IN OTHER WORDS
Let it be:
Sunday marked 10 years since Britain turned Hong Kong over to China, and contrary to what many feared back then, the territory has maintained the high degree of autonomy Beijing promised to respect under its formula of “one country, two systems.” Much of the credit for this belongs not to the reflexively authoritarian party bosses in Beijing, but to the people of Hong Kong, who’ve not been afraid to take to the streets in the hundreds of thousands when they’ve sensed a threat to their independence.
If Hong Kong’s liberties are to survive another 10 years, its people will have to maintain the same kind of vigilance. With China stubbornly refusing to set a timetable for fully democratic elections to the territory’s legislature, street marches will remain an indispensable vehicle for political expression.
Remembering the fears that accompanied the handover in 1997, Hong Kong has much to celebrate: the rule of law still holds, the economy was strong enough to weather the SARS epidemic and the Asian financial crash, the city remains among the most exciting in Asia. The success is not an argument for delaying full self-rule; on the contrary, it is proof that the people of the “fragrant harbour” are ready to take full charge. China must not let another decade pass before letting it happen. — International Herald Tribune