Sir Murray MacLehose

Hong Kong's progress — from postwar ruin to global business center — has been so well documented and admired that we assume it to have been inevitable. But it was not always fated to become China's most dazzling metropolis. As recently as the 1960s, it was a stuffy colonial backwater. Public spending — on education, health, the arts, indeed almost every field — was kept to a miserly minimum. The wealth derived from the city's burgeoning trade and light industries was not shared with those at the bottom of the social order. And virtually nobody — not the refugees pouring in...

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