Hong Kong and the future

Victoria Peak Lookout

A few months ago, Hong Kong was looking like one of several good options for future residences (despite expensive housing prices, but you’ll run into that anywhere). With Australia looking less and less palatable to live in the future, it’s been something I’d thought about often lately.

How to escape the motherland? It sounds like something a Mainlander not particularly attached to the Motherland would say. This is probably precisely the problem, but this moving countries thing has become something of a tradition for my family - who would I be to not continue it?

But I digress, the recent referendum in Hong Kong highlighted dissent with the way the Mainland were dealing with Hong Kong in a way which rang alarm bells not only for China, or ‘Beijing’ as it is often referred to, but also me.

When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997, the idea was that Beijing would allow voters to choose their chief executive by universal suffrage starting in 2017. But until now, China has shown no inclination to give up its control over the process of nominating the candidates who make it onto the ballot.

Earlier this month, China issued an official document reaffirming its complete political control over Hong Kong.

As if their pushing for Mandarin to be used as the official language in schools wasn’t bad enough already as it seeks to quash use of Cantonese, one of the last vestiges of Classical Chinese.

The situation in Hong Kong is more volatile than I’d anticipated here on my distant island, despite the endless medley of Do You Hear The People Sing on local news recently.

It’s somewhat of an interesting thing to me, particularly as I wrote a bit about group harmony lately. In the face of something threatening the autonomy and thriving nature of Hong Kong, even those who would normally wash along with the tide of things would stir and begin to rally those that support their cause.

Even as a choice of living in Hong Kong has always been held at arm’s distance because of the time limit on Hong Kong’s autonomy, this issue has been steered forward 80 years into the future as we get a glimpse of how it may turn out to be if China absorb Hong Kong back into being officially ‘one country’ for good.