In Asia, Hong Kong is TIME magazine's home. Maybe that last word should be in the plural; as our longest-serving staffers in Hong Kong knowand by the way, Yuman Wong, our newsdesk manager, has been with the publication for 41 years, and Virginia Lau, our office manager, for 26we have moved all over the city. We're comfortable, though, in our current location in Quarry Bay, watching the tugs and barges go up and down the harbor in a commercial endeavor that is about something more than profit and loss. For from our offices, we get a close-up view of history in the making and one of the great stories of our timethe re-emergence of China as a global economic and political power.
As you can probably tell, we love Hong Kong. We love its energy, we love its smells, it sights and its sounds. We love its commitment to a free press that has, for decades, made Hong Kong a beacon in Asia. We love especially the way that it is a great Chinese city and yet something more. Hong Kong belongs to all of us; it is an international city, one of the hinges of the global economy, a place folks from all over the world can come to and find love and fortune.
It is this duality of Hong Kongthat it is part of China and part of the worldthat informs this special issue, which commemorates the 10th anniversary of the end of British rule and the resumption of Chinese sovereignty. So we looked, for example, at the changing nature of the economic relationship with the mainland and at how the demographics of the expatriate community have changed.
We could bring insight into these themes because so many of the key members of our staff are Hong Kong people themselvessenior editor Zoher Abdoolcarim, who brilliantly supervised the whole issue and whose family has been in the city for 130 years; international art director Cecelia Wong and assistant art director May Wong; and senior writerand proud son of KowloonLiam Fitzpatrick, who traced his sister-in-law's family from China, to Hong Kong, to Canada, and back to Hong Kong again. More recent arrivals such as picture editor Maria Wood, associate editor Hanna Kite, deputy picture editor Wei Leng Tay, and reporter Austin Ramzywho helped Zoher and I moderate a roundtable with five of the smartest, most influential leaders and thinkers on Hong Kongwere just as vital to the exercise. The place gets under your skin, and quickly. Deputy art director Nilanjan Das, who took the lead in designing the package, moved to the city from New Delhi just last year, but says, "I feel like a Hong Kong veteran now."
I'm grateful to all of them and the rest of the staff of Time Asia for putting together such a smart, lively package, and I trust that you'll find it enjoyable and informative. In 10 years time, we'll do it again. At Time, we don't need much encouragement to write about our Asian home.