HONG Kong’s major Cabinet reshuffle last week in anticipation of a post-pandemic economic restart underlines several political realities, including, first and foremost, Beijing’s continuing support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam despite months of massive protests, which tapered off only when the coronavirus crisis intervened.

The city is clearly in trouble, with Fitch Ratings downgrading Hong Kong in April as an issuer of long-term foreign currency debt — the second such downgrade in less than a year. The Fitch move followed a downgrade by Moody’s, which cited Hong Kong’s inability to resolve issues highlighted by the 2019 protests.

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