Ever stands to reason that territories with
Ever since Britain established rule over the territory, Hong Kong hasdeveloped a separate culture and people distinct from the Chinese people in multipleregards. Today, Hong Kong is governed under the principle of “One Country, TwoSystems”. This principle allows Hong Kong to exercise a high degree of autonomywithout interference from China. But now, that autonomy is under threat.
HongKong has remained a flawed democracy and political progress has stagnated,breeding resentment and dissatisfaction amongst the population. It’s clear thatchanges have to be made out of respect for the people of Hong Kong and theright to self-determination. Because of this, Hong Kong should become independent fromMainland China because Hong Kong is distinct from the rest of China, thecurrent political situation between Hong Kong and China is deteriorating, andbecause Hong Kong is economically strong enough to support itself.One of the major reasons why many argue for Hong Kong’s independence isbecause Hong Kong is historically, culturally, economically and politicallydistinct from China. Throughout history, it was on ethnic, cultural, andhistoric lines upon which we formed nations. Then it stands to reason thatterritories with distinct cultures, histories, and social customs, should be differentnations. Following this logic, Hong Kong should become independent because itis distinct in all of these categories.
Hong Kongers are Cantonese and Englishspeakers who are influenced by Western culture and values as a result ofBritish colonialism. Hong Kongers hold respect for the rule of law, democracy,freedom, and human rights, views which are in stark contrast with that of theMainland (England). It isdue to this distinct culture that fewer than 20% of Hong Kongers identify asChinese (Griffith). This clearly shows a cultural rift between Hong Kong andChina. In addition to Hong Kong’s unique culture, HongKong also has different political parties, languages, and a separate government(Boland).Another major reason why Hong Kong should become independent fromMainland China is because Hong Kong’s freedom is under threat.
Dissatisfactionrates (of Hong Kong’s political situation) have hit a rate of 80% among HongKong’s youth (Lam). This clearly shows Hong Kong’spolitical situation is in need of change. One major concern is the recentactions Beijing has taken. China has blatantly attempted to manipulateelections (C.C.), and the Chinese have failedto deliver a free election as promised in the Basic Law (Foo). The seats in theLegislative Council are elected by a small group that is influenced by Beijing(Bush). Despite the historically large protests of 2014, the government refusedto make any political reforms.
The people have spoken, and they have demandedchange. Beijing has consistently let down the people of Hong Kong. It has goneback on promises, violating laws it championed, refusing to listen to thecitizens which it governs, and attempting to exert control over the territorywhich it promised to leave alone. That is why, separation, in order to build abetter tomorrow is clearly necessary.The final reason why Hong Kong should become independent is because HongKong is strong to support itself. Due to its strategic location on the PearlRiver Delta, colonial influence, and a capitalist economy Hong Kong flourished.Hong Kong has a sound banking system, virtually nopublic debt, a strong legal system, ample foreign exchange reserves, andrigorous anti-corruption measures (Heritage Foundation).
Hong Kong’s economy isconsidered developed because it was developed under Britain as a colony. Additionally,Hong Kong has the world’s best infrastructure and was recently crowned theworld’s most competitive economy (Ng). With this type of economic strength, itwouldn’t be unrealistic to think that Hong Kong would be able to sustainitself. In addition to having a remarkable economy, Hong Kong already functionsextremely similarly to a country. Hong Kong has its own flag, anthem, government, police force, currency,and has separate political parties, postal systems, schools, and languages(Grey). So, it’s likely that Hong Kong would not only be able to not onlysustain itself as an independent nation but would be able to continueflourishing.
One common argument for remainingwith China is that Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and freedom underthe “One Country, Two Systems” principle and that this system serves thebest interests of Hong Kong. They claim it safeguards Hong Kong’s prosperityand stability, as well as the individual liberties of its people. But, what weknow about China is clear; it is an authoritarian regime attempting to exert asmuch power as it can. This behavior is evident in China’s invasive and illegalactions that have threatened Hong Kong’s autonomy as previously mentioned. Thisargument is based on the premise that China would respect the laws that itnegotiated, and allow Hong Kong to remain autonomous. But as proven before,this simply isn’t the case.
China has repeatedly and intentionally committedacts which violate the “One Country, Two Systems” policy and the Basic Law(C.C.). So clearly, the maintenance of a system which China does not respect hasno value.As I have shown, Hong Kong is economically, politically, andculturally distinct from mainland China. Due to Hong Kong’s differing historyand colonial influence from the British empire, over the centuries in which itwas under British control, Hong Kong developed separately from the rest ofChina, becoming a major city and financial center with a capitalist economy inthe historically Chinese territory.
In addition to the cultural and ethnicdisparities between Hong Kong and China, a lack of representativeness in thegovernment and a progressively controlling China clearly paints a picture of anincreasingly deteriorating political situation. For the betterment of HongKong, its people, and the values and culture they hold dear, Hong Kong shouldbecome an independent nation apart from China because Hong Kong is culturallydistinct from the rest of China, the political situation between Hong Kong andChina is deteriorating, and because Hong Kong’s economy is robust enough tosupport itself.