The Chessboard of Hong Kong and Chinese Politics: The Downfall of “One Country, Two Systems”
Ho, C. Y. (Gary). (2018). The Chessboard of Hong Kong and Chinese Politics: The Downfall of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11961
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11961
Since the establishment of the new China in 1949, Hong Kong has been battling to handle the China factor. The “One Country, Two Systems” method has been pursued to balance between China and Hong Kong after 1997. Hong Kong’s Basic Law aims to embody a high degree of autonomy in most local affairs. Although Hong Kong primarily did not explicitly concur the transfer of sovereignty to China, there was no radical confrontation but rather a peaceful and harmonious transition in 1997. Only six years later, the 1 July 2003 protest exposed the fragility of Hong Kong politics with authorities facing the sturdy democratic movement. At the same time, the non-interventionist approach of the Chinese government came to an end, and they started to take a more hard-lined approach. Twenty years after the transfer, Hong Kong shows intensification in its “anti-China” sentiment, surrounded by strengthening social and economic incorporation with China. After the breakout of the Umbrella Movement and the Mong Kok riot, the frustration of the masses exemplifies the failure of Hong Kong’s governments to deal with numerous social issues and political matters. The deepening of Beijing’s interference in local affairs indicates the collapse of the “One Country, Two Systems” and the Basic Law. The upsurge of the Hong Kong- China social and economic integration has made both places closely interdependent but it has inevitably brought greater confrontation and aggression against the Central government and mainland Chinese. The younger generations in Hong Kong do not yield to the fate of Hong Kong eventually falling into Chinese hands. The new political spectrum and social movements have led to a mechanism of localism and Hong Kong independence in challenging the supreme role of China in Hong Kong. The tightened political control and deteriorating civil rights coerced by China have heightened the anti-China feeling. Besides, the ideological manipulation is widespread in Hong Kong schools by executing Mandarin and simplified Chinese teachings, implementing China-centred national education, and engineering regular Hong Kong – mainland student exchange programmes. This research aims to show that a polarised Hong Kong is on the edge of giving up its civil rights, distinctive values, and the rights of autonomy to China which is able to justify its aggressive intervention. Hong Kong could enter into a greater number of conflicts between the masses and the ruling class. The ultimate goal of the Chinese government is to continue protecting their vested interest, colossal investments, and the final rights of the three supreme powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of Hong Kong. Further, the population flow from China will become a prevailing group, replacing the disobedient and rebellious peoples in Hong Kong and turning Hong Kong into a patriotic Chinese city in the future. This research concludes that there are a number of strong internal factors and many external components that can result in several possible scenarios in Hong Kong. However, there are three important perceptions including political, economic, and societal sectors which can analyse the foreseeable outcomes for Hong Kong under the influence of China.
The University of Waikato
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