The British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, assured freedoms for 50 years. The clock is ticking.

First human-to-dog coronavirus transmission reported in Hong Kong
A pet dog in Hong Kong may have caught the coronavirus from its infected owner. A Pomeranian belonging to a Covid-19 patient in the city has contracted the virus, the city’s health authorities confirmed on Wednesday. (What is Covid-19? Where did the coronavirus come from? Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the coronavirus.) The dog has repeatedly tested positive for having a low level of the virus since Friday last week. The infection is likely to be the first case of human-to-animal transmission of the disease, experts said, but animal lovers need not worry about their pets or their own health. “These test results suggest that the dog has a low level of infection, which was also found i
Knife-wielding robbers steal 600 rolls of toilet paper in Hong Kong
Armed robbers stole 600 rolls of toilet paper from outside a Hong Kong supermarket on Monday, as panic buying over the spread of the coronavirus showed little signs of easing. Three masked men stole the toilet paper wrapped in about 50 packets, worth about $206, from a delivery man outside a Wellcome store in Mong Kok at around 6am on Monday. Police said one of the men was armed with two knives. Two people, aged 49 and 54, had been arrested by midday on Monday, and the police said they were hunting down three more people thought to be aged between 20 and 30. The stolen toilet rolls were found in a guest house in the same district, not far from where it was taken.  The incident followed week
Hotpot, barbecue, ‘super-spreader’: Coronavirus defies curbs on meeting and travel
Restaurants in Hong Kong have scrambled to drop hotpot from their menus after the better part of a family who shared the dish was infected with the coronavirus as health authorities advised against large gatherings. Hotpot is a winter staple at the Chinese dining table where people cook and eat meat and vegetables by dipping them in a shared pot of simmering broth. Several restaurant chains in the city have suspended the menu item after Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection said 11 of 19 members of an extended family who shared a hotpot and barbecue meal tested positive for the coronavirus.  Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Communicable Disease Branch of the center, said members of the p
No need to wear masks in Canada, but consider this before you mock people who do
In early 2003, my soon-to-be wife and I developed a routine when we came home. We would take off our N95 face masks and drop them in a bin by the door. We would strip off in the entranceway in a thoroughly unromantic fashion and throw our clothes in the washing machine with a hearty slosh of Dettol. We then showered immediately, and retired to consider the unusual and frightening existence that was Hong Kong at the height of the Sars epidemic. Which is why current and former Hongkongers like ourselves find nothing particularly funny about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Yet some Canadians make sport of the face masks being worn with increasing regularity in places with big east Asian popula
Tokyo, Melbourne, Hong Kong: the world’s safest cities
Antte Alatalo had a surprise when he first walked around Seoul at night. There wasn’t anything to fear. The Finnish exchange student, 23, said the experience was in contrast to European cities, which were often unnerving after dark. “I have never felt isolated walking alone in Seoul as there are always other people strolling around in almost any part of the city, even late at night,” he said, adding “I have never seen a fight breaking out since I came here.” Among Alatalo and other international visitors, Seoul’s reputation as a safe city has been steadily gaining for years. The bi-yearly Safe Cities Index by The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked it the eighth safest city in the world in 2
Hit by unrest and recession, Hong Kong remains king of unaffordable housing
Hong Kong has been ranked yet again as the world’s least affordable housing market with social unrest failing to make any meaningful dent on home prices for most of 2019. It is the 10th straight year the city has held that dubious honor and is unlikely to be toppled in the near future. A family in the city would need to save up for 20.8 years to afford a home in the city, according to the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Study, which ranks 92 major markets across the world based on median affordability scores. That has barely changed from 20.9 years in 2018. Vancouver came in a distant second at 11.9 while Sydney took third place at 11. Melbourne at 9.5 and Los Angeles
One in three Hongkongers are traumatized amid unrest, study says
More than 2 million, or almost one in three, adults in Hong Kong have shown symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during the prolonged civil unrest in the city, a study published in a leading medical journal has found. The number was six times higher than four years ago, just after the pro-democracy Umbrella Revolution protests had ended. Researchers urged the government to step up its mental health provisions. The research, conducted by the University of Hong Kong, also suggested that up to 11% of the city’s adult population was affected by probable depression last year, five times higher than the figure collected from 2009 to 2014, when it was just 2%. The research, published in an ar
Here’s why Beijing’s new Hong Kong envoy was a surprise choice
Bringing a political veteran with no relevant experience out of semi-retirement and making him the top envoy to Hong Kong shows Beijing’s determination to reset its policy on the city, according to insiders and observers. Luo Huining’s appointment as the new director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong came as a surprise even to Communist Party insiders. But while he is seen as capable, he was an unlikely candidate for the job. Having turned 65 in October, Luo was supposed to be easing into semi-retirement. Under party rules, senior officials of Luo’s rank are relieved from key positions at the age of 65.  They are then transferred to less demanding roles – usually in Chi
China’s new top official in Hong Kong hopes city will 'get back on track'
China’s new top representative to Hong Kong says he hopes the city will “get back on track” soon in his first address to media after his surprise appointment over the weekend.  Luo Huining, 65, the former Communist Party leader of the northern province of Shanxi, has never held any position directly related to Hong Kong before. He is the newly appointed director of the central government’s liaison office in the city.  Hong Kong has been in the grip of protests since June 2019, sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill before morphing into a wider anti-government campaign that has been marked by mass rallies and often-violent clashes. Meeting reporters on his first day at work on Monday, Lu
Hong Kong artists celebrate distinctive rural village life
There’s a picturesque, historic village in northeastern Hong Kong that was once a flourishing community. More than 300 years old, Lai Chi Wo used to be one of the more affluent villages in the area. It was home to the Hakka ethnic group, who migrated from northern China to the south of the country hundreds of years ago. The Hakka – whose name means “guest families” – is a major group in the global Chinese diaspora. By the 1950s, however,  the village had become so poor that parents could not afford to send their children to school. So, like other indigenous villagers in rural Hong Kong, they migrated to work in restaurants in Britain and Germany, and later set up their own shops. Artist Eve