Pro-democracy activist Nathan Law, accompanied by supporters, walks out of the Final Court of Appeal after being granted bail in Hong Kong, China, October 24, 2017. (Bobby Yip/Reuters) This great, free, vibrant city was promised 50 years of autonomy. It got less than half that allotment.
Editor’s Note: Today, we publish an expanded version of a piece that appears in the current issue of National Review.
Simply put, “2047 has arrived.” These are the words of Nathan Law, a Hong Kong democracy leader, now in exile. Hong Kong was supposed to have 50 years, starting with the “handover” on July 1, 1997: 50 years of democratic life, 50 years of autonomy. The relevant slogan was “One country, two systems.” Hong Kong would be a little exception in vast, Communist-ruled China.
Cruelly, however, Hong Kong got half its allotment — not even that. Hong Kong is now a Chinese city like any other, more or less. In other words, it is unfree, and horrifying.
At the end of June, Vivian Wang and Alexandra Stevenson of the New York Times filed a dispatch from Hong Kong. The subheading of their dispatch read, “Neighbors are urged to