The DailyBrief

Friday June 30, 2017

HK-Still two systems? There has been no shortage of fascinating handover stories as Hong Kong prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of its return from British to Chinese rule on Saturday. Kent Ewing writes that the pressing story concerns Hong Kong’s constitutional “one country, two systems” principle and asks if the city’s core freedoms — of press, speech, assembly and religion — can still be guaranteed.

HK-Business the answer: The global business community should defend Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” model as it will help ensure the development of China too, says Hong Kong’s former chief secretary to Jeff Pao. “As much as it is in the interest of Hong Kong to see the success of ‘one country, two systems,’ it is in the interest of the British, the Americans and the Europeans, too,” said Anson Chan Fang On-sang in an Asia Times interview.

Korea’s debt bubble: Moon Jae-in didn’t expect a honeymoon when he moved into the presidential Blue House last month, which is good because he isn’t getting one, writes William Pesek. The new South Korean president has had to face provocations from Pyongyang, China’s angst over missile shields, Japan trying to win his favor, Donald Trump’s erratic behavior in Washington and, perhaps most seriously, a mounting domestic debt bubble.

Start-up stocks nosedive: Asia’s secondary trading boards for start-up stocks have sunk to multi-year lows, missing out on a regional rally this year, as skittish investors opt instead for more stable blue chips. Nick Westra reports that the sudden swoon in secondary trading boards raises questions about the level of depth in Asia’s capital markets and may give investors pause when considering high-growth enterprises without long financial histories.

Five handover movies: The anniversary of the transition from British colonial port to Special Administrative Region under Chinese rule has traditionally brought large-scale protests but the handover theme has also been a strong source of material for the territory’s filmmakers. Here Asia Times examines five films that neatly get into the psyche of Hong Kong.