Hong Kong’s identity issue

18 Oct

Anti-mainland feelings in Hong Kong has been growing in the past few years, leading some to try to arouse a more Hong Kong-centered identity. The Atlantic has a very detailel article about this “crisis.” It’s no secret that many Hong Kongers have a range of grievances against mainland Chinese, including tourists, pregnant women, wealthy home purchasers, and even university students. As a result, several movements and campaigns have formed or have gotten involved, which the article proves very useful information about. One such group is the one that runs the annual Tiananmen commemoration march. This latter group has a pro-country/pro-Chinese, anti-Communist party stance, but other Hong Kong groups have a more localized vision where they seemingly reject any association with China. It’s also interesting to learn that a large number of young people have an anti-mainland attitude, and it’s not a good sign. One big issue is that harboring strong anti-China views, besides ignoring reality in that Hong Kong is a part of China, allows people to conveniently blame many problems on China and its government, whilst foresaking personal responsibility on Hong Kong’s part. At the end though, the writer mentions the idea of loyalty to one’s nation not just because of ethnicity but to constitutional values- “constitutional patriotism,” as defined by Jurgen Hagermas. This is relevant and China’s leaders have recognized this issue and are trying to deal with this by promoting the “Chinese dream,” (as represented in part by those posters I mentioned in my previous post) which however is more centered on tradition and culture. I don’t fully believe that patriotism needs to rely on constitutional values, but at the same time, a nation should not rely on blind loyalty from its people.

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