Law Text Culture


The poem’s title refers to ‘one country, two systems’, the principle that Hong Kong’s capitalist way of life should remain unchanged for 50 years following its return to China on 1 July, 1997. The former British colony is currently a third of the way through this limbo-like phase, in which it supposedly enjoys a ‘high degree of autonomy’ from China’s socialist system, as the countdown ticks ever closer to 2047. In the early summer of 2014, just as I was working on this poem, Beijing released a white paper that aroused widespread concern in Hong Kong. Many there interpreted it as yet another sign of the mainland seeking to interfere in the SAR’s domestic affairs – including, for example, the suggestion that its judges should show fealty to Beijing.