Fraser Forum

An Open Letter to the People of Hong Kong

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An Open Letter to the People of Hong Kong

From: Members of the Economic Freedom of the World Network

We the undersigned of the Economic Freedom of the World Network stand with the people of Hong Kong as their rights and freedoms are threatened by the actions of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Hong Kong was left devastated at the end of World War II yet by granting its people the highest level of economic freedom in the world, Hong Kong rose to become one of the most prosperous places on the planet. The growth in quality of life was astonishing. In 1950, Hong Kong was about tied with the world average per capita GDP at just over $2,000 in constant 2010 US dollars; in 2018, Hong Kong’s per capita GDP reached $40,000, four times the world average. The OECD, formed in 1961, had an average per capita income more than three times that of Hong Kong then; now they are equal.

Civil and personal freedom blossomed too since Hongkongers were not dependent on government or other powerful players and were protected by a strong and impartial rule of law. Hongkongers came to enjoy the highest level of personal freedom in the world, according to the Human Freedom Index. This includes security and safety, the right to practice a religion of one’s choosing, the freedom to associate and assemble, the right to join political organizations, freedom of personal expression, freedom of the press, freedom to use the internet and freedoms to establish one’s own identity. China, unfortunately, fails to provide its citizens with many of these basic human freedoms.

Hong Kong is the world’s most entrepreneurial society, with new business formation the highest in the world, at 28.6 per thousand working age population, compared to an OECD average of 3.8 and a world average of 1.5. In the World Bank’s Human Capital Index, Hong Kong at .822 scores fourth globally, compared to an OECD average of .751 and a world average of .567.

To protect the Hong Kong miracle, when Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, China agreed that the economic and political systems in Hong Kong would not be changed for 50 years. That is, China would abide by the “one nation, two systems” principle. Over the past several years, communist China has been attempting to strip from Hong Kong its long-held status as one of the freest places in the world and undermining the “one nation, two systems”.

Most recently, China has ordered large scale arrests of dissidents and, on May 28, China’s National People’s Congress imposed a security law which attacks Hong Kong’s freedoms and Hong Kong’s Basic Law (effectively, a freedom-protecting constitution) by bypassing Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. While the CPC has yet to release details, the law is intended to allow mainland authorities to crush freedom in Hong Kong and extend absolute CPC rule.

Pro-democracy demonstrators, young and old, Chinese, and the many other groups that populate Hong Kong, are demonstrating to protect their freedoms and hopes for the future of their children and grandchildren. We stand with the people of Hong Kong as they attempt to protect their freedoms and rights and believe a strong global response is critical.

Yours truly,

Members and associate members of the Economic Freedom of the World Network

Niels Veldhuis
President
The Fraser Institute, Canada

Aldo Abran
Executive Director
Libertad y Progreso, Argentina

Vladimir Fernandes Maciel
Coordenado
Coordenador do Centro Mackenzie de Liberdade Econômica, Brazil

Martin Panek
Director
Liberal Institute, Czech Republic

Gia Jandieri
Vice-President, Founder
New Economic School, Georgia

Alexander Skouras
President
KEFiM (Center for Liberal Studies), Greece

Zoltán Kész
Honorary President
Free Market Foundation, Hungary

Nijdar Khalid
Representative
Mesopotamia Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Development, Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Dr. Roberto Salinas León
Presidente
Mexico Business Forum, Mexico

Marissa Krienert
Executive Director
Fundacion Libertad, Panama

Prof. Andrzej Kondratowicz
Head, ASRC Economic Freedom Project
Adam Smith Research Centre of Warsaw (ASRC), Poland

Temba Nolutshungu
Director
Free Market Foundation of Southern Africa, South Africa

Sung-no Choi
President
Center for Free Enterprise, South Korea

Bican Şahin
President
Freedom Research Association, Turkey

Jerry L. Jordan
President
Pacific Academy for Advanced Studies, USA

Michael A. Walker
Founder
The Fraser Institute, Canada

Candelaria de Elizalde
General Coordinator
Libertad y Progreso, Argentina

Cristina Cortez C.
Directora de Comunicaciones
Libertad y Desarrollo, Chile

Dora De Ampuer
Executive director
Ecuatoriano de Economia Politica, Ecuador

Franklin Cudjoe
Founding President & CEO
IMANI (Centre for Policy and Education), Ghana

