Hong Kong’s fate was sealed in 1984, when the Thatcher government signed the Joint Declaration for the retrocession to China in 1997.
It is telling that the more activist component of the mass movement has chosen Hong Kong’s airport their distinct stand. Leaving Hong Kong behind is what a majority of Hongkongers, who do not have Commonwealth or foreign passports, will find more difficult to do in the future. In the world’s ultimate trading and financial city, they are stuck with the promise of rule by China’s CCP, which has only become more uncompromising with the passing of time. Beijing’s threats, the hardly more subtle decision of China’s State Council promoting Shenzhen as a "global model", SAR Chief Carrie Lam’s begging not to "push Hong Kong into the abyss" all point to an inexorable reality.