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How likely that Hong Kong would become an independent state?
Written by Celina (Jiyeon) Shin | Published. 2018.09.11 17:47 | Count : 1831
The topic of Hong Kong’s independence has been rising rapidly since the “Umbrella Revolution” in 2014. To briefly explain, The Hong Kong Basic Law document stipulates that Hong Kong should have a high degree of autonomy for the most matters. However, when it came to making decisions on the elections for 2017 Hong Kong chief executive, the Chinese government decided not to give the citizens full democracy, instead insisted that the Chief executive-elect would have to be appointed by the Central people’s government. Therefore, this led Hong Kongers to protest for full democracy and to be able to have the rights to nominate directly the Chief executive.

[Hong Kong Streets, photo by Celina Shin]

Last week, during class the students had a discussion based on the question “How likely is that Hong Kong will become an independent state?” Varieties of arguments were made by both who believed in pro and anti-independence. There were numerous amounts of powerful arguments, however, there were two, one for each side, that was the most
intriguing and significant.

First, for the pro-independence, the argument stated that the reason why Hong Kong deserves independence is that the big cultural gap between Hong Kong and Mainland
China, as Hong Kong, hasn’t been culturally part of China for a long time. The most common example would be the language difference. In mainland China, their mother tongue is Mandarin, however, in Hong Kong it is Cantonese. According to the official Hong Kong government website, in 2017 statistics show that 89.1% of Hong Kong's’ population speaks Cantonese whereas mandarin is only spoken by 1.85%. It is also suggested that Hong Kong will likely be able to maintain its identity by looking at Taiwan's experiences. When a set of policies were made to prepare Taiwan for the anticipated reunification with Mainland China, Local Taiwanese people were discriminated against for lacking Mandarin skills and the requirements followed in China. This affected many aspects of their lives for example employment. Non-mandarin speakers were even portrayed as a criminal and if judged guilty, they were given corporal punishment. However, despite facing far more brutal conditions than Hong Kong, Taiwan maintained their identity and culture by themselves. This evidence shows that Hong Kong is capable and should be given independence.

In contrast, the anti-independence argument stated that the “one country, two systems” policy mentioned in the basic law shows the agreement that Hong Kong is part of China. The central government in Beijing is in the control of Hong Kong’s foreign affairs and how the basic laws are interpreted. The “one country, two systems” policy was formed by the Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China, De Xiaoping. He suggested that there would be one China however within the country regions such as Hong Kong and Macau; under the policy, they would allow them to have their own government and system. Chapter 1, Article 5 of the basic laws reads: “The socialist system and policies shall not be practiced in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years.” This shows that both sides have agreed to the “one country, two system” policy until 2047. Therefore despite any protests or demonstrations; the policy will maintain the same which means there isn’t much of a possibility of Hong Kong becoming an independent state anytime soon.

[Hong Kong Central View, photo by Celina Shin]

As a person living in Hong Kong, it does not surprise me on how much people of Hong Kong are craving for the greater amount of autonomy. Before the discussion, I didn’t have a strong opinion on this matter. However, after listening to the arguments of each student and doing some research on my own, I have come to a conclusion that in my opinion, Hong
Kong has a very small chance of actually becoming an independent state due to China having a significant amount of power compared to Hong Kong.


Celina (Jiyeon)  Shin
Grade 9
Island School Hong Kong

Celina (Jiyeon) Shin  student_reporter@dherald.com

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  • Matt C 2018-10-08 20:47:44

    I think that this is a very nice piece, albeit it may be a controversial one. I think that adding your opinion helped a lot in this, not only due to how it allowed you to write your own opinion, but also because of how it was able to emphasize in-depth comprehension of your stance in this scenario.   삭제

    • Jason W 2018-10-06 12:35:44

      ...es. Great work, Celina!   삭제

      • Jaosn W 2018-10-06 12:34:17

        Wow. Very thorough and comprehensive piece on a controversial issue. I can't imagine the tension and cry for independence the people of Hong Kong are feeling... Like you've mentioned in your article, living in a particular environment has the power to shape your understanding and opinions about issu   삭제

        • Jaehong Min 2018-09-13 00:25:03

          This is quite a comprehensive article on the matter of Hong Kong's potential of becoming an independent state. Aside from the facts, it was great that you included your commentary on the matter, as a person living in Hong Kong. This part made it that much more interesting to read. Great job!   삭제

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