What is Going On In Hong Kong Right Now?

Question: I’ve read political forums and debates on CNN and I just can’t understand what the debates and discussions in Hong Kong, China are about. Can you please explain to me the political issues that Hong Kong is now tackling and current events?

Answer:

Hong Kong was formally a British colony. On July 1st, 1997, Hong Kong entered a 50 year transition period (it will end in 2047) to Chinese rule. The Hong Kong people do not like the Chinese government (except those involved in government or business) and are terrified of becoming part of China. The idea of the transition period is that Hong Kong will still have its own government and not be fully integrated into China right away. This kind of gradual change would diffuse the anger and outrage of the Hong Kong people over time.

In the meantime, China is socially, politically, culturally, linguistically, economically and physically enveloping Hong Kong. Currently, huge numbers of mainland tourists who spend money very well are critical for Hong Kong’s economy. In the mind of these tourists, Hong Kong is a part of China. As a result, they do not change their culture, try to speak Cantonese or even English when they visit. They spit, shit in the streets, and are offensive to the local people. But because they spend so much money, locals have to speak there language. As a result, Cantonese is on the decline even in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is part of the pearl delta region. The mainland is currently rapidly developing that entire pearl delta region to create a mega city that is roughly the size of Denmark. Hong Kong will inevitably be swallowed by this city.

In a nutshell, the outrage in Hong Kong now is their response to being gradually consumed by the mainland in almost every aspect of life. This is a misunderstanding of the 50 year transition period. Locals want it to be a 50 year extension of autonomous rule, but really it is the period of gradual takeover by the mainland.

Also, as the New Territories (the northern part of Hong Kong which borders Mainland China) are developed, the Hong Kong government (which is really just a puppet of the mainland) is planning to bring in many mainlanders as permanent residents of Hong Kong. As Hong Kongers become more and more diluted, they lose their voice. That voice is already so weak because they don’t even have suffrage and can’t vote for their political leader (who already needs to be approved by the central government anyway).

The loudest Hong Kong people, especially youngsters, want to select their own leader in the 2017 election, but Beijing wants to keep some control of Hong Kong by limiting whom Hong Kong voters can vote for.

As part of an “Occupy Central” campaign, a non-binding referendum is staged to get public endorsement for the demand of nomination by the public, as opposed to just a small group of Beijing loyalists representatives called the “nominating committee,” which is stipulated in the Basic Law (some sort of mini constitution for Hong Kong). The result of the referendum doesn’t matter that much really. It represents over 750,000 voters’ wish to have a say in who can be voted in the 2017 election.

What’s next is that, before the end of the year, Hong Kong government will have to release to the public a proposed method of selecting Hong Kong’s Chief Executive in 2017. Occupy Central threatens to blockade traffic in Central, the business district, if the proposal doesn’t fit their demand of a “universal suffrage in accordance with international standards.” Hong Kong government and Beijing officials have deplored the disruptive protest, which its organizers call “civil disobedience”. More political chaos will ensue. It might agitate Hong Kong activists and make them do more radical things, such as storming government or legislative buildings.

Another key thing to realize about the environment now is that June-July is a very sensitive time for Hong Kongers politically. The anniversary of Tienanmen Square, even though it did not take place in Hong Kong, is very important to Hong Kongers. July 1st is the anniversary of the beginning of the transition period.

Hong Kong: Economic Freedom No More

Ever since Maragaret Thatcher handed Hong Kong back to China in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong has been going downhill.

 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Hong Kong, alternatively known by its initials H.K., is a city-state and is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea.

After 1997, it seemed like the handover wasn’t such a bad idea to the eyes of many.  A good number of Hong Kongers who emigrated to Canada, Australia, the UK and even America moved back to Hong Kong to take advantage of the emerging Chinese market and the improvements in the city since they left.

Even John Stossel used the post-97 Hong Kong as an example of the wonders of “Economic Freedom” in his now-infamous “Is America Number One?” special. The late Milton Friedman claimed that he was wrong about Hong Kong going into decline in his revised introduction to his popular “Freedom and Capitalism” book.  If only Milton Friedman knew what happened to Hong Kong since his passing.

Hong Kong at this time is slipping from being an international city in Asia to becoming just another Tier 2 mainland Chinese city.  The economic freedom that is frequently cited by right-wing economists, libertarians, and traditional liberals is becoming obsolete. In 2013, the start-up HKTV was denied a television broadcast licence on the grounds that the company was not a division of a major corporation.

On the other hand, cable operators with friends in government were able to easily security television licences bringing the number of free-to-air networks to being run by now 4 corporations.  Later attempts by HKTV to air as an online service were also blocked by the Hong Kong government.  I am not sure if this is economic freedom but it sounds like a form of corporatism or socialism for the wealthy to me.

