The People’s Liberation Army arrived in Hong Kong yesterday to begin the transfer of the world’s greatest bastion of capitalism to the communist government of China.
Since British rule began in 1842, Hong Kong has served as an example to the world of the power of laissez-faire capitalism by transforming a small, barren group of islands into a country with one of the highest per capita incomes on earth.
The advance guard of the Chinese army tried to make its way quietly into its new quarters. But some of those who remember the PLA’s brutal slaughter of students in Tiananmen Square greeted the soldiers with suspicion. Chinese rule begins on July 1, and the new rulers have already begun to formulate rules to inhibit civil liberties.
In an eerie coincidence, the arrival of Chinese troops happened to fall on Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, which was commemorated by a 21-gun salute from British warships in Hong Kong’s harbor.