if Hong Kong is any example [use of 'any']


Senior Member
[China is able to quash mass unrest with police crackdown and surveillance, if Hong Kong is any example] from the korea herald

What is the meaning of underlined 'any' in the sentence?
Is the word essential to complete meaning of the sentence?
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you think that Hong Kong is a valid/applicable example of this. If you think that Hong Kong is an example of this at all. You might think that Hong Kong was a different situation, but if you think it is even a little bit similar then it can serve as an example of whatever we're talking about.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    It reads to me like a variant of the common expression “if [something] is anything to go by”, ……” (the ‘something’, in this case, being how China dealt with protests in Hong Kong).

    What it implies is that by taking a past situation/event (or some other known fact) as our yardstick, we can predict what will happen in a comparable situation.