Beijing’s increasing grip over Hong Kong has done more than snuff out democracy advocates: It’s also led to fluid changes in the city’s physical landscape. From shuttered storefronts and barricaded buildings in the wake of historic protests in 2019 to a hotel converted into the headquarters of the new National Security Office, evidence of China’s heavy hand is all around.
Even more changes are in store for the former British colony, which came under China’s control in 1997. Hong Kong’s government is embracing closer ties with the mainland, while thousands of city residents may move to the U.K. to take up an offer of citizenship. Beijing’s new restrictions on free speech and increased pressure on the judiciary may also spur an exodus of some multinational companies whose logos dot Hong Kong’s much-photographed skyline. And barricades erected during the protests are now starting to come down as the demonstrations have subsided.
Here’s a look at the changes now consuming Hong Kong, from rural areas near China’s border to the skyscrapers towering over Victoria Harbor.