China Biz Roundup Podcast: Greater Bay Area, and Hong Kong Disneyland

Light trails left by passing ships crossing the Victoria Harbor are seen as buildings stand illuminated on Hong Kong island left and in the Kowloon area in Hong Kong China on Tuesday

Light trails left by passing ships crossing the Victoria Harbor are seen as buildings stand illuminated on Hong Kong island left and in the Kowloon area in Hong Kong China on Tuesday

"First, it can help identify new areas of growth for Hong Kong and foster the diversified development of its economy and industries".

President Xi Jinping a year ago inaugurated a US$15 billion, 55-kilometer bridge, the world's longest sea crossing, linking Hong Kong with Macau and the mainland city of Zhuhai.

The blueprint aims at deepening collaboration, toward building the area into an internationally acknowledged economic powerhouse.

- Hong Kong Disneyland narrows losses with high-flying revenues.

Tourists visit the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong, Feb. 7, 2019.

Hong Kong is to focus on worldwide finance, navigation and trade; Macau is to be an global tourism territory and a platform for trade with Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil; Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is to take a role as an administrative hub; and Shenzhen - home to Huawei Technologies Co (華為) - is to expand its role as a special economic zone and tech hub.

Ms Ayesha Lau, the Hong Kong managing partner at KPMG China, noted that Beijing has a lot riding on the Bay Area plan given that the trade war with the United States "really highlights the risk of China being isolated in the world".

The measures listed out for Hong Kong include supporting development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park and construction of the third runway at the Hong Kong International Airport as well as strengthening judicial mutual assistance among Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong to combat cross-border crimes. Policies will establish the GBA as a magnet to draw resources for the drive toward greater innovation, becoming a cradle for emerging industries, the sources added.

As a highly open and vibrant region in China, the bay area accounts for less than 5 percent of the country's total population but contributes around 12 percent of the national GDP.

SpaceX launches the Nusantara Satu satellite
It will be the first such space capsule to land on the moon on a private initiative rather than on a government-funded enterprise. That worldwide competition offered $30 million to whichever privately funded team could land a robotic spacecraft on the moon.

In Hong Kong, the concept of the Greater Bay Area has led to worries of undermining the "one country, two systems" framework based on which Hong Kong has maintained separate legal, monetary, and political systems from China. Their proximity - just 17 kilometers apart - already has helped create a new wave of Chinese unicorns featuring Hong Kong-educated founders and backers, like the $15 billion drone-maker DJI and Alibaba-backed facial recognition outfit SenseTime.

Quality of life, work and travel.

Hong Kong and Macau residents working on the mainland could get the same rights to education, medical care, elderly care, housing and transport as mainland residents.

Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung also condemned the plan for failing to consult the people of Hong Kong.

It also set out a timetable to build the framework for the bay area and city cluster by 2022.

Higher-education institutions from different cities will be supported in running schools and programmes jointly.

Announced by Premier Li Keqiang in March 2017, the Greater Bay Area forms part of China's push for supremacy in technology, while also binding the former European colonies more tightly into the country.

Even though opposition politicians and civil society groups widely fear that mainland China's influence is undermining political freedoms in Hong Kong, a more integrated region could mean that some of Hong Kong's characteristics - intellectual property protections, low corruption and rule of law - could conversely rub off on southern China, said Wong Kam Fei, the associate dean of engineering at Chinese University in Hong Kong.

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