Editor’s Note: With fews having ticked back up a bit, I’m finally publishing this guest article written by long-time readers Observer92 and Canadian_95_RTS. We could all use a little break from two weeks of political conventions! -TheDougem
Hi. This is going to be a co-written article between 0bserver92 and Canadian_95_RTS. Much thanks to TheDougem for posting this article.
After the Russians pushed Napoleon back out of Russian lands in 1812, they set up a Duchy in Poland, with a Constitution and plenty more freedoms than Tsarist Russia possessed. However, after attempts to create similar institutions in Russia proper, Russia slowly ate away at its freedoms until it was little more than a Russian puppet state.
Hong Kong has been a British colony for more than 150 years, after first winning the First Opium War with the Chinese. This was made into a treaty port, and Britain made good use of it, as well as adding additions through the Second Opium War, and the lease of the New Territories. This lease was 99 years long, and, come 1997, China wanted the land back. Britain did not particularly want to split the territory, and the New Territories were Hong Kong’s main supply of water. So, China took control of all of Hong Kong, but there was a catch. Hong Kong would keep some autonomy from China for 50 years, including freedom of speech, fair elections, and in general far more human rights than the Chinese.
Hong Kong’s system is a multi-party democracy, set up with a chief executive at its head. The executive council and legislative council both are also used under them. The executive council is appointed, while legislative council is elected. This is stark contrast to China’s system; with a one party dictatorship, where the government isn’t elected, and what the leaders say is law.
Now, Hong Kong has been a chopstick in China’s side for quite a while now (whoops, I meant to say thorn), with much of the population anti-Chinese. There has been much hostility by either side, with many Hong Kongers, including Chip Tsao among them, have been pushing for a separate state, or a return to British rule. However, there has been much racism between the two, as many Hong Kongers (mostly native Cantonese or English speakers) detest Mandarin speakers, attributing them with the government that oppresses them.
And I do mean oppress. China has been attempting to make Hong Kong a region more like itself, including many changes to the constitution, many China backed political parties, and the infamous Article 23, which would have stomped on many human rights in the country, including the ability for China to arrest anyone for treason. Chip Tsao says “We don’t want to become another Chinese city. We are an international city.” and many Hong Kongers feel the same. Many protests happen on HKSAR day (the day Hong Kong took control over China), to symbolically protest the Chinese government.
However, the two government bodies have formed a symbiotic relationship. Hong Kong is the hot spot for inward investment into China, while Chinese investment forms the backbone for Hong Kong’s infrastructure. Hong Kong gets large amount of resources from China, and China uses Hong Kong’s infrastructure. These two entities may hate each other, but when it comes down to it, neither entity can live without each other.0bserver92 – Hong Kong should ultimately be its own independent nation, due to its less barbaric stance on human rights. China is gaining much more from Hong Kong than Hong Kong has gained from China, and Hong Kong would benefit more from being independent than being a dependency of China. In summary, screw China.
In the end, I think that China could learn a lot from Hong Kong about how to run a country. However, I doubt in the future that China will allow Hong Kong to keep the status quo. Hong Kong is almost symbolic in its resistance to China, and the Chinese government cannot let it go on for long, if their government is going to survive. I do despair for that year, 35 years from now, when China is allowed carte blanche on Hong Kong society, should the crisis even last that long. If it does, Hong Kong will not be in a good position to survive. I hope that Hong Kong will not end up like Poland in 1825, and get hopelessly crushed by the overbearing country with a noticeable lack of human rights.
Let’s end with a Chip Tsao quote: “It used to be just the locusts of the natural variety. But now the flying insects are evolving to have new steel forms, powered by a turbo engine.”