Singapore and Hong Kong are two global cities serving as the gateways to the Asian market. Both cities have benefited historically from entrepot trade, British colonial status, the English language, rule of law, an industrious majority ethnic Chinese population, and coastal sea trade. Today, Singapore remains on a solid developmental trajectory thanks to its independent nation state status, the reliability of the rule of law, an indigenous political leadership committed to development/ survival, and equidistance between the major global powers, US and China. On the other hand, Hong Kong appears to be on a declining trajectory given the internal political and economic tensions involving a lack of democratic accountability and the political power of local oligarchs and the Communist Party of China; the harsh political crackdown on dissenters; the diminution of rule of law in a western sense; the brain drain of human talent; and the increasing geopolitical rivalry between US and China that induces western multinational corporations to move their seats and assets from Hong Kong to Singapore. Hong Kong will lose its global edge to Singapore if it becomes "just another" Chinese city with the important qualification that Hong Kong's status can only rise with China's continued rise in the global order.
- The Effron Center for the Study of America
- Program in Asian American Studies