Hong Kong which is a special administrative region in the republic of China is endowed with privileges’ that other Chinese cities do not have. This is mostly in regard to participation in events and international organizations. Being governed by the basic law as well as its mini constitution, Hong Kong constitutes the Hong Kong Island, new territories, Kowloon and other small islands. Boasting a population of around 7.09 million and growth of about 0.9% it mainly consist of about 95% Chinese people and the rest is others. The official languages are Chinese and English. Having a good GDP and the main industries are well developed and include textile, electronics, watches, toys, plastics machinery, and telecommunication equipments among many others (Zhang 2009). Having such rich backgrounds this essay will seek to address the reason as to why china has let Hong Kong enjoy privileges that no other region have a chance to. At the same time the paper will explore the possibilities that show it is not China wish to maintain this status.
In relation to article 13 of law governing Hong Kong or basic law, foreign affairs and defense are under the china government however, it is on all other grounds an independent entity which can comfortably enter international agreements without being pestered by the china government on other fronts like the economic and commercial it can go alone. With time it has managed to get into organizations like world trade organization and is seen to champion free markets and enhance reduction in trade barriers. With all these benefits this essay will try and explore the reasons as to why china would allow Hong Kong as much freedom as this.
A quick look at the history will open our minds on the necessity of the state of affairs as they are now in Hong Kong. The British took control of island in 1842 during the opium war. China agreed and basically signed a declaration that the region would be returned to china in 1997 and more specifically as a special administrative region.
As an important and world economic center as shown by several factors listed here, location which is between Singapore and Japan thus astride main air and shipping routes of pacific, it have served as entry point for trade in china. China which is a supplier to the world uses Hong Kong to link to the world; it is worth noting Hong Kong shipping industry can be only compared to Singapore. This provides china with easy outlet of its mammoth production to easy exit and transport to the world at large. This may provide a basis of the big favor of Hong Kong even after return from the British (So & Lin 2001). At the same time this also shows the benefits that china would enjoy in taking full control.
In another note the economic interaction of Hong Kong and the mainland have a stake at china confidence in Hong Kong before the release of Hong Kong by the British it was a hub of basically regional network. However mainly due to the crisis in Asia Hong Kong would later redirect main interests of trading and manufacturing lines from Asia to the mainland. The Chinese fast growing economy and good consumer market due to the ever growing population seems a more attractive business alternative for Hong Kong in the same note the Chinese would want to hold Hong Kong close for supplies of its booming population (So & Lin 2001). This have shown the relationship grow deeper and faster, trying to change things regarding freedom of governance and special status would of course put this relationship to test and china would not want this. It is arguable that given this any country would want full control of this successful city.
It is believed there is large integration or synergism between china and Hong Kong. This has seen Hong Kong invest in the main land and most operations are also being moved to the mainland. On the other hand china has taken the opportunity to invest in Hong Kong and this is clearly demonstrated by the fact that about a third of companies listed on the Hong Kong stock are from the mainland. This is an emphasis that both Hong Kong and the mainland need each other and thus a very clear fact that china would not want to be the one compromising on this good bargain for both parties as we have seen.
Before the question of special status can be answered we need to know the state of Hong Kong and why china is either directly able or unable to change the status quo. First what is the thing that put Hong Kong on higher ground or what is the special status of this region? First is the independent judicial system with high degree of autonomy. This have been shown to put this region at status which other regions of this vast country can wish to be in. the capitalist economy has enabled an economy characterized by low taxation, Hong Kong dollar ,modern architecture among others. In other fronts it boasts high and fast growing transport system, good economy and ranks high in social status of its citizens (Ming 2006).
In regard to laws, Hong Kong basic law is to govern the HKSAR. This in agreement to Sino-British declaration and with basis of two systems in one country, socialism will continue to be practiced in china or the PRC will not be forced on Hong Kong and capitalism will continue for fifty years after 1997.in this regard china would not like to be seen as imposing new rules which will threaten its agreement until they time stipulated by the agreement (Zhang 2009). This however, does not show the way china despise the capitalism and would want it changed.
In the national laws governing China also apply in Hong Kong and this is due to the fact that article 18 of basic law support that. Basic law article 158 stipulates the bits of laws that will be followed by the Hong Kong courts. On the same note basic law plays a major role in protection. It is supposed to be the mini construction it mainly safeguards fundamental rights which include executive, judicial and legislative systems. The basic law makes clear the principle of one country having two systems and emphasizes that social systems of mainland will not affect Hong Kong and capitalism will extend till fifty years are over. It is clear that national laws of pry will not affect those in Hong Kong except the bits dealing with foreign affairs as well as defense departments. This therefore allows the hussar to experience autonomy and judicial power including the final adjudication. The responsibility of keeping law and order is in the hands of Hong Kong. If it does not have benefits on holding Hong Kong china would let the remaining laws go.
Another fact that would hold back china from interfering with Hong Kong is the way by which the city shows itself as respectable and boasts many achievements. The loyalty for both parties has to remain untarnished since both need each other. However it is china that would take more blame if things were to go wrong in Hong Kong due to its interference for example the record of human rights are not very clean when compared to that of Hong Kong if china was to interfere the world would therefore side with Hong Kong and this is overall not good for china in business circles. In this case china will have to allow this city to continually govern the human rights of its citizens as stipulated in the basic law.
