The journal “Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations” has published my latest piece on Hong Kong politics, entitled “Hong Kong: The End of the City of Protest?” in its December 2020 issue.
On 1 July 2020, a new National Security Law for Hong Kong has taken effect. It is intended to end the three-decade tradition of Hong Kong protests. While it might successfully suppress protests, it will not mitigate the grievances that Hong Kong’s citizens protest against. Politically, it restricts civil liberties of Hong Kong – quite the opposite of what the protesters call for. Economically, the law will come with a weakening of Hong Kong as a financial center, particularly since it undermines the cybersecurity of financial services. This will most likely further fuel the economic challenges that underlie the demonstrations. The law also contributes to a further Mainlandization that disregards the call of many Hong Kong protesters to acknowledge Hong Kong’s post-colonial identity. While the Chinese Communist Party’s calculus that the introduction of the law during the coronavirus pandemic would reduce the political, economic and legal price it has to pay will turn out to be a misjudgment, the prospects for Hong Kong have turned to the worst, I argue in the article.