East Asia Watch

A harbour for Hong Kong in the storm

Beijing is not without means to protect the city against US actions but much depends on how the bigger US-China battle unfolds

Days after a sweeping leadership reshuffle of China's ruling Communist Party in November 2002, then Premier Zhu Rongji set foot in Hong Kong to reassure the city that the next generation of Chinese leaders will not leave it out to dry.

Describing the former British colony as "a bright pearl with great hope and prospects", Mr Zhu told a welcoming banquet: "If Hong Kong were ruined in our hands, we would become sinners of the nation. This will not happen."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2020, with the headline 'A harbour for HK in the storm'. Print Edition | Subscribe