Deep-rooted dispute of China and Hong Kong
To address the issues between China and Hong Kong one must understand some precise history of colonialism by Great Britain on the south-eastern coast of China.
Hong Kong was reined by China. In 1842 Qing dynasty had (forced) treaty with Great Britain that accede the island to the UK. Then after the second opium war, in 1860 Kowloon peninsula was also added to the British Empire.
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In 1898 about 86% of Hong Kong was given to Great Britain under the lease. From 1941 to 1945 Hong Kong went under the control of the Japanese. HK in the 1950s was known as a manufacturing hub.
In the early 1980s when the expiry date of leased territories has come, China and UK went into negotiation in 1984 the British-Sino declaration laid out the terms that turn the sovereignty to the PRC from the British. The declaration has the base that is the one country and two systems. It had a ceremony on 1 July 1997.
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HK would enjoy a high free-market economy for fifty years that is till 2047. It has its judicial structure, legal system, freedom of speech, free press, and trade. The high value of autonomy is enjoying by HK except for defense and foreign affairs.
Now the situation is changing on the ground. Most people called themselves Hong Kongers rather than Chinese. Only 11% of the HK population called themselves Chinese. 71% population in Hon Kong could not feel proud called upon as Chinese. There is increasing in anti mainland Chinese sentiment growing in recent years. The young population is against the central government policies in Hong Kong.
Some of the root clashes bet6wenn the central or mainland and Hong Kong are as follow:
The communist party of China had tried mainlandization. It means that to control Hong Kong politically, economically, and culturally. China could not do anything as it is against the one country and two systems that were declared under the Sino-British declaration. This is for fifty years till n2047.
This bill was rejected by Hong Kong legislative council. This bill was rejected by 14 votes against 13. 23 members have not attended the vote. This bill would increase the influence of the Federation. Some of its aspects are as:
• Government, Civil Service
• The Police Force
• Demographic Change
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Government, Civil service:
The Communist Party has a stronghold on the political scenario of Hong Kong without any legal obligation. It has a greater influence on the Hong Kong government than ever. The HK government have to follow the party lines regardless of the interests of the peoples of Hong Kong.
The honest, efficient, and unpoliticized civil service was the savior of Hong Kong, but the government has used the agencies to politicized the civil services.
The Police Force:
After this bill police have more links to the mainland. The mainland uses the police against the protests. Mainland used the police as the guard for the regime. Mainland use police for the abduction and killings who questioned of criticizing the mainland
About 828000mainlanders turned to Hong Kong from 2003 to 2014. Every year Hong Kong bears the weight of 63000 new mainlanders. HK has the lowest birth rate in the world but the mainlanders are the greater contribution to the population growth.
Some Hong Kong people thought that this is not the natural flow of the population of immigration. But the mainland wanted to change the demography of HK. Every year about 40 million tourists visit HK this could change the land escape and culture of HK. Many Hong Kongers thought that this process was under the instruction and protection from the Federal or mainland.
CUHK democracy wall tension:
In September 2017, the Mainland students and Hong Kong students have clashed over the poster that was walled on the walls of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The posters belonged to the independence of Hong Kong. Posters and banners are being as “Fight for the homeland; fight for Hong Kong”, and “Hong Kong Independence”.
The university wanted to remove these posters. But there was strong resistance from the Chinese University Student Union. The president of CUHK asked the students to remain peace full and don’t politicize the educational environment of the Institution.
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Lee Bo a bookseller in Hong Kong was abducted and transferred to the mainland in 2015. Before Lee abduction by the mainland, people did have not much idea of abduction and interference by the mainland by the mainland in Hong Kong. Lee had British nationality. He had been asked to left the British nationality by the authorities on the mainland. Just like Lee another bookseller Lam Wing-kee had abducted in 2015. He had been detained by mainland authorities for about eight months.
This culture of abduction produced a hatred sense in the HK population.
It is unclear that what would be the consequences when the agreement of fifty years of one country and two systems end. The Chinese government is on the path of economic competition against HK. This created a sense of deprivation in HK Population.
The rise in local nationalism and self-identity of Hong Kong population. This creates unrest in Hong Kong. There is rivalry between the locals and mainlanders on many issues like migration and tourism and export & import imbalance. There are no opportunities for prevailing Hong Kong democracy. It is because China is against any other party rather than one party.
China is facing many problems in the region. China has hazy relations with Taiwan. Now again the new wave of protests against the Chinese government has been started which was suspended due to covid-19.
Author: Sardar Ghayoor