The last few weeks seem to indicate another significant turning point in the history of HK. There is no doubt that as has happened before when HK was handed back to China many who are able will be seriously considering their future in HK.
When you look around Asia and see how China is becoming more belligerent with regard to bullying its neighbours, it is hard to be positive about the future of HK. If you believe that actions are more likely to help you see into the future than the words that come from China the omens do not look positive.
In the Philippines which is supposed to be on friendly terms with China, the Chinese are openly seizing islands the Philippines owns and creating new ones to further increase its presence in the region. Chinese ships have frequently rammed Filipino boats in these seas sinking them and leaving their crew to die in the sea.
These actions are clearly condoned by the authorities in China and these instances are increasing despite China giving the impression it is trying to help its Asian neighbours. These actions and the way we know China clamps down on any kind of dissent will likely show us what the future of HK is going to be like.
For those who stay in HK and fight for their freedom this battle seems impossible to win and the outcome appears inevitable. Without help from outside countries pressuring China it is hard to imagine China backing down until its goal has been achieved.
Countries around the world, already seem to understand that the future of HK is already lost with regard to any form of freedom and democracy. Instead they are offering those who can the opportunity to move and set up a new life outside HK and thereby benefit from the business skills and investment that a certain percentage of the people in HK can offer.
If we imagine what HK could look like in five years this will help us understand how these changes may impact business and investing in HK. If we assume that HK loses its current status in the world as a trading hub and centre of business it will likely just become another major city in China with a historic past.
Assuming China takes back control of HK and the ‘freedom protest movement’ is crushed the likely impact to most businesses in HK and asset prices is likely to be negative in the longer term. The premium currently associated with property prices in HK especially residential and commercial is likely to decrease significantly.