DEFYING THE DRAGON, the latest book by Stephen Vines, is out this week in the UK! Published by Hurst Publishers on March 25th, it examines the origins and legacy of the popular protest movement in Hong Kong. Here’s the synopsis…
Defying the Dragon tells a remarkable story of audacity: of how the people of Hong Kong challenged the PRC’s authority, just as its president reached the height of his powers. Is Xi’s China as unshakeable as it seems? What are its real interests in Hong Kong? Why are Beijing’s time-honoured means of control no longer working there? And where does this leave Hongkongers themselves?
Stephen Vines has lived in Hong Kong for over three decades. His book shrewdly unpacks the Hong Kong-China relationship and its wider significance — right up to the astonishing convergence of political turmoil and international crisis with Covid-19 and the 2020 crackdown.
Vividly describing the uprising from street level, Vines explains how and why it unfolded, and its global repercussions. Now, the international community is reassessing relations with Beijing, just as Hong Kong’s rebellion and China’s handling of the pandemic have exposed the regime’s weakness. In a crisis that has become existential all round, what lies ahead for Hong Kong, China and the world?
The book is due to be published in North America by Oxford University Press, in May. DEFYING THE DRAGON has already received a number of prominent endorsements. Here are just a few examples…
‘A detailed chronicle of Hong Kong’s fight in the face of repression. Anyone who cares about Hong Kong and China will definitely want to read this book.’ — Joshua Wong, Hong Kong’s most famous democracy advocate
‘A superb book about Beijing’s ruthless and depressing efforts to stamp out Hong Kong’s freedoms, erode its rule of law and attack its identity as an open society. Vines, a brave and distinguished journalist, sets this sad story of a great international city within the brutal politics of the Chinese regime.’ — Lord Chris Patten, last British governor of Hong Kong
‘A definitive, compelling account of a drama that has gripped the world. Vines interweaves frontline reporting, insights from key players and a local’s knowledge to chronicle Hong Kong’s defiant challenge to the might of Xi Jinping’s China.’ — Philip Sherwell, Asia correspondent, Sunday Times
‘One of the most important stories of our times of the fight against authoritarian regimes. The best way to understand China is through the lens of Hong Kong’s struggles.’ — Nathan Law, leading democracy activist