. Chinese banks hold more assets in Hong Kong. They were valued at $1.1 trillion in 2018.
All this was possible because Hong Kong was treated differently but now leading world powers want to treat the city as part of the mainland.
They are slapping sanctions and curbing the flow of funds.