HONG KONG: Keep Right On Sitting

The Crown Colony of Hong Kong was founded in 1841 as a base for Britain's opium trade with China. It outgrew its sinister origin, to become an outpost of British comfort, respectability and sound business methods. The British merchant princes who owned Hong Kong tended their beautiful, peaked island as carefully as a well-hedged Surrey garden, determinedly insulating it from the turbulent realities of Asia.

Long after the Communists captured China, Hong Kong's traders argued that their island's value as the East's greatest trading center immunized it against aggression. Hanging out the...

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