The soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army will have been all too
aware that the eyes of the world were upon them this week as they
crossed into Hong Kong.
If it is possible to imagine such a thing, then perhaps the Chinese
leadership is also apprehensive about how it will cope with the return
of such a sophisticated child to its natural parent. In that sense it
will be at least as difficult for China to have Hong Kong within its
borders, as it will be for Hong Kong to get used to its new status.
But it will be China which is on trial. And the world will expect it to
live up to its promises. It is a simple PR lesson, but one which is not
even universally understood in the west.