Marcela Porta, Ph.D.
Directora Administrativa
Centro de Estudios Económico-Sociales, Guatamala

Parth J Shah
Director
Indian School of Public Policy, India

Corinne Parenti
Co-founder & Director
Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, Israel

Robin Sitoula
Executive Director
Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

Jose L. Tapia
Executive Director
Instituto de Libre Empresa, Peru

Andrei Illarionov
President
Institute of Economic Analysis, Russia

Eustace Davie
Director
Free Market Foundation of Southern Africa, South Africa

Roxana Nicula
Presidenta / Chair
Fundación para el Avance de la Libertad, Spain

David J. Theroux
Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Independent Institute, USA

Carlos Goedder
Member of the Academic Council
Cedice Libertad, Venezuela

Fred McMahon
Michael A Walker Chair
The Fraser Institute, Canada

Admir Čavalić
Director
Association Multi Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Gisèle Dutheuil
Directrice
Audace Institut Afrique, Côte d’Ivoire

Omar Shaban
Director
PalThink for Strategic Studies, Gaza Stip

Nicos Rompapas
Executive Director
KEFiM (Center for Liberal Studies), Greece

Máté Hajba
Director
Free Market Foundation, Hungary

Rainer Heufers
Executive Director
The Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS), Indonesia

Beppe Facchetti
President
Centro Einaudi, Italy

Surse Pierpoint
President
Fundacion Libertad, Panama

Andrzej Sadowski
President
Adam Smith Research Centre of Warsaw (ASRC), Poland

Leon Louw
Executive director
Free Market Foundation of Southern Africa, South Africa

Jasson Urbach
Director
Free Market Foundation of Southern Africa, South Africa

Pierre Bessard
President
Liberal Institute, Switzerland

Perth Tolle
Founder
Life + Liberty Indexes, USA

Rocio Guijarro
Gerente General
Cedice Libertad, Venezuela

Individuals associated with the Economic Freedom of the World Network

Kamal Smimou, Ph.D.
Professor of Finance
Ontario Tech University, Canada

Juan Carlos Hidalgo
Individual
Costa Rica

Miguel A. Cervantes
Lecturer
Burgundy School of Business, Burgundy

Morteza Sameti
Full Professor of Economic Science
University of Isfahan, Iran

James Ahiakpor
Professor Emeritus of Economics
California State University, East Bay, USA

Dr. James Gwartney
Professor of Economics,
Florida State University, USA

Lawrence J. McQuillan, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation
Independent Institute, USA

Chuck DeVore
Vice-President
Texas Public Policy Foundation, USA

Maureen Castle Tusty
Principal, Producer/Director
Sky Films, USA

Alan Dowd
Senior Fellow
The Fraser Institute, USA

Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Professor of Political Science
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Luis Figueroa
Professor
Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatamala

Dr. Martin Rode
Professor
Universidad de Navarra, Spain

Erik Gartzke
Director
Center for Peace and Security Studies, University of California, San Diego, USA

John Garen
BB&T Professor of Economics
Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, USA

Dean Stansel, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow
O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University, USA

Nathan J. Ashby
Associate Professor of Economics
The University of Texas, El Paso, USA

Mark Littlewood
Director General
Institute of Economic Affairs, UK

Óscar Álvarez Araya, Ph.D.
Former Ambassador
Costa Rica

Mohammed Nosseir
Individual
Egypt

Anthea Haryoko
Individual
Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS), Indonesia

Philip Booth
Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics
St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK

Mark A Jamison
Director, Public Utility Research Center
Digital Markets Initiative, USA

W. Ken Farr
Professor Emeritus
Georgia College and State University, USA

Richard McKenzie
Walter B. Gerken Professor of Enterprise and Society Emeritus
Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine, USA

James Tusty
Principal, Executive Producer
Sky Films, USA

Richard W. Rahn
Chairman
Institute for Global Economic Growth, USA

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