Hong Kong's Democratic Aspirations Not a Threat to China

Hong Kong, HONG KONG: (FILES) Chris Patten (R), the 28th and last governor of colonial Hong Kong, receives the Union Jack fla
Hong Kong, HONG KONG: (FILES) Chris Patten (R), the 28th and last governor of colonial Hong Kong, receives the Union Jack flag after is was lowered for the last time at Government House - the governor's official residence - during a farewell ceremony in Hong Kong, 30 June 1997, just hours prior to the end of some 156 years of British colonial rule as the territory returns to Chinese control at midnight. China's southern coast prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the handover 01 July, 2007. AFP PHOTO / FILES / EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Eventually, Hong Kong's people will get what they want, despite China's objections; freedom invariably wins in the end. But China's rulers would take a giant step forward by recognizing that such aspirations are not a threat to the country's well-being. For now, however, China, a great country and a growing power, is handling its economic affairs with more sophistication and a surer touch than it is addressing its political challenges.