Hong Kong and China One country, two systems

Jonathan Mong

Feb. 7, 2017

Why do China and Hong Kong have two different governmental systems?

British rule

Because of the First Opium War in 1842, China ceded Hong Kong to the British and Macau to the Portuguese. The city's other half, Kowloon, was ceded after the Second Opium War. And the final cession in 1898 was the New Territories and the other 235 islands surrounding Hong Kong, a lease for 99 years starting from July 1, 1898, and the return of Hong Kong being on July 1, 1997.

In 1941, "Black Christmas" occurred. On December 8, the Japanese had mounted an attack on Hong Kong as part of their "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere", and this day was the defeat of Britain and their allies in a three-week battle over the entire city and the first time a British colony had surrendered to an invading force. Over the war, the population halved due to food shortages and fleeing to the mainland. With the ending of the war, Hong Kong returned to the UK.

Riots broke out three times in the 1960s, the final and worst one causing an exodus of emigrants to the West Coast and Canada, a major reason in Vancouver's large Chinese population.

In 1984, Britain and China sign a Joint Declaration stating that Hong Kong will operate under a "one country, two systems" proposal until at least 2047. Eight years later, the Hong Kong stock market (HKSE) crashes.

"one country, two systems"

In 1997, the colony of Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories is returned from the UK to China, now the PRC. The chief executive is Tung Chee-hwa, appointed by Beijing.

In 2003 the SARS (South Asian Respiratory Syndrome) virus spread in China and Hong Kong, leading to Hong Kong's near obsession with sanitation.

In 2004, 2006, all of late 2014, and all of late 2016, pro-democracy protests were held in Hong Kong, the most famous are the Umbrella Movement, named for the shields that they used against pepper spray and mace from the police.

the umbrella movement

For all of late 2014, Hong Kong was shut down in crucial centers due to pro-democracy protests. Hong Kong and China did not see eye to eye over the election of Hong Kong's Chief Executive and student protests broke out. The protesters were attacked by pepper spray and tear gas, which only increased sympathy for the protesters. In October 2014, the leaders of the movement, Nathan Law and Joshua Wong, met with the current Chief Executive, C.Y. Leung. While Chief Executive Leung lauded the televised debate as a victory for democracy, Law and Wong viewed it as a defeat of democracy. A bill was later failed in LegCo (Hong Kong's Legislative Council) that would not have changed much, which ended up with pro-China and pro-democracy protesters in the streets.

LegCO Councilmembers barred from serving

Last November, LegCo representatives Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-Ching were barred from serving their elected positions on the Council due to their oaths using a derogatory Japanese term for China, "Chee-na" as well as pledging allegiance to the "Hong Kong Nation" and deliberately mispronouncing the "People's Republic of China" as the "People Re-F***ing of Chee-na", respectively. Both lawmakers were also chastised by the Secretariat for displaying a "Hong Kong is not China" banner. In response, lawyers held a silent march through the city.

Note: The above video is partially in Cantonese and also includes English profanity, but is a necessary primary source document. Do not watch without headphones.

What does all of the above have to do with religion? What would each religion say about this?


The Hong Kong protesters and the belligerent lawmakers violated the system of order in Confucianism. In doing so, they made everything awkward and a loss of face.


What happens, happens. It is random. It is the people's will to have democracy, therefore give the people democracy. A leader should be fearless and for that the lawmakers are applauded.


The people are nothing. The ruler is everything. The people should be justly punished for their actions.


Dec. 25, 1941: The British and their allies fall in a defeat to Imperial Japan, known as "Black Christmas"

July 1, 1997- Chris Patten (right), the last governor of Hong Kong under the UK, receives the flag after it is lowered one last time.

July 1, 1997: Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule in a ceremony.

June-December 2014: Anti-mainland and pro-democracy protests break out called the "Umbrella Movement" due to the shield of choice for protesters against the police's pepper spray and mace.

Video explaining Hong Kong's situation much better than I ever could.


Created with images by Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Hong Kong Grunge Flag"

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