Hong Kong, Taiwan and the hope for a better China

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Sunday in a second mass protest organised by pro-democracy groups against a proposed extradition law. The protesters have also been calling for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Nothing better captures the difference between Hong Kong and China than the annual commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre that takes place on June 4 every year in Hong Kong's Victoria Park.

In China, the memory of the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in 1989 is ruthlessly suppressed. But Hong Kong has been allowed to continue to mark the anniversary. That kind of freedom matters not just to the 7.4 million inhabitants of Hong Kong. Potentially, it is also of great importance to China's future itself.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2019, with the headline 'Hong Kong, Taiwan and the hope for a better China'. Subscribe