Hong Kong S A R

Last week with great pomp Hong Kong celebrated the 10th year of the reunification of Hong Kong to mainland China. I eagerly watched the celebration ceremonies on both CCTV9 and the BBC during the past weekend. A few days ago, on the French radio, I heard an interview of the director of Alliance Francaise in Hong Kong giving his views on the one country 2 systems as lived in the (SAR) Special Administration Region.

On the one hand, I am still in admiration of Deng Xiao Ping’s idea of creating the one Country 2 systems in the SAR, on the other hand have to admit that it is not an ideal situation whilst democracy is flouted on and off by the central government. I do accept that it is a transitional period signed for 50 years with the SAR communities that has brought economic expansion to Hong Kong and the relative peace to all concerned.

Of course, the situation, as in most compromises, does not bring complete happiness to either side. Not quite a Win-Win situation which brings satisfaction albeit bliss on each side.

Political Democracy

The democratic party of Hong Kong, whose aim is to reach full democratic representation with an independent government, continues to press the central government to reduce the number of nominees in the SAR’s government. SAR’s residents enjoy freedoms which are far greater than their fellow citizens of the main land. Depending on one’s lieu of abode though being in the same country one would enjoy differentiated fundamental freedom rights and be subjected to another set of constitutional(basic) law.

Freedom of Speech

They have a freedom of expression and views, unacceptable on the main land, yet not as extensive as a full western democratic country would allow. China Government does not allow any opposing view to their policy and will suppress any attempt to any criticism.

Freedom of Religion

In opposition to the main land rule, SAR’s residents are free to adhere to any religious denominations. Hong Kong’s Catholic Cardinal Zen is allowed to voice out and comment on China’s action. He has been subjected to high pressure from the central government but still allowed to perform his duty. In China the Patriotic Catholic Church is under the government’s control and the Roman Catholic Church with allegiance to the Vatican is officially not recognised.

Cardinal Zen has long been known as the “new conscience of Hong Kong” for his unflinching defence of human rights, political freedom, and religious liberty in the face of criticism from China’s communist government. He has bluntly said that the Chinese crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square was “a big mistake,” and called on the government to “tell the truth” about those events. He was also a leading opponent of Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23, a since-shelved national security bill, which in 2003 prompted an anti-government protest by half a million people. Zen is a vocal proponent of a push for universal suffrage in Hong Kong, telling his flock in a 2005 homily that “a path will appear when enough people walk on it.” He has publicly called on officials in Hong Kong to support the aspirations of the people, rather than functioning as spokespersons for the central government in Beijing. At a personal level, he is described by John L. Allen Jr., a Vatican watcher, as “a gracious, humble man, a moderate on most issues. (Extracted from Wikipedia)

Freedom of Entreprise

It would appear that Hong Kong has made its mark as the premium location for Finance and services. Hong Kong financial services’ platform is reckoned to have channelled 60% of FDI of China. At some stage, Hong Kong feared that it would have been superseded by the power and large invested in Shanghai. By the way, let us not forget the ever existing rivalry that has always existed between the north and south population.

So far so good for SAR Hong Kong.

One French commenter said that “You would have thought that main land China with its will and power would have souped up tiny Hong Kong, on the contrary Hong Kong is influencing China to move to greater freedom. With its economic success coupled with the ingenuity, flexibility, efficiency and swiftness the people Hong Kong have become a model for the whole country.”

Who knows may be one day Hong Kong might lead the main land to a new form of Democracy? The Moon Festival,a Chinese traditional has not reentered the Chinese Culture in China from Hong Kong after having been banned by the communist China for decades.


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