In Hong Kong last week, a local movie star endorsed a popular patent medicine with the ultimate tribute: "It cures you like Buddha." Hong Kong itself, for more than 100 years the warehouse of the Far East, was also taking a cure. Amid cries of street hawkers and the deafening uproar from a string of 100,000 firecrackers to drive off evil spirits. Hong Kong's Governor Sir Alexander Grantham stepped up to a huge, towered gate decorated with neon lights, elaborate flowers and the Union Jack. Snipping a ribbon, he opened a powerful...

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