Hong Kong protests augur murky outlook for financial hub

In this July 10, 2019, photo, a man walks on a bri...

In this July 10, 2019, photo, a man walks on a bri...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, a woman walks near t...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, a woman walks near t...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, people walk in front...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, people walk in front...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, people walk in front...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, people walk in front...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, a woman stands near ...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, a woman stands near ...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, a man walks past a m...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, a man walks past a m...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, people walk at the H...

In this June 10, 2019, photo, people walk at the H...

In this July 7, 2019, photo, protesters holding a ...

In this July 7, 2019, photo, protesters holding a ...

In this July 7, 2019, photo, riot police prevent p...

In this July 7, 2019, photo, riot police prevent p...

In this July 6, 2019, photo, tourists walk at the ...

In this July 6, 2019, photo, tourists walk at the ...

In this  July 7, 2019, photo, mainland Chinese tou...

In this July 7, 2019, photo, mainland Chinese tou...

In this July 6, 2019, photo, tourists, some with t...

In this July 6, 2019, photo, tourists, some with t...

In this July 6, 2019, photo, Chinese tourists take...

In this July 6, 2019, photo, Chinese tourists take...

HONG KONG (AP) — It's still the world's "freest" economy, one of the biggest global financial centers and a scenic haven for tycoons and tourists, but the waves of protests rocking Hong Kong are exposing strains unlikely to dissipate as communist-ruled Beijing's influence grows.

The end of the former British colony's 50-year grace period after China took control in 1997 is years away, and the protests have made only a minor dent in day-to-day business. But they point to issues clouding the outlook, as investors and residents fret that the city will lose its Western-style freedoms.

Many in Hong Kong believe their future hinges on keeping the civil liberties, independent courts and other advantages Beijing promised to preserve for at least a half-century after Britain ceded control under an arrangement dubbed "one-country, two systems."