Club meeting — Hong Kong Third Economic Transformation

In this meeting, our newest member Professor Heiwai Tang gave a thought provoking vocational talk. Rtnnes. Lina, Coco and Catherine joined as part of our spouse program. Before we went into the speaker program, we took care of some club business. First, led by Past Presidents Kay and WT, we sang Happy Birthday to Rotarian Fei whose birthday was on May 31. Next, we gave Professor Heiwai a proper “pinning”, as he was previously inducted on April 14 via Zoom. Professor Heiwai, a MIT-educated economist, returned to Hong Kong at a time when there were a lack of world-class young economists in Hong Kong. Professor Heiwai’s topic, “Hong Kong Third Economic Transformation”, traced Hong Kong’s development through history. In the 1960s and 1970s, British colonial rule favored “non-intervention” policies in the absence of market failure. However, the government had a vision for the colony and pushed compulsory education, big infrastructure projects and founded HKUST to position Hong Kong for the future. This future would transform Hong Kong’s work force into something like Singapore or Switzerland. Science and technology would figure heavily in the future of Hong Kong. However, in the years leading up to the handover in 1997, Hong Kong…

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Club meeting — John Lee’s “Coronation”

We started the meeting with the induction of our newest member, Professor Heiwai Tang. Proposed by Charter President Patrick, Rotarian Heiwai is Professor in Economics at the HKU Business School. This meeting we also welcomed Mr. Kwok Yat Ming (郭一鳴先生), a well-respected journalist and Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Federation of Journalists, as speaker. Rotarian Fei made the speaker introduction, noting their initial meeting years ago at a China trends study class. The topic of the day was: “李家超, 時勢造英雄”, loosely translated as “John Lee’s Coronation”. Mr. Kwok commented on the upcoming one-candidate Chief Executive election, noting that Beijing is not simply copying the “Macau model,” but mainly backing a candidate known for his loyalty and capability. Mr. Kwok spoke about current Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s performance through 2019’s protests and the government’s Covid response from 2020 to 2022. The reason for Mr. Lee to succeed Ms. Lam may be Beijing’s desire to have a results-oriented government. This also signals a departure from candidates with Administrative Officer backgrounds, which Mr. Kwok sees as a positive in that Mr. Lee, the candidate, has less “baggage” upon election. Mr. Kwok further believes the new Chief Executive will have to heavily focus on…

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