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Hong Kong - ‘One Country, Two Systems’

A protester throws a smoking tear gas shell back at police officers in Hong Kong. August 2019 (Associated Press)


                   SEPTEMBER 4th 2019


Hong Kong - ‘One Country, Two Systems’ 


When it comes to China and its history, there’s almost no end to its vastness and intricacies. It is a country entirely shaped by its past, from the time of its dynasties to the modern day. One of the most important sections of Chinese history, one could argue, had occurred during the British colonialism of the city of Hong Kong – colonialism that forever separated Hong Kong from its country’s government.
Hong Kong had been under the flag of British colonialism for over a hundred years, from 1841 up to 1997, if we aren’t counting the brief period where it had been occupied by Japan from 1941-1945. Having been under the influence of British imperialism for so long a time, it is understandable and nearly obvious that the city would develop differently, to the rest of the country. In both politics, and culture, to a certain degree. As such, Hong Kong goes by a ‘1 Country, 2 Systems’ sort of rule, where Hong Kong acts as its own special administrative region of China, gaining benefits such as independent executive, legislative, and judicial powers devolved from the national government.
The city’s independence and differing power dynamic when compared to other cities in China is arguably what made it such an attractive city to the majority of its citizens in the first place – an independence born of blood and aggression, given how hard-fought the British had been to acquire it, but an independence developed regardless through Western political influence.
And that influence shows today, with Hong Kong students flocking to protest the recently proposed extradition bill, which they fear would only be the first step to total Chinese socialist government domination over the city, after Britain returned the colony to China having received guarantees to preserve its systems, freedoms, and way of life for at least 50 years.
While a single extradition bill may seem harmless, the people of Hong Kong -particularly the students- seem to fear the idea of losing their independence. Hence the protests, which have thus far led to 2100+ people injured, and at least five dead as a result. 
It was due to these protests, and the recent controversies regarding both police, and protestor brutality, that led to Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, the one who’d proposed the bill, to call for a withdrawal. The protests over the bill had been the most prominent news within the country for months now, with protestors disrupting commute/travel, gathering in masses, and committing acts of vandalism, with the cases having reached a higher extreme most recently when the right to gather in objection seen equal question.
The city seeks to remain and not stray in accordance to the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle which had long ago been agreed upon between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China. The socialist system of People's Republic of China was not be practised in the city of Hong Kong, specifically in its Special Administrative Region, the agreement being to keep the Westernised Capitalist system in place for at least 50 years. There are frequent debates in regards to whether or not the Chinese people have their own preference in terms of what system ought to control the city, but with recent protests and the overall turnout, it’s becoming gradually evident that the people of Hong Kong seem to not want any sort of change to occur to the city’s system. At least, amongst the younger generations.
The city belongs to China, and it always has, rightfully, even during British colonialism. But with differing developments, and a people who seem to want a different system governing over them, who can say that the final right belongs to the government and not to the people? Hong Kong has been a capitalistic city for over a hundred years, and is expected to be one for several years more. But who can say when that Western influence will end?


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily