Hong Kong

"One country, two systems" was one of the mantras and rules of the hand over of Hong Kong, a former British colony, to the People's Republic of China (PRC). One country, two systems means Communism (with Chinese characteristics) and Capitalism in a special administrative region. This gave the PRC a capitalist experimental zone, and it gave Hong Kong the chance to develop into a model zone for application in other Chinese cities. But while the Mainland's development breathtakingly performed the largest economic development in human history and dragged hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, the autonomous Hong Kong failed to deliver many of the results expected. It could not translate its prosperity into quality of life, did not develop models showcasing applicable examples to PRC. Instead, it turned into a frightened local society, with no significant culture, a one cylinder economy, a lack of entrepreneurship and an overall fading capability to lift itself out of this situation. In the best case, Hong Kong is a well managed high density storage and logistics system for about 7 million life human bodies - or a free trade zone in the Southern suburbs of Shenzhen. Given the expectations, what can be achieved with the experiment of Hong Kong, it is a compete system failure. Now some Hong Kongers might ask: what about the rule of law, the low levels of corruption, the superior education system ...? Sure, that's good. Make something out of it. And do not just maintain it, but bring it to the next level. Other Hong Kongers will blame it on the Mainland China. But the simple reality is, that non of the problems of Hong Kong has been induced by the Mainland. All self made problems. Just the opposite: without Mainland support and good will, Hong Kong would be gone by now. Hong Kong has nobody to blame, but itself.

The Lippo Center seen from one of my secret ways, from campus to the lecture halls at Admiralty. I developed my ways of moving around in Hong Kong, avoiding the buzz and staying in a nice environment. I call these the "Academic Ho-Chi-Min Paths".

The Lippo Center seen from one of my secret ways, from campus to the lecture halls at Admiralty. I developed my ways of moving around in Hong Kong, avoiding the buzz and staying in a nice environment. I call these the "Academic Ho-Chi-Min Paths".

We have spent the last two months in Hong Kong. I have lived before in a remote corner on Lamma Island, a small island in the South China Sea. Here there are no cars and no greed. And from there I watched Hong Kong and five years of my life passing by. Sometimes, back then sitting at the waterside with a cold bottle of Tsingtao beer, we joked that we are the third system in the one country, two systems debate. Now, when we return to Hong Kong, we stay on campus of The University of Hong Kong. The faculty guesthouse is again an island, remote from the reality of the buzzing city: on the slope to the Victoria Peak, hidden behind large Bauhinia trees. From here ambulated in the Academic Bermuda Triangle, spanning between library, lecture hall and long walks. And we got lost there for two months. It is always enjoyable and interesting. And more so, it feels like an important contribution to one of the last outstanding strengths of Hong Kong, which is education. So, we will return for that next year.

The Robert Black's College Guesthouse. Our temporary home in Hong Kong. Here is where visiting faculty and the Swire Scholars stay. It has the best fun breakfasts with consistent food choices (which never change), and a very nice team taking care of it all.

The Robert Black's College Guesthouse. Our temporary home in Hong Kong. Here is where visiting faculty and the Swire Scholars stay. It has the best fun breakfasts with consistent food choices (which never change), and a very nice team taking care of it all.