Hong Kong had a Covid choice, two years ago. Go with China or go with the rest of the world. If open to the world then China would be out of bounds and vice versa. It’s been vice versa but worse. By facing west (to China) we’re cut off from facing east (to the world) but still cut off from China. With maybe some hope of being allowed to be in a Bubble with China. Maybe. Sometime.
But still I understand the policy. Even if I don’t like it. If you think of the number of Hongkongers like us, that would love to travel internationally, we are way fewer than the number of Hongkongers with business and family on the mainland.
For Cathay this is just too bad. And maybe, some think, the government doesn’t care. Cathay being a “colonial holdover”.
I spoke to a Cathay pilot the other day. She’d flown to Taiwan and back in a day. Three days of testing prior to flight. Didn’t even get off the plane in Taipei. Not allowed to. Flies back to HK. Four hours of processing here in Hong Kong, with PCR tests, etc, for a process that used to take 5 minutes in those far off “normal” times. For her it is hugely stressful and getting so the game is not worth the candle.
All that said, it doesn’t mean Hong Kong has had it. More integrated with China but still with special characteristics: free trade, free capital markets, world internet access, freedom of conscience, rule of common law, all these freedoms remain. The challenge is to maintain them. By not challenging the tyrannical autocrat. Because the tyrant will react like tyrants react.