mandag 8. juli 2019

Should the UK do anything about the unrest in Hong Kong?

It all looked final: the torrential rain, the bowed head of the last governor, Chris Patten, the illustrious onlookers Prince Charles and President Jiang Zemin. The British flag was lowered for the last time on Hong Kong at the end of June 1997. After over a decade of fractious negotiations, one of the few remaining areas of Britain’s colonial enterprise was wrapped up for good.

The handback arrangement stipulated that the People’s Republic of China would maintain Hong Kong under a unique “One country, two systems” rule where the city would be allowed a high degree of autonomy for 50 years. The UK committed to producing six-monthly parliamentary reports detailing the state of play under the new regime. Both sides shared undemanding obligations, leaving Hong Kong free to forget the past and, broadly speaking, move on.