Mainland China and Hong-Kong Disharmony
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In his argument about the China mainland and Hong Kong conflict, Chin Wan highlights on the debate over the manner in which Hong Kong’s leader should be elected in 2017. In the article, the author outlines how the local legislature is expected to vote on a controversial plan by the Chinese government later the same week. According to Wan (2015), the debate has triggered the Umbrella Movement and the drawn-out occupation of several major neighborhoods in the city last fall. Among the reservations of the delegates of Hong Kong is the way China continues to assume a semi-clandestine system of control over Hong Kong’s top officials, the capital, real estates, mainstream media as well as the university administration at the expense of Hong Kongers’ development. Until 1997, Hong-Kong was strictly the United Kingdom’s jurisdiction (Wan, 2015). The U.K. had assumed control of the territory since late eighteenth century when many European explorers traversed the territory in search of opium and other products of trade. Even after the Chinese brokered liberation from the British, the Hong-Kong remained under the British for lack of capacity to manage their sovereignty on their own. Later, the bilateral ties between Hong-Kong and China’s Mainland became very strong to a point that the United Kingdom was obliged to hand the territory wholly to the People’s Republic of China. The deal was referred to as the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which was signed in 1997 (Wan, 2015). Since that time, the two nations became closely tied and did nearly everything jointly in accordance to the Chinese constitution and the Constitutional Basic Law of Hong-Kong. This essay analyzes the article, “A Federation for Hong-Kong and China”, by Chin Wan.
How the Argument Connects to My Own Position within the Research Topic
Wan (2015) observations on the China-Hong King issue correlate to my stand that Hong-Kong must be independent and conduct business as a sovereign state in some ways. Just as argued by the uthor, I believe that the Hong-Kong government came to the realization that the coalition between Hong-Kong and China mainland was a raw deal. This is because there have been widespread differences popular interpretation in Hong-Kong of “One country, two Systems” (Wan, 2015). Although the deal guaranteed via the Sino-British Joint Declaration was envisaged to benefit both countries irrespective of their economic, cultural and political differences, the people of Hong-Kong discovered that the Mainlanders stood to benefit extensively from the declaration while Hong-Kong grappled with a myriad of challenges alone. According to this argument, the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in conjunction with Hong-Kong government enacted the Individual Visit Scheme alongside the Guangzhou Shenzhen – Hong Kong Express Rail Link in 2003 with the hope of boosting trade and tourism to the two nations (Wan, 2015). Nonetheless, Hong-Kong has since then not reaped any substantial benefits from the two projects as compared with its counterpart, the Mainland. In fact, statistics reveal that since the enactment of the Individual Visit Scheme, the number of tourists visiting China increase tremendously from approximately six million to about forty million annually. Even though Hong-Kong has not witnessed a serious decrease in tourist numbers, Hong-Kong, believes that China benefits more from the above arrangement hence the need for independence.
Apart from that, just as argued by the author, I also believe that the blatant discrepancies regarding language, culture, and political systems between the two nations have also fueled the existing disharmony. From the way the things look, China and Hong-Kong have very little in common in terms of the aforementioned aspects. This scenario makes it hard for the citizens from the two nations to get along comfortably and that is why there has been friction all the time. The differences have also made it difficult to implement the provisions that are enshrined in the Article 3 of the Semi-Constitutional Basic Law of Hong-Kong (Wan, 2015).
The Author’s Position
Wan (2015) argues that the formula used to allocate resources between China and Hong-Kong always favors China. Even though these resources are jointly owned, China is always getting more resources unlike Hong-Kong. At the same time, Wan (2015) argues that Hong-Kong upholds different values from the Chinese with respect to hygiene and social propriety, culture and language. Therefore, it is very difficult for the two territories to work harmoniously together for a common goal.
How the Author Presents the Argument
The author remains liberal in his argument weighing the merits and demerits of dissolution of the diplomatic relations between China and Hong Kong. In his final submissions, the author concludes by affirming that even if Hong-Kong was to attain independence from China, it still needs China in many aspects. To back up his claim, Wan (2015) outlined reasons why Hong-Kong Needs China despite all the grievances. Wan, (2015) contends that irrespective of the antagonistic factors to the bilateral relationship between China mainland and Hong-Kong, the fact remains that Hong-Kong needs to work with China to achieve political and economic stability. In Wan (2015) view, China is already well established in terms of infrastructure and service industry. Its economy grows at a significant rate and is very stable as compared to Hong-Kong. Therefore, many people from Hong-Kong prefer settling in China where there are better facilities, amenities, employment opportunities as well as investment opportunities. Furthermore, the Chinese industries are abundant and well established in relation to those of Hong-Kong. For these reasons, the government of Hong-Kong will have to tolerate the bitter relationship with China, as long as it continues to depend on China in many aspects. Even many experts who help Hong-Kong to accomplish many significant missions, especially civil engineering and electrical engineering, still depend on China. It is difficult to imagine that Hong-Kong can work as a lone ranger without a strong partner like China.
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