Beijing's changing policies towards Hong Kong and the rise of Hong Kong's 'indigenous consciousness'

Document Type


Source Publication

The 9th International Convention of Asia Scholars

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Hong Kong was handed back to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1997. In return, the PRC pledged to implement the formula of 'One Country, Two Systems' (1C2S) for fifty years after the handover. More than seventeen years after the Handover, the PRC has changed from a relatively noninterventionist posture towards Hong Kong a more interventionist one. On June 2014, however, the PRC published a white paper on 1C2S, which emphasizes the 'comprehensive governance power' over Hong Kong. The White paper signals the third phase of evolution of Beijing's policies towards Hong Kong. Close to Guangdong Province, Hong Kong has traditionally maintained a close link with it and more than 95% of the population are Chinese. Contacts between people across the border were frequent except during the period of the Cultural Revolution. However, Since 1997, a new chapter of identity politics heralded in. With a population of 7.5 million, most youngsters were born in Hong Kong. The rapid economic convergence between Hong Kong and mainland China has given rise to the indigenous civic and political consciousness, which crystallized into different protest social movements against the government's policies. The tension between 'One Country, Two Systems' was evidenced in the recent Occupy Central movement which demonstrated most sharply the tension between the 'rise of local indigenous consciousness' and so-called 'Pan Chinese ethnic nationalism'.



Recommended Citation

Wong, Y.-c. (2015, July). Beijing's changing policies towards Hong Kong and the rise of Hong Kong's 'indigenous consciousness'. Paper presented in the 9th Internaitonal Convention of Asian Scholars, Adelaide, Australia.

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