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Ever stands to reason that territories with

Ever since Britain established rule over the territory, Hong Kong has
developed a separate culture and people distinct from the Chinese people in multiple
regards. Today, Hong Kong is governed under the principle of “One Country, Two
Systems”. This principle allows Hong Kong to exercise a high degree of autonomy
without interference from China. But now, that autonomy is under threat. Hong
Kong has remained a flawed democracy and political progress has stagnated,
breeding resentment and dissatisfaction amongst the population. It’s clear that
changes have to be made out of respect for the people of Hong Kong and the
right to self-determination. Because of this, Hong Kong should become independent from
Mainland China because Hong Kong is distinct from the rest of China, the
current political situation between Hong Kong and China is deteriorating, and
because Hong Kong is economically strong enough to support itself.

One of the major reasons why many argue for Hong Kong’s independence is
because Hong Kong is historically, culturally, economically and politically
distinct from China. Throughout history, it was on ethnic, cultural, and
historic lines upon which we formed nations. Then it stands to reason that
territories with distinct cultures, histories, and social customs, should be different
nations. Following this logic, Hong Kong should become independent because it
is distinct in all of these categories. Hong Kongers are Cantonese and English
speakers who are influenced by Western culture and values as a result of
British colonialism. Hong Kongers hold respect for the rule of law, democracy,
freedom, and human rights, views which are in stark contrast with that of the
Mainland (England). It is
due to this distinct culture that fewer than 20% of Hong Kongers identify as
Chinese (Griffith). This clearly shows a cultural rift between Hong Kong and
China. In addition to Hong Kong’s unique culture, Hong
Kong also has different political parties, languages, and a separate government
(Boland).

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Another major reason why Hong Kong should become independent from
Mainland China is because Hong Kong’s freedom is under threat. Dissatisfaction
rates (of Hong Kong’s political situation) have hit a rate of 80% among Hong
Kong’s youth (Lam). This clearly shows Hong Kong’s
political situation is in need of change. One major concern is the recent
actions Beijing has taken. China has blatantly attempted to manipulate
elections (C.C.), and the Chinese have failed
to deliver a free election as promised in the Basic Law (Foo). The seats in the
Legislative Council are elected by a small group that is influenced by Beijing
(Bush). Despite the historically large protests of 2014, the government refused
to make any political reforms. The people have spoken, and they have demanded
change. Beijing has consistently let down the people of Hong Kong. It has gone
back on promises, violating laws it championed, refusing to listen to the
citizens which it governs, and attempting to exert control over the territory
which it promised to leave alone. That is why, separation, in order to build a
better tomorrow is clearly necessary.

The final reason why Hong Kong should become independent is because Hong
Kong is strong to support itself. Due to its strategic location on the Pearl
River Delta, colonial influence, and a capitalist economy Hong Kong flourished.

Hong Kong has a sound banking system, virtually no
public debt, a strong legal system, ample foreign exchange reserves, and
rigorous anti-corruption measures (Heritage Foundation). Hong Kong’s economy is
considered developed because it was developed under Britain as a colony. Additionally,
Hong Kong has the world’s best infrastructure and was recently crowned the
world’s most competitive economy (Ng). With this type of economic strength, it
wouldn’t be unrealistic to think that Hong Kong would be able to sustain
itself. In addition to having a remarkable economy, Hong Kong already functions
extremely similarly to a country. Hong Kong has its own flag, anthem, government, police force, currency,
and has separate political parties, postal systems, schools, and languages
(Grey). So, it’s likely that Hong Kong would not only be able to not only
sustain itself as an independent nation but would be able to continue
flourishing.

One common argument for remaining
with China is that Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and freedom under
the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and that this system serves the
best interests of Hong Kong. They claim it safeguards Hong Kong’s prosperity
and stability, as well as the individual liberties of its people. But, what we
know about China is clear; it is an authoritarian regime attempting to exert as
much power as it can. This behavior is evident in China’s invasive and illegal
actions that have threatened Hong Kong’s autonomy as previously mentioned. This
argument is based on the premise that China would respect the laws that it
negotiated, and allow Hong Kong to remain autonomous. But as proven before,
this simply isn’t the case. China has repeatedly and intentionally committed
acts which violate the “One Country, Two Systems” policy and the Basic Law
(C.C.). So clearly, the maintenance of a system which China does not respect has
no value.

As I have shown, Hong Kong is economically, politically, and
culturally distinct from mainland China. Due to Hong Kong’s differing history
and colonial influence from the British empire, over the centuries in which it
was under British control, Hong Kong developed separately from the rest of
China, becoming a major city and financial center with a capitalist economy in
the historically Chinese territory. In addition to the cultural and ethnic
disparities between Hong Kong and China, a lack of representativeness in the
government and a progressively controlling China clearly paints a picture of an
increasingly deteriorating political situation. For the betterment of Hong
Kong, its people, and the values and culture they hold dear, Hong Kong should
become an independent nation apart from China because Hong Kong is culturally
distinct from the rest of China, the political situation between Hong Kong and
China is deteriorating, and because Hong Kong’s economy is robust enough to
support itself.

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