Literature offers a theoretical framework exemplifying the inherent tensions between “becoming Chinese” and “remaining global” in the evolution of the international status of Hong Kong. Adopting this framework, this paper examines the global position of Hong Kong’s higher education through an investigation of universities’ participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Greater Bay Area development plan. Specifically, drawing on data from interviews about universities’ engagement with the two Chinese grand strategies, the paper discusses university leaders and academics’ experience and perception of Hong Kong’s global status against a policy context that foregrounds a deeper integration with the Chinese national development. This discussion offers a theoretical dialogue that reveals different but overlapping scenarios for the future of Hong Kong’s higher education and sheds light on the link between the changing geopolitical contexts and international higher education. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s).