As a lead-in to Wednesday's class and the discussion with Jack Maisano, I thought I would post one more Question of the Week: Does Hong Kong have a role to play as a bridge between the U.S. and China? More generally, should Hong Kong play the role of advocate for China to the rest of the world to improve the understanding of China and its policies? If so, is this a role that Hong Kong has a responsibility to play?
You might recall that, over the years, many members of the Hong Kong community, including several pro-democracy politicians, worked hard to lobby American legislators and policymakers to support the granting of "most-favored nation" (MFN) trading status (later referred to as permanent "normal trade relations", or NTR) to China and then to agree to China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which finally happened at the end of 2001. Look at this speech entitled "Facts Versus Frictions: A Role for Hong Kong in the Sino-U.S. Economic Relationship", which was delivered by Vincent Cheng, Chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., at HKU nearly two years ago. Note that he specifically limits his discussion to "the Sino-U.S. economic relationship".