China and Hong Kong country relationship
If you have had the opportunity to follow current world news, you will surely have seen that Hong Kong’s autonomy has been jeopardized by the People’s Government in Beijing. Several demonstrations took place at the start of 2020 in order to preserve the economic and administrative freedoms of Hong Kong separate from China, which has been in decline for the past twenty years. In this article, we invite you to take a look back at Hong Kong in order to understand the political and economic relations between China and Hong Kong. How is Hong Kong different from China and what are the challenges in the independence of the Hong Kong city-state?
Where is Hong Kong located?
Hong Kong with its full name Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is an administrative region that belongs to China. It is a seaport on the Pearl River megalopolis and is populated approximately in Southeast China. About 7 million people live in Hong Kong and they call themselves the Hongkonger.
Is Hong Kong part of China?
When talking about Hong Kong, a question that is frequently asked: Is Hong Kong a city or a country? Hong Kong is actually an island geographically belonging to China but which has its own political system. In the map of China and Hong Kong, they both belong geographically to China. Indeed, after one hundred and fifty-six years of British occupation, Hong Kong returns to China official at precisely midnight on the 1st of July 1997.
According to the agreement signed in 1984 between the two countries, Hong Kong would be returned to China as one country, two systems. In other words, Hong Kong would be part of China but could maintain its economic and social system although they are divergent. During this surrender of Hong Kong, which took place in peace, several apprehensions were felt. Finally, to answer if is Hong Kong a country? The answer would be that not completely because Hong Kong still belongs to China despite the fact that the Island has its own regulations.
Political tensions between China and Hong Kong
Now, that we have clarified where is Hong Kong located both geographically and politically, we can raise the current issues regarding Hong Kong. More recently, on July 1, 2003 start of a political crisis emerges following the SARS pandemic. Indeed, due to the crisis, the economic situation of the island of Hong Kong is fragile. That leads Beijing to takes advantage of establishing a new law related to national security. This law would make it easier for China to reprimand Hong Kong’s freedoms of expression under the pretext of protection against betrayal and subversion. Large demonstrations are emerging to allow Hong Kong to keep their autonomy and independence already in decline at this time.
In 2014, Beijing wants to participate in the selection of participants for the post of executive chef of Hong Kong. It is important to understand that it was Beijing’s criticism of Hong Kong’s economic management that prompted the former chief executive to step down. In view of the situation, the students of Hong Kong are organizing numerous demonstrations. Tensions are escalating between protesters and law enforcement. Only one way for the students to be able to protect themselves against the tear gas diffused by the police force, the umbrellas. This is how the name of the umbrella movement came into being.
More than 2 million residents demonstrated in Hong Kong on June 9 2019 to oppose a new law that would allow the Chinese government to convict individuals residing on the island of Hong Kong. Although the law is withdrawn in view of the number of demonstrators, the situation continues to escalate. The Chinese government carries out occupations of certain territories such as parliaments, airports as well as universities. The economic situation in Hong Kong has still not improved and is officially entering a period of recession.
In May 2020, Beijing will take advantage of the difficulties encountered by the covid-19 pandemic to pass a security law that gives access to the Chinese government to establish surveillance antennas in Hong Kong. Tensions are currently at their peak with little room for improvement for Hong Kong, still struggling due to the covid-19 health crisis and the loss of several economic deals with Washington. There is only one question that only time will resolve: Is Hong Kong independent and for how long this political autonomy will survive?
In this article, we have clarified the underlying economic, social, and political situation in Hong Kong. You have been able to discover Hong Kong through its post-colonial British history to the political issues that emanate from the health crisis of covid-19. How will the critical situation for Hong Kong develop? This question can only be resolved by its still uncertain future.