The reality is economic freedom is no longer real in Hong Kong unless you’re the head of a major HK corporation or in bed with the government.  Any attempts to dream big or become massive will only be crushed by the establishment due to their need to preserve their own status quo.  As far as they’re concerned, people can still continue to exist as small or medium-sized business owners but never at a corporate level.

Support Hong Kong Independence!

Support Hong Kong Independence!

By Chapmun Chan

I am a Hong Kongese citizen and I support the independence of Hong Kong from China. As you know, Hong Kong has suffered greatly as a Chinese colony known as the “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” or HKSAR for short. Our great city, which was once an Asian metropolis, has been stripped of all its assets and reduced to a cash cow for the communists. After much careful research and following the arguments set forth by Taiwanese independence groups, I have made the following arguments for independence.

HISTORICAL GRIEVANCES

China has never cared about Hong Kong. In fact, it has hurt Hong Kong on numerous occasions. Before the Opium Wars, China just thought Hong Kong was a piece of barren rock left to a few fishermen. During the Opium Wars, China was only too ready to give away Hong Kong to appease Great Britain because China got itself into trouble when it incinerated the opium shipped by English merchants for Chinese consumers without first asking for permission. They made up for this breach in etiquette by simply throwing Hong Kong away.

During the Second World War, Japan stepped in to bring Hong Kong into its Greater Asian Economic Co-Prosperity Sphere. China did everything it could to sabotage prosperity during that period to make life miserable in Hong Kong. Under British rule, there was a two-tiered racial system: white people on top and “yellow people” at the bottom. The discrimination extended to all walks of life, and China did nothing to protect the rights of people of Chinese descent.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, China negotiated for the United Kingdom to return Hong Kong. This caused the calamity known as the Great Real Estate Crash of 1997, in which many Hong Kong citizens became negative equity owners. Since 1997, China has done absolutely nothing for the people of Hong Kong. The major accomplishments noted by the international media are the frequent presence of Chinese navy flotilla in Hong Kong harbor to intimidate the citizens; military parades held in Hong Kong by the People’s Liberation Army to intimidate the citizens; and forcing citizens to go out and march in the streets in the July heatwave of 2003.

CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

As an independent nation, Hong Kong will no longer have links with the feudal Chinese culture. Over time, Hong Kong already has its own hybrid language in place: the people of Hong Kong speak an English that no one else in the world understands; they speak Chinese that no other Chinese speaker can understand; and most importantly, they speak a form of the Cantonese that people would kill for to speak like that. This new language is called Hong Kongese: a mix of Cantonese, Chinese and English.

The Hong Kongese language is used informal forms of writing. Our language is used in tabloids, in movie subtitles, and in other forms of communication. Our writing system has evolved over time from a process of modifying Chinese characters to the Hong Kongese language just like how Japan modified Chinese characters for Japanese. These characters have become so important that the Hong Kong government has incorporated them into a special Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS) for computer input.

NATIONHOOD

When the Commonwealth of Hong Kong is established, there will be new changes in our society. Many of these changes will help us better separate ourselves with communist China. All ethnic Hong Kongese have to take an oath that they will commit themselves to the Commonwealth of Hong Kong, and will never say they are Chinese. All of them should be referred as Hong Kongese and Hong Kongese will be made the only official language. Chinese and English language will be only taught as a foreign language in schools while the medium of instruction of all schools must only be Hong Kongese.

We will encourage all Hong Kongese to marry with Hong Kongese of other ethnic backgrounds. This is to make Hong Kongese a true race, with an aim of purging Hong Kong of Chinese blood. However, we will deport those Hong Kongese who were born in the People’s Republic of China, unless they deny being Chinese or can prove that they would never betray the Commonwealth of Hong Kong. At least twenty years should be allowed to check if those people concerned satisfy the requirements before they can be given the status of a Hong Kong citizen.

The Commonwealth of Hong Kong will not recognize the People’s Republic of China until they grant Tibet independence, give up the right to “liberate” Taiwan and give Inner Mongolia back to the Republic of Mongolia. Also, the Commonwealth of Hong Kong will be an independent nation within the British Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State. The Queen shall be referred to as “The Queen of Hong Kong” in all official documents.

Conclusion

China has never done anything right for Hong Kong, and therefore we must become an independent nation. Hong Kong must be independent because it has suffered from countless historical abuses from the communists, we have our own culture, and we have a plan for nationhood. So this is the time for the people of Hong Kong to take their fates into their own hands and become their own masters.