Laws imposed by Beijing have undermined the city's unique freedoms

Listen | 26:47

When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 it was under a ‘One Country, Two Systems’ governance model that guaranteed the continuation of a free press, an independent judiciary and the capitalism that underpins the former British colony’s wealth.

The agreement was to stay in place until 2047 but in the past decade China has begun stamping out key freedoms, with XI Jingping apparently intent on undermining Hong Kong’s independence and on bringing the determinedly capitalist country more under its control.

Irish Times China correspondent Denis Staunton explains how a security law introduced in 2020 is being used to stifle debate and press freedom and explores how far China is willing to go tear up the 1997 deal.

Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Declan Conlon.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast