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  • 20 years after Hong Kong changed from being

  • governed at arm’s length from London to

  • a Chinese sovereignty, it still remains one

  • of the freest and most successful cities in Asia.

  • Is that because of the guarantees made by

  • Britain and China to Hong Kong?

  • Not really.

  • It is really because of the extent to which

  • people in Hong Kong have a profound sense

  • of what it means or should mean to be a citizen

  • of a great city.

  • It doesn’t make them less Chinese, but it

  • does make them understand the relationship

  • between pluralism, the rule of law, freedom

  • of speech and all those bits of the software

  • of democracy and their long-term prosperity.

  • China, in the last few years, has been rowing

  • back on the promises it made to Hong Kong.

  • It has been increasing its pressure on Hong Kong’s windpipe.

  • It has been, frankly, breaching both the spirit

  • and the letter of the treaty it signed with

  • Britain for 50 years after 1997.

  • It has done that by attacking the judiciary,

  • it has done it by rolling back attempts to

  • make Hong Kong more democratic.

  • It has done it by intervening in court cases,

  • by abducting people from Hong Kong’s streets,

  • by a rather insidious pressure on the autonomy

  • of education and on civil society, and its

  • office in Hong Kong has increasingly tried

  • to play a part in the running of the city.

  • I think it is very important that the whole

  • world makes clear to China, and not just Britain,

  • which has a particular role, but the whole

  • world makes it clear to China that if they

  • want to show that we can trust them in the

  • 21st century, then Hong Kong is a very good

  • place to start.

20 years after Hong Kong changed from being

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Chris Patten: 20 Years After the Hong Kong Handover

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    TIK posted on 2017/12/29
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