City on the Rocks: 2hong Kong's Uncertain Future

Kevin Rafferty, Author
Kevin Rafferty, Author Viking Books $21.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-670-80205-0
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
When Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule in 1997, Beijing will allow the freewheeling capitalist mecca to maintain its autonomous lifestyle for at least 50 years--at least as set forth in the treaty with Britain. But many of the Crown colony's business elite are already seeking exit visas, and Deng's bloody putdown of popular protest in Tiananmen Square last May has convinced ordinary Hong Kong residents that they are very much in the firing line, according to the author. In a sparkling tour of the bustling metropolis, Financial Times correspondent Rafferty considers Hong Kong's uncertain future in light of its unpreparedness to cast off colonial rule, its vulnerable economy and rivalry with Tokyo. He caps this astute blend of travelogue, history, economic and political analysis by proposing strategies whereby Britain could put pre-1997 pressure on China to become a tolerant overlord. Photos. (Apr.)
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