Mark L. Clifford

May 13, 2022

Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World

What China's Crackdown Reveals about Its Plans to End Freedom Everywhere

St. Martin's Press 2022

In this account of the rapid erosion of liberties, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and civil and political rights in Hong Kong, Mark L. Clifford's latest book provides an historically in-depth, vivid political analysis of the rapidly changing situation in Hong Kong. When the British ceased its period of colonial rule in 1997, and Hong Kong was returned to the governance of the People's Republic of China, then Chinese Communist Party Leader, Deng Xiaoping promised that Hong Kong would maintain its way of life for the next 50 years. This way of life, the rule of law, and independent judiciary, a democratically elected government, and the sorts of human rights which shape societies in liberal democracies worldwide, were also guaranteed in Hong Kong's mini-constitution - The Basic Law. However, less than halfway through this "One Country, Two Systems" experiment, Hong Kongers rights and freedoms, and its rule of law and the values which have come to form the basis of a unique Hong Konger identity have been crushed.

Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World: What China's Crackdown Reveals About Its Plans to End Freedom Everywhere (St. Martin's Press, 2022) is hard to put down; It is not just the way that Clifford brings to life the characters and pivotal moments in the rising tide of oppression, but also the implications of the situation in Hong Kong for the rest of the world act as a profound warning. This book is unique for its on the ground analysis and the insight it provides in framing Hong Kong as the geopolitical nexus between libertarian values of the West and Communist China's political system.  

Mark L. Clifford is the president of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Hong Kong. A Walter Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University, he lived in Asia from 1987 until 2021. Previously, Clifford was executive director of the Hong Kong-based Asia Business Council, the editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard (Hong Kong). He held senior editorial positions at BusinessWeek and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong and Seoul. He has won numerous academic, book, and journalism awards. He was also on the board of directors of Next Digital; the company that published the pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, before it was forced to shutdown in June 2021. 

Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK

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