With my second week at the Lion Rock Institute underway, my work on analysing the proposed electronic road-pricing scheme continues. My research has moved from an international perspective to a local focus, analysing traffic statistics and identifying causes of traffic congestion unique to Hong Kong.
This week I also learnt much about Hong Kong’s history of positive non-intervention. When Hong Kong was taken as a British colony at the end of the opium wars Englishman Henry Pottinger laid down three ground rules. They were; no direct taxes, open port with no restrictions on trade (even with enemies of the state) and respect for local customs.
These conditions led to revolutionary and founder of modern China Dr Sun Yat Sen choosing Hong Kong as his financial base while he gathered support to topple the Quing dynasty and set China on the path of industrialism. I was able to visit a museum dedicated to Dr Sun Yat Sen. It illustrated his fascinating story and really showed how Hong Kong’s openness has historically played a role in the history of greater China.
Making the most of the clear weather over the weekend I was lucky enough to enjoy a hike around Hong Kong’s iconic peak overlooking the city. I was joined by my friend Neil who was passing through. With tourists crowding for the tram Neil and I instead opted to hike our way up which was a much more rewarding experience! Throughout our trek up we enjoyed lively conversation ranging from entrepreneurial thought to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged before reaching the peak and being rewarded with the most amazing view of Hong Kong!