When billionaire investor George Soros unleashed a speculative attack against the Hong Kong dollar and stock market in 1998, then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji vowed to avert a financial crisis in the city "at all costs".
China was not that well off then, but dug into its war chest - foreign exchange reserves of about US$139 billion at the end of 1997 compared with about US$3 trillion (S$4.1 trillion) as of end-September this year - to bail out the former British colony, which had reverted to Chinese rule just a year earlier.
We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs.