John Foley is Reuters Breakingviews' U.S. editor. He has previously written and edited from London, Beijing and Hong Kong, and established Breakingviews’ first Asian bureau in 2009, subsequently running the European team from 2015 to 2017. Before joining Breakingviews in 2004, John worked as a copywriter for a London-based advertising agency. He read English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford.
Unrest over racial injustice does nothing for a country already divided and struggling with disease. Yet it takes more to unseat a superpower. America is no longer the only one, but it still has unrivaled heft. The downside: limited pressure to tackle economic or social problems.
The entrepôt's unique autonomy brought prosperity without Beijing having to cede control of the economy and people. Hong Kong’s importance has dwindled, however, and may even be holding China back. A U.S. move to strip its special status only shows how disposable that status is.
Coronavirus has struck disproportionately as a disease of the poor. The human tragedy has been especially stark in dense, unequal places like New York. As economic distancing sets in, the gap is going to widen further between black and white, urban and suburban, north and south.