Hong Kong as a Global Metropolis

Hong Kong as a Global Metropolis

Hong Kong as a Global Metropolis

Hong Kong as a Global Metropolis

Synopsis

David Meyer traces Hong Kong's vibrant history from the arrival of the foreign trading firms in the 1840s to its celebrated handover to China in 1997. Throughout this period, Hong Kong has been a pivotal meeting place of the Chinese and foreign social networks of capital. The author offers an optimistic view of Hong Kong in the twenty-first century, challenging those who predict its decline under Chinese rule. The story of Hong Kong's success will interest anyone concerned with its past, present and future.

Excerpt

Hong Kong brims with energy, glitter, and excitement. From the heights of Victoria Peak, the cityscape ofskyscrapers, apartment towers, forested hills, and harbor forms a spectacular panorama, and at night the sparkling lightshow ofthe soaring buildings is second to none in the world. This glamorous city houses an extraordinarily talented people that made this research project a sheer delight. The citizens on the street, the storeowners, clerks, taxi-drivers, and my tailor graciously offered assistance whenever requested, provided directions, and gave me their opinions on the economy and politics. Officials across a wide range ofgovernment agencies and business organizations kindly met with me to answer questions, directed me to data sources, and provided materials. University faculty in Hong Kong willingly shared their knowledge, offered suggestions, and provided forums to debate ideas. Numerous business executives generously gave me an hour oftheir time to interview them about their strategic views ofthe economy and politics of Hong Kong and Asia, and they explained how they behaved as decision-makers in control ofcommodity and financial capital. Although I cannot cite them personally because they stated their views in confidence, their insights form critical components of the interpretations and explanations offered in this book; I am indebted to them.

Closer to home, thanks are due to units of Brown University which offered financial and logistical support, including the Population Studies and Training Center, the Watson Institute for International Studies, the Graduate School, the Rockefeller Library, the Department of Sociology, and the Urban Studies Program. Tal Halpern served as my able research assistant for a time, and Donna Souza used her talents with GIS to create the maps.

Finally, thanks go to two individuals who were part ofthis throughout. Jim Handrich, principal ofthe High School ofthe Hong Kong International School, and a friend for almost forty years, graciously provided lodging for my many trips to Hong Kong, offered warm hospitality, and included me in social occasions that gave me a chance to see another side to Hong Kong. Judy, wife and friend for a lifetime, kindly listened more than she wished to my commentary about Hong Kong and joined me on several trips.

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