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Hong Kong Economy, One of the Few to Survive Pandemic, Collapses over Chinese Takeover

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The Hong Kong stock market was rocked by a massive sell-off on Friday after the Chinese Communist government in Beijing declared its intention to…
The Hong Kong stock market was rocked by a massive sell-off on Friday after the Chinese Communist government in Beijing declared its intention to bypass the Hong Kong legislature and impose a draconian security law to shut down the protest movement. That single act effectively ended the island’s limited autonomy in the eyes of many residents and concerned international observers.
AFP reported on Friday that real estate and financial stocks were among the hardest hit as “investors fled for the hills with many worried about Beijing’s increasing influence in the semi-autonomous finance hub and what that could mean for doing business there.”
“Markets are now worried that the city’s freedoms – unseen on the mainland and protected by an agreement made before Britain handed the territory back in 1997 – could be curtailed,” AFP added.
In this respect, Beijing’s proposed security laws are even worse than the notorious extradition law that sparked the Hong Kong protest movement in 2019. The extradition law made both Hong Kongers and foreign investors worry about the island’s autonomy dissolving, which would jeopardize special trading relationships established on the basis of Hong Kong’s unique position as the tolerably free, attractively appointed lobby for the grim factory of totalitarian oppression that is China.
There were also fears that the extradition law would make it easy for China to judicially kidnap foreigners by trumping up charges in China’s opaque, heavily politicized courts and using extradition to drag the victims away from Hong Kong.
Both of these concerns are greatly exacerbated by the security law proposal, so foreign investors are swiftly growing nervous about sending either their money or their personnel to Hong Kong, resulting in six to nine percent drops in key property and financial stocks, while the Hang Seng index fell by four percent overall on Friday morning.

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