'Defying the Dragon' tells a remarkable story of audacity: of how the people of Hong Kong challenged the PRC's authority, just as its president reached the height of his powers. Is Xi's China as unshakeable as it seems? What are its real interests in Hong Kong? Why are Beijing's time-honoured means of control no longer working there? And where does this leave Hongkongers themselves?
Stephen Vines has lived in Hong Kong for over three decades. His book shrewdly unpacks the Hong Kong-China relationship and its wider significance-right up to the astonishing convergence of political turmoil and international crisis with Covid-19 and the 2020 crackdown.
Vividly describing the uprising from street level, Vines explains how and why it unfolded, and its global repercussions. Now, the international community is reassessing relations with Beijing, just as Hong Kong's rebellion and China's handling of the pandemic have exposed the regime's weakness. In a crisis that has become existential all round, what lies ahead for Hong Kong, China and the world?