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Cantonese cowboys

Can Hong Kong show China the way forward towards freedom and prosperity? Ian Buruma talks to people in Hong Kong, and over the border in Shenzhen, about the rule of law, Chinese patriotism and doing business

By Ian Buruma   March 1998

On first sight nothing much has changed in Hong Kong since the British colony was returned to China at midnight on 30th June 1997. No one has been arrested for his or her political views. The People’s Liberation Army keeps out of sight inside the Prince of Wales barracks. The corporate skyscrapers still glitter in the wintry sun. The history of British rule still casts its shadows: the noonday gun, originally from a Jardine Matheson opium brig, is fired each day as a token of respect to the Royal Navy; and in Victoria Park a bronze Queen Victoria watches serenely…

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