It’s been 20 years since the return of Hong Kong to the mainland. Back in 1997, few could have imagined how much development would take place on both sides of the new border. President Xi reiterated the Party’s commitment to mutual development as he visited Hong Kong to mark the anniversary. While this dominated global news cycles, there were other pieces just as newsworthy this month.
Premier Li presided over the annual Summer Davos in the northern city of Dalian. This year’s focus was on inclusive growth and the environment. Lauded by some as a charm offensive by the new global superpower, in contrast to moves by the United States, this Summer Davos saw record numbers of participants. The Premier also discussed the need to globalization and international cooperation, a clear swipe at nationalist movements in the Americas and Europe.
Already home to 60% of the world’s expansive high-speed rail network, China is upgrading its infrastructure with the new Fuxing bullet train. Developed entirely using Chinese technology and manufacturing, the Fuxing can reach speeds of 400 km/h. In addition, the train will have over 2,500 monitoring points to gauge safety and comfort for passengers. Want to take a look inside? Check out the video below.
Also in the field of transportation this month, the southern city of Shenzhen started operating female-only subway cars. These are in response to overcrowding and "…to curb groping, protect pregnant women and babies, and make the facility more friendly to female passengers.” A 2012 survey found 13% of commuters had been victims of sexual assault on the subway.
Lastly, U.S. automaker Tesla announced plans to begin domestic Chinese production. The company indicated it was in talks with Shanghai officials to build facilities in the eastern metropolis. Tesla has sold cars on the mainland since 2014, but given expensive import taxes the price point of the vehicles are too high for most consumers. The result is a minimal 2% of the electric vehicle market share, largely dominated by Chinese brand BYD.
And, for a look back at how things have changed on the border between China and Hong Kong, check out this piece by The New York Times.