B1 Intermediate UK 169 Folder Collection
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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.
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Chris Patten: 20 Years After the Hong Kong Handover

169 Folder Collection
TIK published on December 30, 2017
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