Hong Kong Countdown; City On The Rocks: Hong Kong's Uncertain Future

In This Review

Hong Kong Countdown

By George L. Hicks
Writers' & Publishers' Cooperative, 1989
136 pp.

City On The Rocks: Hong Kong's Uncertain Future

By Kevin Rafferty
Viking, 1990
518 pp. $21.95

Both these volumes by informed observers are pessimistic about the future of Hong Kong after British rule ends and the Chinese communists take over in 1997. Hicks, an Australian economist who has lived in Hong Kong for about 15 years, says that the people of Hong Kong deeply-and justifiably-distrust the communists. He is particularly harsh toward what he labels as British indifference to the fate of its Hong Kong subjects. Rafferty, a British journalist, is also wary about the future. Although more constrained than Hicks, he wonders if Beijing can be trusted to respect Hong Kong's "autonomy" after 1997 and concludes that such autonomy will exist only on Big Brother China's terms.

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