Hong Kong Poised to Become Asia's Big Apple
Port city turning into financial capital
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jun 30, 2007 7:12 PM CDT
A woman walks past the screen showing Hang Seng Index outside a bank in Hong Kong Wednesday June 20, 2007. Hong Kong shares hit a fresh closing record for a third straight session Wednesday, boosted by...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hong Kong is in decline as Asia's premier shipping hub, but the dip in dockyard activity is nothing to fret over, Newsweek reports. The city is on the brink of becoming one of the world's financial capitals—on par with London and New York. Economic shifts are reconfiguring the political landscape as well: a rising middle class is clamoring for cleaner air and universal suffrage. 

Since British rule ended a decade ago, market capitalization on the main stock exchange has exploded in Hong Kong, positioning the city as the investment center for a country sitting on huge trade surpluses. While the business elite welcomes the economic transformation, it's resisting the political impact, fearing that a move towards democracy will bring turmoil.