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Opinion

Hong Kong: The lucky city

What does the future hold for Hong Kong, and by default for its overseers in Beijing? Euromoney’s China editor, stuck in lockdown in a Hong Kong hotel, considers the options.

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Australia is often called the 'lucky country' for a variety of reasons: its weather (mostly good), natural resources (ample) and quality of food and drink (generally excellent).

It has its problems – you don’t want to tangle with a saltwater crocodile – but even its distance from the outside world is a blessing in the pandemic era, allowing Australia to close its borders and batten down the hatches. It has the third-lowest rate of Covid-caused deaths per head of population among all big economies, after South Korea and China.

But luck is an intangible concept. The word doesn’t appear in the Bible, whose scribes had little appetite for random fortune, favouring absolute cause-and-effect.

The concept of geographic luck came to mind while I was locked down in a Hong Kong hotel for the full 21-day local quarantine experience.

On one particularly dull day – quarantine in my case spanned the whole of the festive period including New Year’s Eve, and involved dividing time between reading, working, yoga, eating mince pies and watching ‘Die Hard’ – I got chatting to an investment banker.

This isn’t unusual for a financial journalist. But at one point, stumped for the next conversational gambit, I asked him what the future held for Hong Kong.

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