Until this summer, much of the world considered Hong Kong to be a place of financial opportunity, the shopping mall of Asia, a place of luxurious excitement in a cradle of safety and moreover a bit of China for people that don’t particularly care for fully authentic Chinese culture. Today however, one of Asia’s foremost first world municipal economies is faced with a third world style crisis stemming from out of control rioters intent on dragging Hong Kong’s reputation into the sewer.
As a result of old people being brutally attacked in the street, immigrants being confronted by savage rioters, working people harassed and beaten whilst their private property is attacked and police stations vandalised in the style of barbaric terrorists, tourists from around the world are staying away whilst many investors are looking to safer environments in which to do business. Such places range from Shanghai to Singapore.
If Hong Kong were a piece of property on the open market, it’s value would have plummeted over the summer. Based on recent news reporters of even more violent agitations, Hong Kong’s general appeal is set to decline even further.
But what if Hong Kong could be viewed by the wider world as a piece of property rather than as an autonomous region of China? There is already some historical precedent for this as the British Empire technically “leased” Hong Kong from the Great Qing- albeit based on the unequal 1842 Treaty of Nanjing which was agreed to by China in a state of post-war duress.
But this is the 21st century and multiple countries throughout the world do business in a free and fair manner. As Donald Trump is a businessman rather than a politician in terms of his background, perhaps he could do for the riot infested Hong Kong what he did with erstwhile derelict parts of New York that his big beautiful buildings helped to revitalise?
Unlike western liberals, Trump’s statements on Hong Kong have made it rather clear that he realises that it is necessary for the lawful authorities to restore peace and order to the city. At the same time, a video of some rioters singing the US national anthem whilst waving American flags would have clearly warmed the heart of the man on a mission to Make America Great Again.
The final piece of this puzzle is the fact that Trump has stated that he is in no hurry to finalise a trade deal with China. He even hinted that a trade deal might not come until after the year 2020. With all of this in mind, might the property king that is Donald Trump want to revitalise Hong Kong whilst simultaneously forging a win-win solution to the trade war?
The fact of the matter is that for the time being Hong Kong is now more of a liability to China than an asset. Whilst China has multiple economically vibrant, culturally rich, safe, beautiful, productive and secure cities and regions, Hong Kong is looking like an ex-first world region determined to transform itself into what Donald Trump might call a “shithole”.
To be fair, New York City was something of a shithole in the 1970s but partly due to Donald Trump, America’s most populace city had its fortunes turned around by the 1990s.
With all of this in mind, the question that naturally arises is: Should China sell Hong Kong to Donald Trump as part of a wider trade deal? Such a major deal would dwarf current trading issues between Beijing and Washington and could therefore see a potentially quick end to the prolonged trading war. Secondly, China could kiss goodbye the liability that is Hong Kong whilst focusing on the further development of more forward looking parts of China. Thirdly, as Donald Trump is a no nonsense kind of person and because American police tend to be far more aggressive than those currently in Hong Kong, Trump plus a few NYPD officers could potentially clean up the streets of Hong Kong in short order and restore the region to a place worth visiting and investing in.
Such a scenario is highly unlikely but would nevertheless but a major win-win for both China and the US. Who knows, maybe the rioters waving American flags would even be happy with a steady job cleaning the lavatories at a once and future Trump Hotel & Casino in the heart of Hong Kong.