Hong Kong stocks dropped sharply following a recent collapse on Wall Street spurred on by Chinese military exercises near Taiwan, which are causing widespread concern. China is conducting nine days of live-ammunition exercises off Taiwan's southwest coast, deploying scores of jet fighters, submarines and surface vessels. Meanwhile, Taiwan has put its 400,000 strong military on heightened alert, and the United States is moving warships and aircraft carriers closer to the island. On a more cheerful note, spring is here, and flowers are blooming everywhere. Government House opened its gates to the public so people could enjoy the blooms that turn the gardens into a riot of colour each spring.