The distinctions between independence and self-determination should provide ample scope for legal minds to ponder.
Special by-elections to fill seats vacated by 'oath-breaking' politicians banned by Beijing highlight the challenges faced by pro-democracy advocates in the territory.
The reopening of Civic Square, a symbolic hub for Hong Kong's Occupy protests, served to galvanize protesters on the city's annual Jan. 1 protest march.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's report to the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China revealed once and for all that Beijing intends to exercise 'comprehensive jurisdiction' over Hong Kong, and that the 1997 promise of '50 years without change' can now be consigned to the dustbin of history.
New Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam has proved a master of the art of "responding without answering", enabling her to glide smoothly from one crisis to the next and emerge as the only person Beijing was willing to entrust with the top job.
Donald Trump and Xi Jiping appear to share similar difficulties reconciling their aspirations for national glory with the civil rights and freedoms written into their respective constitutions.
Recent election results from Macau, itself a special administrative region of China like Hong Kong, showed an upswell in support for pro-democracy, anti-establishment candidates.