A South China Morning Post article titled “Lingang’s inclusion in Shanghai Free-Trade Zone a chance for Beijing to conduct bold reforms” discusses moves by China to recreate the success of Hong Kong in other parts of China.
Shanghai’s move to replicate a mini-Hong Kong style free marketplace after it included a 119.5 sq km untapped area at Lingang into its free-trade zone is a step in the right direction analysts say, but they caution more needs to be done to create a flourishing zone that can pose a real threat to the region’s established financial centre.South China Morning Post
The renewed effort to turn the six-year-old Shanghai free-trade zone into a boomtown to showcase China’s economic might reflects Beijing’s resolution in opening up the mainland market amid its trade war with Washington and ongoing protests in Hong Kong over a now-suspended extradition bill.
This move is worrisome, given the current situation in Hong Kong. For some time, it has appeared to this writer that China could be moving towards replacing Hong Kong’s finance and trade with Shanghai. Expansion of the Shanghai free trade zone, and linking that expansion to Hong Kong in this Chinese media outlet add some credence to that idea. If China views Hong Kong as expendable in the long run, the Beijing government might be less hesitant to crack down harshly on protesters there. Let’s hope that it doesn’t happen.
More on the Lingang Free Trade Zone from China Daily.