Hong Kong: A Free City, under a Shadow

Anti-extradition bill protesters march to the West Kowloon Express Rail Link Station in Hong Kong, China, July 7, 2019. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)Will Trump stand by while China devours this near miraculous city?

Hong Kong — Most Americans do not know the name Carrie Lam, chief executive of the “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China,” but her constituents here in this vivacious, sprawling city know the name of the American chief executive, and they pay close attention to his words — closer attention than he does, possibly.

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Hong Kong boasts the freest economy in the world, with a Heritage Economic Freedom score of 90.2 and a first-place ranking for 24 years running. (The United States is foundering down in twelfth place with a score of 76.8.) Its 7.4 million residents conduct their daily affairs with a fascinating combination of Chinese prolificity and Swiss efficiency. In real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, its economy today is 16 times what it was 40 years ago, having grown at more than twice the U.S. rate in those years. It has low taxes and light regulation by global standards, but its freewheeling capitalism coincides with an urban public life

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