Shanghai's Long-awaited Free Trade Zone…

On Sunday, China's State Council is due to set in motion a long awaited pilot plan for the 28.78 sq km Shanghai Free Trade Zone, marking a major milestone for the country's cautious, step-by-step economic liberalization that began 30 years ago. It is a Big Bang that has Hong Kong officials looking nervously over their shoulders. Shanghai has been talked about as China's financial capital since at least 1995, prior to the takeover of the former British crown colony by the Chinese government, when Fortune Magazine carried a cover story titled "The Death of Hong Kong." The tycoon Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man, for instance, warned publicly recently that the impact of the Shanghai FTZ will be much bigger and come much more quickly than the territory anticipates.

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