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Old 09-16-2012, 06:52 PM
 
Location: American Expat
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I don't think many know this, but when the British handed over control in 1997, both sides agreed that Hong Kong would be autonomous until 2047. Well, actually it says this:

Quote:
According to the Land Leases all leased lands, granted by the British Hong Kong Government, which extend beyond 30 June 1997 and all rights in relation to such leases shall continue to be recognised and protected under the law of the HKSAR for a period expiring not longer than 30 June 2047.

In accordance with the "One country, two systems" principle agreed between the UK and the PRC, the socialist system of PRC would not be practiced in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and Hong Kong's previous capitalist system and its way of life would remain unchanged for a period of 50 years until 2047.
The Joint Declaration provides that these basic policies should be stipulated in the Hong Kong Basic Law and that the socialist system and socialist policies shall not be practised in HKSAR
So this basically grants Hong Kong its status it currently has until 2047. Seeing how aggravated the Chinese get over some tiny, tiny Islands somewhere in the ocean, I'm thinking they will absorb Hong Kong in 2047, by force if necessary.

The same applies to Macau, but that agreement won't expire until 2049.

Last edited by Glucorious; 09-16-2012 at 07:20 PM.. Reason: fixed error
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:14 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,430,478 times
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Who knows how things will be in 2047? There are no guarantees. The PRC was established just over 60 years ago, who's to say it will last forever? Or that China will retain it's current socialist structure forever? Same goes with America, there's no guarantee America as we know it, as a 'democracy' will be the same in 2047.

I'm relieved that the Hong Kong and Macau SAR's are autonomous for now, I hope they don't become like China, although 2047 is so far off that I'm not too worried about what will happen then.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I would be shocked if the PRC managed to continue on with the way it is now for the next 35 years...
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:47 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
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or will hong kong absorb the rest of mainland china?
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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No connection. The tiny islands are not covered by any internationally agreed-upon conditions or treaties, and several countries have disagreements about their status. Not the case with Hong Kong, whose status is pretty specifically stipulated, and nobody is having any trouble with China's compliance.

China is free to do as it pleases with Hong Kong after the expiration of current agreements in 2047, subject to any new or renegotiated treaties they might become party to between now and then. And it is quite possible that, in order to retain their status as a good global citizen, China will enter into internatinal agreements as appropriate in the evolving world, and take into consideration agreements that come into place in the interim.

Having said that, it is not possible today to predict what any country will do in 2047, and Hong Kong could then be the post-WWIII and -WWIV territory of Zanzibar, for all we know.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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Perhaps more important than the legal distinctions are the sentiments of the Hong Kong populace. My impression is that there's a fairly strong current of Hong Kong patriotism in the city-state. Even by 2047, I don't see Hong Kongers losing their faith in the liberal democratic model, free markets, free speech and the common law. Any overbearing Chinese intervention would have to deal not only with the international fall-out, but potentially ongoing domestic opposition to a political takeover.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelaidean View Post
Perhaps more important than the legal distinctions are the sentiments of the Hong Kong populace. My impression is that there's a fairly strong current of Hong Kong patriotism in the city-state. Even by 2047, I don't see Hong Kongers losing their faith in the liberal democratic model, free markets, free speech and the common law. Any overbearing Chinese intervention would have to deal not only with the international fall-out, but potentially ongoing domestic opposition to a political takeover.
Not that this is necessarily representative of the opinions of all, or even a majority of Hong Kongers, but:

Hong Kongers Raise British Flag, Tell Mainlanders to Get Lost – chinaSMACK

Hong Kongers Protest Plan Allowing Mainlanders to Visit by Car – chinaSMACK

Hong Kong & Mainland China Tensions: Mothers, Tourists, Cars – chinaSMACK

There are certainly tensions. Native HK'ers are used to a greater degree of freedom and autonomy than mainland Chinese; who can blame them for being afraid of losing all those freedoms?
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:29 PM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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I personally think instead of just handing the place back to China the British should have conducted a referendum where the people of Hong Kong would have been able to choose what they wanted for their future:
- remain a British Overseas Territory
- become part of China
- become an independent nation

Same should have been done for Macau as well.

As for China, I don't think it will remain the People's Republic of China for much longer. I think the current semi-communist system is going to completely fall apart long before 2047. I predict by 2025 if not even sooner.

The People's Republic is a paper dragon, a Potemkin Village.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelaidean View Post
Even by 2047, I don't see Hong Kongers losing their faith in the liberal democratic model, free markets, free speech and the common law.
2047 is still 35 years away, and a lot can happen in between. Thirty five years ago, there was still a cold war and an iron curtain in Europe. Things will change a lot faster in the next 35 years, than in the past 35. If you project current trends, it is quite possible that China will meet your democratic ideals even better than the USA, where all those liberties are rapidly eroding, amidst a conflicting mindset of fear and apathy. If so, Hong Kongers might be very happy to be safely in China, and consider the USA to be a threat to their well-being, the way the Middle East already does..
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
2047 is still 35 years away, and a lot can happen in between. Thirty five years ago, there was still a cold war and an iron curtain in Europe. Things will change a lot faster in the next 35 years, than in the past 35. If you project current trends, it is quite possible that China will meet your democratic ideals even better than the USA, where all those liberties are rapidly eroding, amidst a conflicting mindset of fear and apathy. If so, Hong Kongers might be very happy to be safely in China, and consider the USA to be a threat to their well-being, the way the Middle East already does..
Although I agree that there is a steady-but-quiet erosion of liberties and a terrifying swing towards the para-militarization of civilian police forces in the US and believe that if anything, in the near future the PRC will look towards Hong Kong for ideas for social and economic stability, I find the notion that Hong Kong will consider the USA to be a "threat to their wellbeing" in the same way that the Middle East does to be off-target.

The only reason I could see this happening is that the PRC already scapegoats the US (and "Little Japan," and occasionally South Korea... and sometimes Australia... and every now and again, the UK) for its own totally-unrelated social and economic problems, much in the same way that the US and Israel are behind every single social or economic problem in the Middle East, regardless of how much they've actually had to do with it. Blaming others for these issues is an easy, lowest-common-denominator diversion that's been used since the very beginning of statehood to play off of fear and xenophobia and keep people from scrutinizing that government's very own misdeeds - you also see it in the US, especially from the GOP, when it comes to blaming China, Mexico, Iran, etc for pervasive economic and security issues, even though more blame lies with inept and corrupt government and business entities than with these foreign powers or their people.

If the PRC did manage to exert more control over HK's free press and had a couple generations' worth of fearmongering and scapegoating before any sort of post-communist societal shift, it could perhaps turn the tide of opinion against the US, but it, like American Sinophobia, would be largely baseless.

Also, much the Middle East is in a period of transition from post-colonial dictatorship towards autonomous democracies, while grappling with religious zealotry which simply does not exist in China. This religious zealotry has painted "Westernization," specifically the influence of the US, as an invasive threat to their culture and way of life - which is true, in many cases. A recent, baseless war against Iraq and a justified-but-horribly-botched and messy war in Afghanistan have provided more than enough rationalization to these fears. The US hasn't been involved in any Asian conflicts since the end of Vietnam and in the meantime, has bankrolled China's growth with its insatiable consumerism.

I would look towards post-communist Russia as a better indicator of how a post-communist China would view the US than a post-Arab Spring Middle East.

Last edited by 415_s2k; 09-24-2012 at 08:47 AM..
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