Playing a long game on Hong Kong
This article by Kurt W. Tong was originally published by the Brookings Institution as part of its Global China series.
“On Hong Kong’s return from British to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997, Fortune magazine famously ran a cover story titled “The Death of Hong Kong.” Just as famously, over the subsequent two decades Hong Kong survived the Asian financial crisis, the SARS outbreak, and the Great Recession; doubled the size of its economy; and saw the reputation of its financial sector soar from relative obscurity to general recognition as the #3 global powerhouse behind New York and London. Culturally and materially rich, Hong Kong’s people came to count themselves among the world’s most fortunate global citizens, and they swelled with rightful pride about their safe, well-managed, attractive, and lively city.
steadily crumbling for some time. Following the abrupt imposition of a ferocious new national security law by Beijing on June 30, however, the city’s formerly boisterous public is now confronted with a terrible and real possibility: that the crucial qualities that have made their city strong and globally relevant over the past generation will now irretrievably dissipate.”
This article considers how events in Hong Kong reached this state of affairs, and what if anything can be done about it — either by the people of the city or by their friends overseas. Read more here