World News and Trends: The real significance of Hong Kong

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The real significance of Hong Kong

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One says that, although the Union Jack came down, the British can still hold their heads high. After all, the stunning display of ceremonial pageantry was never better, and the 150-year rule from London produced one of the most productive and successful island societies on earth. This positive assessment was by far the majority view.

But then veteran journalist and British historian Paul Johnson took aim and fired. A Daily Mail editorial published his stinging national rebuke: “The surrender of the free colony of Hong Kong to the totalitarian Communist government-euphemistically termed a ‘handover’-is one of the most humiliating episodes in British history.” At no time before has Britain handed a colony over to a communist state.

“All the rest of our colonies were meticulously prepared for independence, by setting up model parliaments, training their politicians in democratic usages, and by providing a judiciary professionally educated on British lines to maintain the rule of law,” Mr. Johnson observed. He described the fall of Hong Kong as a “heavy and far-reaching diplomatic defeat.” Those who understand the origin and destiny of the British peoples will appreciate the significance of Paul Johnson’s pronouncements. (Sources: The Daily Mail, Time .)