Hong Kong’s infrastructure project becomes source of discord
Two great projects of transport infrastructure improvement – a new bridge and a railway in Hong Kong have dissatisfied local people and triggered protests. Discontent is fed with the actions of the Communist Party which is suspected in arrest of 5 booksellers who had distributed a book about President Xi Jinping.
The construction of one of the longest bridges in the world and a high-speed railway designed to improve connection with mainland is affected by political dispute. The party refuses to grant the mainland full democracy while the own government of Hong Kong is highly affected by the party.
Local people, represented by protesters who organized an annual march on January 1st, treat these infrastructure projects as wasteful attempts of the government to demonstrate grandiosity and national unity. The projects are hugely expensive indeed. Hong Kong had to contribute HK$83 billion and the Legislative Council approved the extra HK$5.5 billion that made pro-democracy politicians angry as they indicted the pro-government camp for breach of procedures.
The scope of China’s economic slowdown was not anticipated when projects were originally created but the demand for the new connection grows. There are already less tourists from mainland; partly the reasons are more expensive goods in Hong Kong and clampdown on corruption.
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