During Hong Kong’s great bout of unrest in 1967, when the then British colony was wracked by leftist riots that left 51 people dead, the territory’s business leaders appealed to the famous mercantile spirit of its people.

“In Hong Kong, we do not want politics of any kind, neither of the left nor the right,” Li Fook-shu, who was chair of Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia, told the territory’s de facto parliament. “What we need is to continue to build up our economy.”

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