The Future Of Hong Kong

April 28th, 2014, 7pm

It was 26°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was gentle.

Right now it is a hole in the ground between Austin Subway (MTR) station and the highly luxurious mall called Elements. It is this hole, I feel, will transfer Hong Kong more than anything else will in the next 20 years. This is the future home of the high speed link with the mega city of Guangzhou (pop. 14,000,000) making the trip between the two cities in under an hour and bringing even more Mainland Chinese tourists to this city and causing more and more disruption.

For the past year or more there has been a lot of tension between the Hong Kong people and the Mainland tourist who come to buy jewellery, baby milk formula, expensive goods and other ‘safe’ items here. Safe because the higher food inspections, less corruption and better quality of good compared to the Mainland. A lot of them go on to buy property which in turn rises the cost of property and rent. The tensions come from the huge cultural difference between the two places. Recently there have been high profile events like Mainland parents allowing their children to urinate in public all caught on camera phones by Hong Kongers. There have been protests about trying to put restrictions on Mainlanders from coming in and protests asking for more Mainland tourist since they bring in the money. There are reports of businesses focusing more and more on the Mainland tourists rather than the local customers. The iconic Mandarin Oriental Hotel has added simplified Chinese characters to its signs as a way to include more Mainland tourists. Hong Kongers feel their city is changing at a quicker late and there is nothing they can do about it as a friend told me today.

After the train is built, it will be impossible to stop. Currently there is a high speed train running from the border city of Shenzhen (pop 11,000,000) to Guangzhou leaving every 10 minutes between 7 to 11 pm. The people must still cross over the border control into Hong Kong but imagine that train running along with another line running straight into the heart of Hong Kong. Currently the subway system is reported to be at capacity resulting in a number of delays and stoppages along the East line.

Shu, Robert and Yiling said thanks.

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Dallas Sanders

I wander too much

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