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Editorial : HK and Shenzhen

【明報專訊】Originally a small fishing village, Shenzhen has morphed into a modern and international metropolis. It has achieved such a status not only because it was in the right place and had the right people at the right time, but also because of its powerful inner motive force enabled by its endeavour, pragmatism and flexibility, which has made its never-ending self-perfection possible. Hong Kong and Shenzhen have been the characters of a tale of two cities for years. To this day, Hong Kong has still held on to some traditional advantages, but it is an indisputable fact that Shenzhen is rising while Hong Kong is sinking. Hong Kong continues to lose its inner motive force. If it remains complacent, it will only lag further and further behind.

Shenzhen was merely a remote rural area when the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone was established. At that time, no one thought that Shenzhen would develop so rapidly to become "China's Silicon Valley". Ten years ago, Shenzhen's GDP was only half that of Hong Kong. Now its total economic scale has exceeded that of Hong Kong.

Some people think that Shenzhen owes its success to its geographical advantages, i.e. its proximity to Hong Kong. Some people think that the rapid globalisation since the 1990s was conducive to the development of Shenzhen. Some people think that it was the concerted effort of the government and the people, both dedicated to development, that created today's Shenzhen. For a city to rise rapidly, it is important to be in the right place at the right time and have the right people. Shenzhen's subsequent upgrading and transformation into a centre of innovation and technology has had little to do with Hong Kong. While the high-speed globalisation at the turn of the century brought major opportunities to many countries and cities in the world, there have also been many losers and laggards. There have been only a handful of unprecedented success stories like Shenzhen and the entire China.

Hong Kong has a capitalist system; its development model is very different from Shenzhen. The two cities have their unique systems and competitive advantages. In recent years, the two cities of Shenzhen and Hong Kong have risen and fallen, and the inner motive force has been the key. There was a time when Hong Kong's strength lied with its down-to-earthness, pragmatism, flexibility and skills in grasping opportunities in response to the current situation. Today, Hong Kong has lost its inner motive force needed for development. Ideological constraints, vested interests and endless internal strife have made it difficult for Hong Kong society to resolve its deep-seated problems. Facing fierce global competition, people in many places are pondering how to grow in scale and strength. In Hong Kong, many people seem to be more willing to pursue small happiness. Many people are too politically oriented to remember that pragmatism was Hong Kong's key to success in the past. The development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong is lagging behind, and there is huge potential for Hong Kong-Shenzhen cooperation. Some people in the scientific and technological industry believe that Hong Kong should focus on a bigger world market. This may be the case only for a handful of fields of innovation and technology that possess the strength in the city. While it is a good thing to have global ambitions, there is no need to restrict oneself to the south of Shenzhen River.

The world is in a state of flux. Compared with the changes in the objective environment, the changes in people's minds are often slower, which can easily lead to a disconnect between perception and reality. When the gap between the two widens, one has to face the reality ultimately.

明報社評2020.10.14:雙城故事四十載 深港浮沉啟示錄

深圳由小漁村蛻變成為現代化、國際化的大都市,除了天時地利人和,更重要是有發憤求進、務實靈活的強大內生動力,能不斷自我完善。香港與深圳合演雙城故事多年,時至今日,香港雖仍有一些傳統優勢,然而深港一浮一沉,已是不爭事實,香港內生動力不斷流失,繼續故步自封,只會被逐步拋離。

深圳特區成立時,不過是窮鄉僻壤,當時根本無人想過,深圳發展速度竟會如此迅猛,成為「中國矽谷」。10年前,深圳的GDP仍然只及香港一半,現在經濟規模總量已超過香港。

有人認為深圳成功靠地利,多得毗鄰的香港「帶挈」;有人認為1990年代以來的高速全球化,為深圳發展提供了天時;有人則認為官民合力求發展的向心力,造就了現在的深圳。一個城市能夠急速崛起,天時地利人和缺一不可。深圳其後升級轉型,蛻變為創科重鎮,已跟香港沒有太大關係。世紀之交的高速全球化,為世界不少國家及城市帶來重大機遇,然而輸家和停滯不前者同樣為數眾多,能夠像深圳以至整個中國般空前成功的,屈指可數。

香港奉行資本主義制度,發展模式跟深圳迥然不同,兩地各有獨特制度和競爭優勢,近年深港雙城一浮一沉,內生動力是關鍵所在。曾幾何時,實事求是、務實靈活、善於因應時勢把握機會,正是香港之長。時至今日,香港卻失去發展所需的內生動力,意識形態束縛、既得利益作梗、鬥爭內耗不休,令香港社會種種深層次矛盾難以化解;面對全球激烈競爭,很多地方的人都在思考如何做大做強,在香港,不少人似乎更加樂於追求小確幸,很多人政治掛帥,忘記了實用主義是昔日香港成功之道。香港創科發展追落後,港深合作潛力巨大,有科技界人士認為,香港應放眼「更大」的世界市場,這可能只適用於本地個別具實力的創科領域。有雄心進軍世界是好事,可是亦毋須自絕於深圳河以北。

世事變幻無常,比起客觀環境變遷,人心變化往往最慢,容易導致認知與現實脫節,可是當兩者落差愈來愈大,最終仍得面對現實。

■Glossary

生字

laggard : a slow and lazy person, organisation, etc.

success story : a person or thing that is very successful

down-to-earthness : the quality of being practical and direct in a sensible honest way

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