Big Banks Kowtow to Beijing

L. Gordon Crovitz | 22 June 2014 | Wall Street Journal

Hong Kong has ranked No. 1 every year over the two decades the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal have issued their Index of Economic Freedom. But now the city’s political overlords in Beijing are doing all they can to end that winning streak—with the collaboration of Hong Kong’s top banks.

Once dismissed as a barren rock, Hong Kong became a prosperous financial center thanks to its free flow of information, English legal system and millions of hardworking immigrants from mainland China. When Britain returned the territory to China in 1997, Hong Kong’s people were promised 50 years of “one country, two systems” and elections. China now worries that the island’s freedom will spread to the mainland.

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