Abraham Lincoln said in the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates just before the terrible bloodbath known as the American Civil War that “a house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free”.

China is now in a similar position. It cannot remain half capitalist and half communist. The one country, two systems arrangement in Hong Kong has in effect collapsed now that trial by jury and a free press have gone. Fund managers and news organisations have already fled Hong Kong for the relatively benign political climate of Singapore. The good news for the world is that unlike Lincoln, China President Xi Jinping will not have to witness 750,000 deaths to get his way and impose one system on his country...

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