For the hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens who marched in anti-government protests during the past two years to mark the anniversary of the July 1, 1997 handover to Chinese sovereignty, the situation on this anniversary would likely have been embraced as an acceptable response to their pleas.
Article 23, the dreaded security law proposal that prompted a half-million people to march in 2003, has fallen off the radar. Hong Kong’s economy has rebounded from six years of serial recessions to show modest growth. Unemployment has eased off record highs to a 43-month low, and property prices have rebounded. The Legislative Council chosen last year includes, amid its pro-Beijing majority thanks to a rigged electoral system, two of the most outspoken critics of the mainland’s heavy hand in Hong Kong affairs.