|HONG KONG: RETURNING TO THE FOLD|
January 10, 1997
Return to the Hong Kong forum's top page.
in this forum:
What will happen to religious freedom in Hong Kong after the transfer ? Are the restrictions on China enforceable? What will life be like in Hong Kong in the year 2000? What's the prognosis for the future of the independent media in Hong Kong? How will the recording of economic data change? Will China phase out the HK dollar and replace it with the Yuan? What will be China's attitude towards the Eurocurrency market ? Has China made any specific commitment to hold free elections to parliament after the transition? What will the U.N. do if it refuses?
Online NewsHour Links
December 17, 1996: As the Chinese defense minister tours the U.S., the NewsHour looks at human rights abuses in China.
November 21, 1996: A NewsHour report on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and Asia's economy, the fastest growing, most dynamic region in the world. .
The NewsHour Asia Index.
Edouard Cruz of Quebec City, Canada
The People's Republic of China has been conducting some successful economic experiences in different areas: -in the vincinity of Hong-Kong with the two townships of Zhuhai and Shenzen -the huge real estate project of Suzhou in the Shanghai -Hainan Island which seems to become the Chinese Riviera with big problems of corruption and prostitution.
My question is: don't you think that the economic position in World economy of Hong-Kong should preserve its status from this point of view after the revert to China amd the only thing to fear is a regression of political rights and public liberties?
Aaron Goldman of Somerset, New Jersey
What, if any changes occur in Hong Kong, does it mean to the average citizen in the U.S. Shoud we be concerned?And how will effect our day to day lives?
Barbara Mead of Carlsbad, CA
Since Hong Kong is a hot bed of capitalism, I believe the Chinese really want to participate in this grand market place as much as anyone and will try very hard to keep it as it has always been. Do you feel this is true?
Also, since the world knows and watches HK, I don't feel they will violate the individual's rights there, also.
Perhaps more coastal communities will be come capitalistic, too.
Terry Robinson of Philadelphia, Pa.
I am multi-lingual (speaking Japanese, Russian and (Mandarin) Chinese) and have travel extensively in Asia, plus I was an Asian Studies major in college, and have been to Hong Kong repeatedly, and wish to return prior to the June 1st, 1997 transferance. I know exactly where I want to be. Like many knowledgable people of the area, I do NOT know exactly what will happen there on that fateful date. But I want to be there, and am NOT anxious to trust the government that perpetrated the Tien-An-Min massecre of June 1989. Though I know the history of Hong Kong, I still love the area and am very cautious.
Raymond K. Czap of Ludington, Michigan
I have an uneasy feeling that we could go to war with China and Iran at about the same time in the near future. I feel they are both very dangerous countries that have been "playing games" with us for many years and we have compromised ourselves by giving China favored nation trading status via Clinton with his first campaign promised not to allow it with all the human rights violations going on.
Thomas B. Cobb of Greenwood, SC
While shopping this past Christmas I couldn't help but notice that many of the items I picked up had the stamp "Made In China" on them. I question if by promoting Chinese commerce we are supporting the Chinese regime which would then expand its military power in order to control more and more of the world. I fear that Hong Kong is merely another apple for China's military pie. I'm fear that the money sent to China today for a cute teady bear will come back as an ICBM or some other instrument of war. I find it hard to believe that the Chinese government is going to assimilate Hong Kong for any reason except to promote their schemes for world domination.
Dr. Doug Rigby of Hong Kong
I am a USA expat residing in Hong Kong who has been observing events here for almost a year now. The U.S. media continues to infer a gloomly repressive future for HK when the Chinese parent returns (e.g., see paragraphs 2-3 of the Online Forum lead article). I would like clarifications of five issues please:
1. HK currently has a British citizen chief executive and heavy British citizen involvement in key government posts and service industry sectors. What is the history of democracy in the 154 year British rule for the local HK people?
2. What is the extent of democracy in HK today? What powers of local control were gained in the recent election of the legislature and which retained by Britain?
3. I understand the 1984 Joint Declaration with China guarantees that currently enjoyed rights and freedoms in HK will remain intact, finances will remain independent, and that HK will be vested with executive, legislative, and independent judicial power consisting of local HK people. How does this kind of democracy and local control compare to that enjoyed in the past? Is there a high probability that freedom of the press or any of the above particulars won't be allowed by the Chinese?
4. Isn't a general path leading to democracy in HK described in the 1990 Basic Law, co-signed by China and Britain? Is the recent appointment of the locally popular and native Tung as chief executive and the new legislature in line with the Basic Law?
5. I've been told that the recent HK "democratic" elections were suddenly and unilaterally introduced by Britain against the spirit of the Basic Law, using a loop hole in which "voting" by group members was substituted for the intended leader only vote (e.g., all store owners voted instead of just their representative). True? Could this "offense" against China and the Basic Law end up delaying democracy in Hong Kong and causing problems -- or was it a shrewd move?
Daphne Bryan of Lawson, MO
More and more attention is being paid to the Chinese treatment of Tibet and its people, to which, like Hong Kong, the Beijing government also claims title. The right to govern Hong Kong seems much more clearly delineated than the Tibet case, however. Given the brutality we have seen in China's treatment of Tibet, can we expect more of the same in Hong Kong? Or is Hong Kong too commercially valuable to actually squash?
Jesse Plummer of Baytown Texas
I have wondered about this for awhile now. I would hate to be in Hong Kong that day. The people will obviously face severe hardships going from free democracy to communism. They have had a good life for a while andnow they will have to live under the tyrrany of Communism. The only thing that could provide hope for them is the Korean defectors that escape North Korea made to mainland China and they felt like life was better in mainland China than it was in N Korea. I hope they can adjust without too much hardships. I would hate to speculate on the Economic downfall of all of this.
J. Chou of Fullerton, California
Ever since the Tien An Men crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in China, there will always be the spectre of human rights viloations haunting the communist government. The Hong Kong territory have enjoyed the freedoms guaranteed under a democratic government; will those freedoms be guaranteed for those who chose to stay behind and 'ride out' the transition?
Lastly, if Hong Kong does suffer the same fate of repression, as the students in Beijing, what does that mean in terms of stability in the region? Will Taiwan be targeted as the next 'province' to be reclaimed?
Randall L. Smith of Sunbury, Ohio
What options are there realistically?
Supposing a worst case scenario with China's new interem government and Hong Kong reverts to an oppressive dictatorship as seen in mainland China today, what realistically can Great Britian, the U.N. or the world at large do to influence a leadership that already supresses it's people with tanks and automatic weapons. Worldwide threats of trade sanctions didn't avert the disaster at Tienanmen Sqaure.
Thank you for your attention.