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In recent years, Hong Kong’s government and business sector have increasingly looked to greater integration with the Mainland for development and growth. It cannot be denied that Hong Kong has reaped economic benefits from acting as a gateway to mainland China, but is ‘looking north’ the best or only answer to Hong Kong’s long-term economic and social problems?

In our Periscope section we take a look at whether the Mainland can offer solutions to some pressing Hong Kong problems:

The government is encouraging more Hong Kong students to pursue their further education at mainland universities by offering cash allowances. Students who study in the Mainland will gain a greater understanding of the Mainland and build connections there but what kind of impact will the experience have on their values and academic learning? And would the money be better spent on increasing the number of higher education opportunities locally?

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying promoted the inspirational example of a young Hong Kong entrepreneur who made his fortune in Guangxi province. The vast and quickly developing mainland job market certainly seems to offer many opportunities for Hong Kong talent. But as Varsity finds out, the streets are not quite paved with gold.

The shortage of places at public residential care homes for the elderly in Hong Kong has led to a long waiting list and prompted the government to buy places for Hong Kong senior citizens in purpose-built retirement homes in Guangdong. However, critics say authorities are outsourcing the elderly to the Mainland rather than dealing with local problems, locally.