fredag 3. april 2020

Hong Kong Faces a Troubled Future After Coronavirus

When word of mysterious pneumonia cases in China first reached Hong Kong in late December, officials took notice, activating a health response system and raising the response level to “serious.” That’s the second-highest scale of action in its three-tier system. By late January, the first confirmed case of what’s now known as Covid-19 was identified in Hong Kong, and authorities began closing government offices. Large businesses, schools, and play areas were shut. Hong Kong’s government soon cut off train and bus services between mainland China and blocked most border crossings. It was the opening of a new front in a fight for the city’s future.

Even before the outbreak, Hong Kong was dealing with the effects of last year’s violent clashes between police and antigovernment protesters—as well as the U.S.-China trade war. The economy was sliding into recession, with hotels, restaurants, and stores suffering from a decline in Chinese visitors.