Hong Kong is in a standoff with Beijing. It’s a fight ostensibly about universal suffrage. But in some ways, it’s also a litmus test for financial freedoms under President Xi Jinping.
Right now, Hong Kong is governed by a “one country, two systems” charter mandating that until the year 2047, the territory will remain a capitalist economy - with a good deal of political autonomy.
The tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets this week are banking on Hong Kong’s financial leverage over the world’s second largest economy. But the unspoken worry is that Hong Kong just isn’t as important to China as it used to be.