CHINA-ECONOMY: HONGKONG AS NEW S&T HUB

There are reports to indicate that in the wake of US-China trade tension and Washington’s efforts to scuttle the 'Made in China 2025' initiative, Beijing is using Hong Kong to counter US efforts. On May 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping suddenly declared that he supported turning Hong Kong into a hi-tech hub (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201805/15/WS5af9e896a3103f6866ee8508.html ).

This was followed by the announcement of a new policy that made China's science research fund available to Hongkong researchers. The Hong Kong government a day later announced a new visa scheme for speedy immigration of hi-tech experts from outside Hongkong (which could mainly include persons from mainland China).  Beijing’s assessment is that under the US-HK Policy Act, all US embargo on sensitive technologies to China do not apply to HK, and any future US sanctions on China are likely not to apply to Hong Kong, which is treated by US customs and other authorities as a separate entity from mainland China and maintains an independent membership in the WTO. Unless this practice is amended, Beijing does not need to worry about any US sanctions because it has Hong Kong as its big backdoor. Whatever US hi tech components China is barred from obtaining they will get it through Hong Kong.







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