Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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fire and fueryIre
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Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby fire and fueryIre » 01 Jul 2017, 12:35

Anyone else here aside from Lord B, Fange and myself who either lives in the Territory or has strong ties to it with an interest in what's happening there during this weekend's 20th anniversary?

For me, Britain's cowardly abrogation of its responsibilities under the One Country: Two Systems agreement that was supposed to cover the governance of HK for the 50 years post-1997 is absolutely disgraceful. Not only have successive UK governments allowed the animals north of the border to renege on their promise of free elections, they've also stood by while the PRC government has done its damndest to suppress freedom of speech. Ultimately, even owning a bookshop that sells titles mildly critical of China or its leaders is now sufficient grounds for being bundled into the back of a car and whisked over the border to some hellhole of a prison.

As a journo mate of mine who now works in Beijing recently said of Britain's shameful refusal to honour its obligations, "Britain is standing idly by while China gleefully squeezes the one country:two systems agreement into one country: one point nine systems: one country: one point eight systems, one country: one point seven systems...."

If anyone here would like a good overview of the situation, they could do a lot, lot worse than watch Netflix' excellent documentary about the incredibly brave 19-year old activist, Joshua Wong (Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower) and his co-demonstrators. One can only hope that he and the rest of the kids who've been doing so much to stand up to China armed only with umbrellas don't get squashed and brushed aside in an event similar to what HK's media has apparently been told to refer to as the 1989 "crackdown" in Tiannamen Square.
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Jimbo » 01 Jul 2017, 13:09

Just now finished watching a Japanese reality show where two young women rented an apartment for a week in Hong Kong. No politics came up, just shopping and eating. A fairly simple Chinese meal in a very ordinary restaurant cost them about $85 US. When they asked the waitress why so expensive she explained the price floated based upon what the market would bear. Does this sound familiar to you?
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby fire and fueryIre » 01 Jul 2017, 13:34

Not really no, but if they were eating more expensive items of seafood (lobster, oysters, etc) charging market prices is pretty commonplace the whole world over. Whereabouts where they living?
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Tactful Cactus » 02 Jul 2017, 12:22

Good tip on the Netflix, I'd like to learn more after reading about HK in the press this week. UK is in a dead end position here, no? Consulting from moral highgrounds etc..

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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby fange » 02 Jul 2017, 15:42

It's extremely sad what is happening here, for many different reasons, but also totally understandable from a political standpoint. The UK doesn't want to step on China's very sensitive toes, and the Chinese gov. don't want HK residents becoming a local breeding ground for dissent "troublemakers".

What is being lost in the end is HK's uniqueness - its language and dialect traditions, its social and business traditions - everything that 150 years of history unlike any other city on Earth - it's all slowly but inevitably being repainted, refurbished, sanitized, to become just another Chinese city.
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby fire and fueryIre » 03 Jul 2017, 10:56

fange wrote:
What is being lost in the end is HK's uniqueness - its language and dialect traditions, its social and business traditions - everything that 150 years of history unlike any other city on Earth - it's all slowly but inevitably being repainted, refurbished, sanitized, to become just another Chinese city.



True. Made a couple of very quick visits back to sell our apartment and could not believe just how much of the city's vibrancy had been eroded away since the last time I visited about 18 months ago.

While I fully intend to keep my permanent resident status, the understandably steady decline in my HK client numbers since moving to Ireland four summers ago means I have no real need to do so until the last possible minute in mid-2020.
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Geezee » 03 Jul 2017, 11:19

fueryIre wrote:
For me, Britain's cowardly abrogation of its responsibilities under the One Country: Two Systems agreement that was supposed to cover the governance of HK for the 50 years post-1997 is absolutely disgraceful. Not only have successive UK governments allowed the animals north of the border to renege on their promise of free elections, they've also stood by while the PRC government has done its damndest to suppress freedom of speech. Ultimately, even owning a bookshop that sells titles mildly critical of China or its leaders is now sufficient grounds for being bundled into the back of a car and whisked over the border to some hellhole of a prison.



Cowardly perhaps - but as a colonial power, the UK can't also be seen to be interfering in a place where they effectively never had a right to be.
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby fire and fueryIre » 03 Jul 2017, 11:56

Geezee wrote:
fueryIre wrote:
For me, Britain's cowardly abrogation of its responsibilities under the One Country: Two Systems agreement that was supposed to cover the governance of HK for the 50 years post-1997 is absolutely disgraceful. Not only have successive UK governments allowed the animals north of the border to renege on their promise of free elections, they've also stood by while the PRC government has done its damndest to suppress freedom of speech. Ultimately, even owning a bookshop that sells titles mildly critical of China or its leaders is now sufficient grounds for being bundled into the back of a car and whisked over the border to some hellhole of a prison.



Cowardly perhaps - but as a colonial power, the UK can't also be seen to be interfering in a place where they effectively never had a right to be.


Well, you could effectively say the same about any colony.If anyone here is owed any kind of moral debt its the people of Hong Kong.

