Defying the Dragon: Hong Kong and the World’s Largest Dictatorship is the latest book from veteran journalist Steve Vines. Detailing the story of the city’s defiance against Beijing’s totalitarianism, it is now available to pre-order. Buy it through HKFP at a discount – profits go to our newsroom.

Drawing on his three decades of experience in the region, the new volume by HKFP’s columnist traces Hong Kong’s tumultuous relationship with Beijing in recent years, right up to the current political crackdown.

Photo: Hurst Publishers.

Defying the Dragon tells a remarkable story of audacity: of how the people of Hong Kong challenged the People Republic of China’s authority, just as its president reached the height of his powers… Vividly describing the uprising from street level, Vines explains how and why it unfolded, and its global repercussions.

The work delves into the existential questions plaguing the region today, and what it means for the wider world: “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?”

“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… what lies ahead for Hong Kong, China and the world?”

Steve Vines in Hong Kong. Photo Kees Metselaar

The book, published by UK-based Publishers Hurst, has been lauded as “superb” by Hong Kong’s last British governor Lord Chris Patten: “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.”

Steve Vines is a radio host for RTHK‘s current affairs programme The Pulse and is a columnist for HKFP.


Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.