Todd Crowell: Hong Kong and China reverse roles

From Asia Times Online:

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal recently released their Index of Economic Freedom for 2005. Not surprisingly, headed the list of 166 countries as the world’s freest economy as it has almost every year since the index was first published. remains the world’s “poster child for economic development around the world”, said the Heritage Foundation.

China ranked 112th. That is not surprising either considering that China is still formally a communist state, even if the socialist system has given way to market socialism. Considering their relative positions, one might think that a huge gulf, an enormous chasm, exists between Hong Kong, the paradise of free markets, and China, the paradigm of command economy. But that’s not how a lot of Hong Kong people see it these days. “China’s cities are becoming more like us every day,” says Michael Kadoorie, scion of an old Hong Kong business family and owner of the territory’s leading electric power company.

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