I am just coming up to 50 years in Hong Kong. I saw through 1997, and there’s a pretty good probability that I will see through 2047. That makes me a very connected observer of my city.
Last Sunday, a million people surged onto the pavements like the floods of a June rainstorm. In 1997, there was an air of hope and confidence in the special administrative region, thanks to the Basic Law. It allowed Hong Kong to have many years of relatively independent development, interspersed with some increasingly frequent cack-handed interventions. Hong Kong’s troublesome insistence on defending its 155-year-old way of doing things has clearly irritated Beijing.