Hong Kong Reintegrating with China: Political, Cultural and Social Dimensions

Hong Kong Reintegrating with China: Political, Cultural and Social Dimensions

Hong Kong Reintegrating with China: Political, Cultural and Social Dimensions

Hong Kong Reintegrating with China: Political, Cultural and Social Dimensions

Synopsis

This comprehensive book provides a multi-dimensional analysis of Hong Kong's development, and her political, socio-economic and cultural relations with China.

Excerpt

The handover of Hong Kong to China was completed when the Hong Kong Special Administration Region was established on 1 July 1997. Hong Kong has always had close ties with the Mainland, whether it is in politics, society, economics, or culture. In fact, the process of reintegration started long before the handover in 1997. The psychology of Hong Kong people towards reintegration is complicated. On the one hand, Hong Kong had been a British colony for more than 150 years; the city as a free port, had enjoyed individual rights, freedom and privileges under the law. However, unlike Taiwan, Hong Kong’s geographical proximity to the Mainland never allows her to ignore the existence of China. It is therefore interesting to see how Hong Kong, a well-established and Westernized society, could transform herself to integrate with her motherland. I do agree that Hong Kong people are realistic, more than being idealistic, particularly when they learn that Hong Kong is neither Gibraltar nor Taiwan. Hong Kong people realize that in order to survive, the territory has to strike a balance between China and Britain, just as she had balanced between the East and the West over the last 150 years.

In her short history as a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong has experienced her hardest times in the last two decades. Several sagas, such as the bird flu crisis, the new Chek Lap Kok airport’s chaotic opening day, and scandals involving civil service integrity, exposed the weakness of the new SAR government. The Asian financial crisis damaged not only the local economy, but also the new SAR regime. Grievances towards the government came from almost every walk of life. The controversy resulted from the Court of Final Appeal’s ruling on the right of abode of mainlanders in Hong Kong disclosed the worsened executivelegislative relations, and there was often political confrontation between the elected legislators and the government. Nevertheless, optimistic and pessimistic speculations about the future of Hong Kong after the handover . . .

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