In front china continually boasts the freedom allowed to this city. It gives such confidence to the rest of the globe that china is an ally that can keep it words regarding agreements. This is national pride. In honoring to keep the city free. In this regard this boosts the attraction of Hong Kong allies to china and this provides the chances of good trade relationships with the main land which have a manufacturing economy and needs more countries to sell merchandise to as well as to provide services to. This is why some outlawed groups like Falungong spiritual group will speak in the city without much trouble from china or the mainland. It is clear that china is not comfortable with this fact and if given a chance thing would change.
On other instances China government knows that thing are not smooth as they seem .however seeking to maintain positive image is key and Chinese government will not compromise this. In this regard the government seeks Hong Kong citizens support in regard to administration. There is need to define and hold dear the public expectations. These expectations are that the Hong Kong people will want to closely associate with China they would also want to be without any pressure whatsoever maintain the special status they hold. In relation to this china knows that in trying to absorb Hong Kong this will be disastrous as there will be defying of one country, two systems. But this would also come with benefits. Therefore china is bound by the role of trust to tolerate pluralism and undying demand of rule of the law (Ming 2006). The government will always seek to maintain the perception that it is not anti-democratic in regard to Hong Kong situation. Tung has struggled to continually work to win the confidence of Hong Kong people. The idea is to see people satisfied with his governance install credibility and thus improve the self image that is greatly needed.
Another reason that will prevent china from interfering with this status is the fact that Hong Kong has become very powerful and even if china is known to oppose the capitalist system and somehow fears how capitalist nature of Hong Kong may spill to mainland is fear to be held dear by the authority. If this force is forced on Hong Kong the world would basically view this as ridiculous irrelevance. Due to Hong Kong economic freedom this would make china look as a force that cannot work against this economic giant. In this case experts argue that it is good for china to keep things working if Hong Kong is not hurting the mainland and of course one will agree with this view.
When it comes to the remnibi trade, this is going to be great work that will give Hong Kong monetary authority. Chinese will do this via Hong Kong as an offshore project and china will not risk this by bleaching the agreement to let the city maintain its special status. Though this is seen as an event that may help Hong Kong escape route from china control china is forced to go slow on this matter. As stated in this paper again and again china will never want to confront the super city as the results will not be good and pose to alienate Asia super power from the world (Cohen & Li 1997).
Talking much about why china is not letting go of the island will derail thinkers about Hong Kong itself. We are curious to know what the authorities in this magnificent island hold dear in regard to the status they hold. Bragging of capitalism and free market is not enough if proper strategies are not put in place to thrust this economy forward and prevent china assuming full control which would be a major drawback to the notable stabilization of these islands. Though a promise of autonomy Hong Kong will not be very comfortable with china interference on its domestic matters and more so in democratic based reforms as seen in suppression of electing its own governor. On the same note Hong Kong needs place to get its citizens employment and strong partners in the international trade. Moving many industries to the mainland is a clear indication that Hong Kong despite it assumed supremacy still needs the main land. With these clear facts it is very clear that china would never want to frustrate this economic giant (Cohen & Li 1997). Experts agree on the facts that both need each other and their only difference is to which degree as some say that china need HK more others shows that it is the islands which need the mainland more for a sustainable and powerful economy.
Being less political we may want to know the other benefits that are attributed to this relationship that would not let china compromise on Hong Kong special status. Hong Kong is a global business platform and the environment for business is wonderful china cannot fail to use this opportunity to take advantage of this; the entry route to china is another factor that china would never want to compromise. In another note companies that incorporate in Hong Kong will have definite use of developed rail, air and sea connection links which are very modern and very efficient (Chan & Leung 2003) . In short commuting in Hong Kong is accorded global recognition as being the best and is reported to be the best in the world by Forbes.
In other affairs the city boasts a rich culture and this was brought about by the British influence. This provides two cultures of very big world economies. This puts Hong Kong to an advantage as an entrepreneurship destination where they will not be expected to have culture shock. China eventually benefits from this since these people later after acclimatization will tend to explore the mainland for further investment opportunities. English being an official language generally attracts the western world and this often have positively impacted on china.
In summary Hong Kong having a good culture, good work ethics and the bi-cultural background is very good for business. There is also benefit of low taxation and easy access to Chinese economy. All this indirectly affects the PCR and with this in mind bonds with Hong Kong cannot be taken for granted (Chan & Leung 2003).
It can be concluded that though the agreement of china and British in the Sino-agreement. That holds china from compromising on the special status given to this city. There are other benefits that china enjoys in terms of having good working relationship with this city. Some as seen are economic based and others are of maintaining a good name to the world. China first needs the connection to trade smoothly with the rest of the world and needs this connection via the Hong Kong hub. In other instances china needs the good will of other nations by keeping clean on interference of Hong Kong which would prevent it from attaining the status of tolerant republic worth doing business with. Then good interaction with this city have a lot to offer PRC and the international community is acting as the watch dog and china which is a booming economy of the world would not want to put its name on risk.
With undying hope of being the largest economy china would not want to let the issue that makes it win so many allies go down. In matters of freedom of expression and issues of human rights the direct manipulation of the island would leave it being seen as colonialism. On a another basis Chinese people are the majority of the population in Hong Kong and thus china have no alternative but have to go soft on these peoples interests(So & Lin 2001).
As we have seen forcing its way on Hong Kong china will not only lose its elevated regard in world businesses circles but will also threaten its benefits that we have seen are associated with good relationship. As the world continually continues to integrate as a global village in this technology dynamic era china would not want to be seen as stumbling block to changes in regard to world example that Hong Kong is setting for the world. Finally the issue also rests as no one is willing to lose the mutual benefits to both worlds. Many benefits would result but china will not confront Hong Kong directly due to many reasons we have seen. The outcome however, only time will tell.
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