To see the future of Hong Kong, look at Shenzhen.
Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrations have been in the news for weeks now and everybody is wondering, how Beijing will react. If you want to get an idea what the central government might plan to get the former British colony under its control - despite one countries, two systems - don't look at tanks & soldiers, look at Shenzhen instead.
The mainland city just across the border of Hong Kong is an economic powerhouse, which surpassed its neighbors economy for the first time ever in 2018 and is billed as the "new Silicon Valley". Check out this recent documentary by Bloomberg about "the most fascinating city in the world":
So, by all accounts, Shenzhen is already quite impressive. But according to a document released Sunday by the State Council, China's cabinet, this might just be the beginning. With wide-ranging reforms they plan to turn China’s hi-tech capital into “a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics”, which you probably shouldn´t confuse with good, old Soviet-style socialism. This one comes with “accelerated development of 5G wireless networks” and wants to turn Shenzhen into a “global benchmark in terms of innovation, public service and environmental protection.“
What this has to do with Hong Kong?
Well, basically Beijing plans to turn Shenzhen into a second Hong Kong - a hub no longer only for high tech, but for all kind of business and on the other side of one country, two systems.
At the same time, there are parallel plans to create the worlds biggest city at the Pearl River Delta with the Greater Bay Area (you know, greater than this other Bay Area) by integrating all those already huge cites from Macau and Hong Kong / Shenzhen to Guangzhou into one big megalopolis - with a population of 65+ million people.
Over time, all this will make Hong Kong irrelevant, which Beijing probably sees as the perfect long term solution to the current problems and one that would be way more elegant than deploying the People’s Armed Police...