Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Minxin Pei

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Even after its return to China in 1997, Hong Kong was continuously viewed as a more advanced economic entity separate from the Mainland Chinese economy. On the other hand, Hong Kong’s return fostered greater economic interactions between the two regions. This paper investigates the changing dynamics between the Hong Kong-Mainland economic relations from 1997 to present by taking the financial services sector, re-export and transshipment, and the tourism sector as subjects of study. Through tracing the developmental history of these three sectors in the Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese economies, this paper illustrates the three phases of the evolvement: unilateral reliance of the Mainland economy on Hong Kong to internationalize and grow, mutual dependence of the two economies, and diminished (or even reversed) dependent relations of China on Hong Kong. This paper further makes the observation that while both policies of the central government and the HKSAR government played a role in sustaining Hong Kong’s economic relevance, especially in the cases of transshipment and tourism, to China, market force, the voluntary choice of Mainland business entities and individuals, would triumph. In the case of financial services, government policies were able to preserve Hong Kong’s importance, but the overshadowing presence of Mainland Chinese influence in the sector may result in Hong Kong losing its international importance as a global finance hub while keeping its regional importance only within Greater China.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.