June 2, 2020

THERE IS NO CHINA:

The Chinese Dream Imperiled (Andrew Meyer, 6/02/20, History News Network).

The imposition of new "security" laws on the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong by China's National People's Congress is undoubtedly a watershed event in the history of East Asia and of global affairs more generally. Hong Kong has been a key driver of the "economic miracle" that has transformed the People's Republic of China since that nation first moved to liberalize its economy in 1979. Even while Hong Kong remained a British colony, it was an important gateway through which hard currency and foreign investment flowed into mainland Chinese markets. After the repatriation of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the role of the city and its economy became even more integral to the maintenance of economic growth nationwide.

All of that is now at risk. [...]

Hong Kong has been both an asset and a liability to Beijing since 1997. Its benefits as an asset were mentioned above: Hong Kong was, and remains, one of the wealthiest cities in China, and as a financial center has fostered growth that has broadcast prosperity throughout the PRC. But at the same time, Hong Kong's autonomy has posed dangerous challenges to the delicate matrix of Chinese political culture. Hong Kong Chinese are free to engage in speech that would result in imprisonment (or worse) if undertaken in Wuhan or Beijing. The annual candlelight vigils that are held every June 4 to commemorate the massacre that brought the Tiananmen Square protest movement to an end are only the most ostentatious flouting of Beijing's official line. More subtly subversive messages are carried by Hong Kong media constantly, and as the economy of China has liberalized, it has become increasingly difficult for Beijing to prevent PRC citizens from being exposed to them. 

Posted by at June 2, 2020 8:21 PM

  

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