At the end of the day, Britain signed a treaty wtih the Chinese that the latter party is now riding roughshod over. GB is allowing them to do so not out of any sense of guilt or shame for its colonial past, but for no other reason than money. In addition to the fact that China now owns enormous tracts of the UK, Britain is shit scared of losing a huge trade partner when Brexit finally goes through.

FWIW and leaving aside the dubious morals involved, GB effectively "owned" HK island lock, stock and barrel after the opium wars of the mid-19th century. Unfortunately, they could not sustain their ownership without support from the Mainland - hence their taking out the 99-year lease on the New Territories in 1898.

While Britain could - in theory - have retained HK as a colony after 1997, all the Chinese had to do to get them out was turn off the water mains. Think Jan Morris put it best when she wrote something along the lines of "to the British, a period of 99 years was an eternity, to the Chinese it was but the blink of an eye".
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby fire and fueryIre » 03 Jul 2017, 11:57

Sorry, DP
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Moleskin » 03 Jul 2017, 14:14

I'm sure the British Government didn't mean to honour anything in the agreement. That would have been completely unlike the FCO.
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Fonz » 04 Jul 2017, 15:19

Did anyone really think it was not going to be just like it is???
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby trans-chigley express » 04 Jul 2017, 15:38

I speak to a lot of expats that are looking to get out of Hong Kong and some I know have already done so but I still like it here and will remain for sometime I imagine but I am becoming more and more concerned about how things will pan out. It does not surprise me one bit that Britain has done next to nothing to make sure agreements were honoured.

Things that I have noticed myself a lot in recent years has been the gradual pushing out of Western people in Government Departments and large companies that form much of my client base to be replaced largely by mainland Chinese people, not even locals. As a result I have noticed a steady decline in work coming my way. Additionally the dual language course and seminars that I have to attend have gradually become Cantonese and Chinese with Cantonese/English ones becoming rarer and rarer.

The abduction of the booksellers was one of the more sinister developments in recent times. I'm sure there will more cases like this to come.

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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Fonz » 04 Jul 2017, 16:21

As HK becomes fully assimilated do you think it will be in any way distinguishable from any other PRC province?
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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby The Great Defector » 04 Jul 2017, 16:30

trans-chigley express wrote:I speak to a lot of expats that are looking to get out of Hong Kong and some I know have already done so but I still like it here and will remain for sometime I imagine but I am becoming more and more concerned about how things will pan out. It does not surprise me one bit that Britain has done next to nothing to make sure agreements were honoured.

Things that I have noticed myself a lot in recent years has been the gradual pushing out of Western people in Government Departments and large companies that form much of my client base to be replaced largely by mainland Chinese people, not even locals. As a result I have noticed a steady decline in work coming my way. Additionally the dual language course and seminars that I have to attend have gradually become Cantonese and Chinese with Cantonese/English ones becoming rarer and rarer.

The abduction of the booksellers was one of the more sinister developments in recent times. I'm sure there will more cases like this to come.


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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Tactful Cactus » 04 Jul 2017, 16:33

Fonz wrote:As HK becomes fully assimilated do you think it will be in any way distinguishable from any other PRC province?


How economically dependent is PRC on the foreign investment in HK? If all (or some) of the big banks moved to Taipei or Singapore could they absorb that or is it a case of avoid this happening at all costs? Surely that will dictate how Chinafied HK becomes

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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby trans-chigley express » 05 Jul 2017, 05:25

Tactful Cactus wrote:
Fonz wrote:As HK becomes fully assimilated do you think it will be in any way distinguishable from any other PRC province?


How economically dependent is PRC on the foreign investment in HK? If all (or some) of the big banks moved to Taipei or Singapore could they absorb that or is it a case of avoid this happening at all costs? Surely that will dictate how Chinafied HK becomes


I get the feeling Shanghai is slowly taking over HK's role but I still think HK is a vital link between China and the rest of the world and has resulted in a degree of caution in China's stance with HK but that cautious approach seems to be gradually slipping with each passing year.

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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby trans-chigley express » 05 Jul 2017, 05:26

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Ah sure come back to England, whatever you did, I'm sure it's forgotten about.


haha, I'm not sure about that. I actually can't see myself ever returning to the UK, but you never know.

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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby Six String » 08 Jul 2017, 07:50

Am I miss readng this or are people genuinely surprised that PRC is reneging on the deal?

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Re: Hong Kong 20 years after the handover

Postby fire and fueryIre » 08 Jul 2017, 08:51

Six String wrote:
Am I miss readng this or are people genuinely surprised that PRC is reneging on the deal?



Anyone who was in HK on the night of 4 June, 1989, or has spent any appreciable amount of time in HK post-1997 certainly wasn't/isn't surprised.

That said, those who loves or calls the Territory home as I did for the best part of 30 years are disappointed to the point of disgust by the craven way the UK has just stood by and done nothing to meet its obligations to 6,000,000 or so Hongkongers as agreed in the One Country, Two Systems agreement.
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