chapter  13
21 Pages

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

China’s growing “soft power deficit” in Hong Kong
WithDavid Zweig

This chapter assesses the efforts of China’s Central Government (CG) to develop soft power and persuade the Hong Kong government, members of Hong Kong’s legislature and Hong Kong citizens to accept Beijing’s policies for Hong Kong and to privilege the CG’s interests in Hong Kong without Beijing resorting to coercion. However, a massive “soft power deficit” has emerged in Beijing’s relationship with Hong Kong’s legislature and society due to their mistrust of the CG. This is true particularly for people under 40 who are concerned about democratic freedoms and the lack of improvement in their living standard.