Chinese President Xi Jinping touched down Thursday in the Special Autonomous Region of Hong Kong. Xi is there to mark 20 years on July 1 since the city's handover from former colonial power the U.K., and was greeted by scores of children dutifully waving the red flags of China and Hong Kong.
According to Lord Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, whether the Middle Kingdom honors the conditions of Hong Kong's 50 year handover agreement will be indicative of its wider foreign policy in the future.
"The way China behaves in Hong Kong will give us all an indication of how much you can trust China in the century ahead," Patten told CNBC's Street Signs Thursday. The former Conservative party politician deemed the relationship between the world's second largest economy and a city regarded as one of the world's freest economic environments as a "test case" on "whether China keeps its word."
Hong Kong's 'one country, two systems' declaration, ratified in 1997, decrees that the "way of life (in the city) shall remain unchanged for 50 years." It assures Hong Kong a level of autonomy away from the central government in Beijing and safeguards its capitalist economic system. But, another key tenet of the so-called Basic Law is democratically electing leaders through universal suffrage.