Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Hong Kong 

John Derbyshire, always a ray of sunshine, writes about the future of Hong Kong. He is not optimistic.

If we pessimists are right about events in China, the omens for Hong Kong are not good. As the skies over the mainland darken, the beleaguered Communists will revert to Leninist type, repudiating agreements, turning away from economic sense (to the degree that they have ever really faced it), and striking out savagely at all opposition. Such freedoms as Hong Kong has held on to will not survive such a catastrophe. If China breaks up, the city might regain some independence, or even thrive as the commercial capital of a Cantonese state. More likely the Communists, or the military junta that succeeds them, will maintain central control by force and police terror. Hong Kong's talented people will flee for happier climates, and that marvelous, improbable city will revert to what it once was: a shabby second-rate place, a dull backwater, Pera become Beyoglu.
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