China through the lens of Hong Kong

A new book by a legal scholar sheds light on the bargaining that shaped the treaty on the handover of Hong Kong.

A Chinese resident reading the Beijing Youth Daily, which carried a photo of the Hong Kong sovereignty-switch ceremony on July 1, 1997. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Discussing Hong Kong dispassionately is near impossible. This is not only because of the many public protests since 2014 that have polarised world opinion. While Taiwan is currently making headlines, Hong Kong is also a declared "core" interest for Beijing. As such, what happens in Hong Kong is more than just a matter of local politics - Hong Kong becomes in effect a lens for assessing China's character and intentions. This plays into heightened Sino-American tensions.

Dr Elizabeth Economy, an American expert on China, sees domination over Hong Kong as integral to the country's strategic vision and frames its fate squarely within the contest between democracy and autocracy.

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