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Is Hong Kong A Country

    Hong Kong is not an independent nation, but rather is a special administrative region of the PRC, whereby the territory is supposed to enjoy autonomy with regard to its political governance and the way its economy is managed. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China, that has been mostly free to manage its affairs according to the one-country, two-systems principle, the national unification policy developed by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s. The central Chinese governments recent efforts to expand its powers over Hong Kong, based on one country, two systems, has drawn condemnation from both residents of Hong Kong and some voices within the international community.

    These and other violations of the laws and principles underpinning One Country have raised concerns that the guarantees the Chinese central government makes to Hong Kongers regarding their future are being undermined by Beijing.5 Yet, despite these repeated tests of the 1C2S regime, the system is likely to survive until 2047, thanks to its direct contribution to Beijings core interests in general stability and continuity. These and other violations of the laws and principles underpinning One Country have sparked fears that the guarantees Chinas central government made to Hong Kongers about their future are being eroded by Beijing.5 Yet despite these repeated tests of the 1C2S regime, the system will likely persist through 2047, thanks to its direct contribution to Beijings central interest in overall stability and continuity.6 The end of One Country has already created problems with respect to property rights and mortgages, repayments on loans, and bond issues.7 A sudden or radical shift to the 1C2S regime, or a communitys lost confidence in the governance structures of Hong Kong, may send both the Hong Kong economy and the financial markets into turmoil, whether by the Hong Kong or Chinese government. Today, however, One Countrys long-term prospects remain uncertain because of Beijings increasingly assertive assertions of control and influence over Hong Kong.

    Today, Hong Kong has a number of differences with the Chinese mainland, for example, having a different economic system, and also different political systems, making it a quasi-independent nation on its own. The territory has been separated from the Peoples Republic of China through a prolonged period of colonial rule and different economic, social, and cultural development rates. Its population quickly rebounded following the war, as skilled Chinese migrants fled the Chinese Civil War, and as the Communist Party of China took over mainland China in 1949, an even larger number of refugees crossed its borders.

    Cheap labour was brought in, and Hong Kong slowly recovered its pre-World War II status as a highly wealthy, independent colony, but on 1 July 1997, Hong Kong became part of China once more, when the British handed over the colony to the Peoples Republic of China. Official Mainland Chinese adoption of the Hong Kong Mini Constitution, Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, solidified this provision as Chinas National Peoples Congress passed Hong Kongs Mini Constitution in 1990. Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong would continue as a special administrative region autonomous from the PRC, with its own currency, legal system, and parliamentary system.

    The PRC allows the SAR to participate as a member-associate of some intergovernmental bodies, such as the Asian Development Bank and World Health Organisation; and to engage in some commercial-related agreements as the China-Hong Kong. Mainland China is governed by the Communist Party of China, which has jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five self-governing regions, four directly controlled municipalities, and both Hong Kong and Macau SARs. As promised, Mainland China has respected the territorys autonomy over its domestic affairs, including economic policies.

    Hong Kong is composed of Hong Kong Island, initially given to the United Kingdom by China in 1842, southern portions of the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters (Ngong Shuen) Island (now joined with mainland), given in 1860, and New Territories, comprising a large area mainly in the north, ashore, along with 230 major and minor islands in the sea–all leased from China for 99 years between 1898 and 1997. It is surrounded on all sides by the South China Sea, with the exception of the northern part, neighbouring Guangdongs Shenzhen City by the Sham Chun River. Multinational corporations and banks–many of which have regional headquarters in Hong Kong–have historically used Hong Kongs location as a gateway for doing business with Beijing, partly because of its proximity to the worlds second-largest economy and a legal system based on British common law.

    David Gray/Reuters The first Hong Kong chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, smiles during Hong Kongs special administrative regions inauguration, Hong Kongs formal transfer of power from the British government to China, July 1, 1997. Fifty-three countries — the majority involved in infrastructure projects under the Beijing Belt and Road Initiative — signed a declaration reading in the Legislative Council in July 2020 supporting Hong Kongs Basic Law, whereas just twenty-seven countries signed a counter-statement critical of it.

    This development could reduce the appeal of Hong Kong for the Chinese, and particularly high-spenders from Taiwan, who had to pass through points like Hong Kong to reach other countries due to the existing travel restrictions between mainland China and Taiwan and Singapore. Given the abolition of all political barriers and the will to do so by mainland China, it is merely logical that Hong Kong industrialists would proceed with the creation of labour-intensive, land-intensive industries within China, where they would have access to minerals, cheap labour, and an abundance of land.

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