Few historical marvels compare with Hong Kong. On this tiny island, smaller than O’ahu, some 7.5 million people have built one of the world’s most powerful economies. Its annual GDP is $341 billion—five times that of Hawai’i. And with an average per capita income nearly six times that of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and an average life expectancy six years higher, Hong Kong stands as a vivid rebuke to the communist system of its giant neighbor.

It wasn’t always so. A century ago, Hong Kong, which has virtually no natural resources, was a dreary outpost infested with pirates. Even long after the British took it over, it remained an unremarkable backwater. And when China fell to communism in 1949, and hundreds of thousands of refugees fled across the eight-mile strait into Hong Kong, it was just beginning its role as a manufacturing center. . . .


1. Jean-François Minardi, “Hong Kong: The Ongoing Economic Miracle,” Montreal Economic Institute, https://www.iedm.org/files/note1113_en.pdf (accessed November 20, 2019).

2. “HK vs China GDP: A Sobering Reality,” Ejinsight, http://www.ejinsight.com/20170609-hk-versus-china-gdp-a-sobering-reality/ (accessed November 20, 2019).

3. Antony Dapiran, City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong (London: Penguin eBooks, 2017).

4. R. J. Rummel, China’s Bloody Century (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1991).

5. Zeynep Tufecki, “The Hong Kong Protesters Aren’t Driven by Hope,” Atlantic, November 12, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/11/escalating-violence-hong-kong-protests/601804/.

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