|June 20, 2014|
By Gary Yeung
Friday afternoon Hong Kong's Legislative Council tried again to approve the North East New Territories Development Project. The approval of the project means the Hong Kong-China border will be effectively dissolved, leaving Hong Kong defenseless against any form of aggression from China's communist regime.
A previous attempt to approve the project on June 13 failed when legislators had to cut the meeting short due to protests by a huge group of Hong Kongese and a group of pro-Hong Kong legislators.
|June 13, 2014|
The Long-term Causes that led to the Protest
Since the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China in 1997, the Chinese government has been increasingly interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs, violating the “One Country, Two Systems” principle enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration that ensures Hong Kong's full autonomy on all internal affairs except defense and diplomacy.
To start, in 17 years since the handover, Hong Kongese are still unable to elect their own Chief Executive, an equivalent to the president of a country — the position is appointed by a pro-China committee now. And the Legislative Council is not fully elected by the Hong Kong general public anymore. It is largely controlled by pro-China legislators.
Another sign of interference is China’s attempt to change Hong Kong’s demographics. The Chinese government doesn’t allow Hong Kong to control the increasing inflow of immigrants from China — of more than 54 million people who visited Hong Kong last year, 75 percent came from China.
Visitors from China have been buying up daily necessities such as milk powder and smuggling the products to China in huge quantities in broad daylight, overloading the public transport systems, driving up rent and effectively shutting down many local and traditional shops with great cultural significance all around the city.
Lastly, China has just issued a “White Paper” this month, claiming the right of total governance in Hong Kong, an act that violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration and represents a clear attempt to abolish the constitution of Hong Kong.
Two Systems for Two Peoples
As the aggression from the Chinese government escalates, the growing identity of the Hong Kongese people has never been stronger. Hong Kong has been separated from Mainland China since the British takeover in 1841, and since then it has developed into a community with its own distinct character. It was not until 1997 that Hong Kong was handed over to China without consulting the Hong Kong public first.
Gary Yeung is a Hong Kong illustrator and member of Hong Kong Urban Sketchers. Visit his website and blog to see more of his artwork.
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