As protests continue to roil Hong Kong, a widely followed economist has an idea about how to ease tensions: China, he said, needs to take power away from the city’s tycoons and fix its property market.
The east Asian financial hub has been rocked by civil unrest in recent months with operations of Hong Kong International Airport severely disrupted this week due to a sit-in by protesters. The ongoing demonstrations in the city started as peaceful rallies against a single proposed law but have snowballed into a wider pro-democracy movement, with some even demanding full autonomy from Beijing and occasional outbreaks of violence.
Social discontent with stratospheric housing prices is playing a major part in the unrest, Andy Xie, an independent economist, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday.
“Hong Kong has been a pressure cooker for a long time,” he said.
According to the Centa-City Leading Index, a widely used indicator of the city’s residential price trends, property prices have…