How would today’s liberal democracies react to an even more forceful repression of the protests in Hong Kong? How would they handle a repeat of the events of 1989 in Tiananmen Square? Liberal democratic states have never been so reluctant to proselytise about their system of values and institutions. Thirty years on from the fall of the Berlin wall, its significance has faded from the collective memory and the optimism that prompted a belief in a coming wave of democracy has mutated into a sterile Western pragmatism towards the Asian economic colossus.
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