[Hong Kong Streets, photo by Celina Shin]
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]
Celina (Jiyeon) Shin
Island School Hong Kong
Celina (Jiyeon) Shin firstname.lastname@example.org
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