Who are Chinese? Who are Hong Konger?

China, semasiologically referred to a central country. (司馬遷, B.C. 109 – B.C. 91; 宋濂, 1367) People lived in the territory called themselves Chinese. The reason to differentiate Chinese and Hong Konger is that though Hong Kong is now part of China, it was not always true in its history.

to cross reference with:

Table summarized territorial relationship between China and Hong Kong.

In terms of region, Hong Kong was not always territory of Chinese dynasty. The ruling government was always changing in the history. Sometimes it was ruled by ethnic minority. On the other hand, in terms of ethnicity, China dynasty was not always ruled by the same ethnicity. They had been ruled by Mongolian and Manchu people. Therefore, in terms of region and ethnicity, who are Chinese? Who are Hong Konger? People had been arguing that regardless of transfer of sovereignty in 1997, Hong Kong was not always part of Chinese territory. (Kwok, 2018; 梁啟智, 2020)

The discussion was not only limited to politics, but it was also extended to post-colonialism in Hong Kong. Before the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, Hong Kong celebrated the Liberation Day with 2 public holidays as she was finally freed from Japanese occupation in 1945. The Battle of Hong Kong was a collective memory about the ally of British, Indian, Nepalese and Hong Konger. However, the Liberation Day holidays was replaced by International Workers’ Day and Buddha’s Birthday in 1999, 1 year after the transfer of sovereignty. The decolonization of British rule was extremely obvious.

According to the development of historical events under decolonization such as ‘campaign for India’s independence from British Rule’, the Sino-British Joint Declaration and later the replacement of Liberation Day maybe hints for Hong Kong independence movement. However, before the formation of such movement became a major trend in society, China claimed she had and would always have the sovereignty over Hong Kong. This became a constitutional duty bound with the Basic Law to enact laws to give effect to its Article 23. (The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, 1993).

What would Hong Kong be like if Hong Kong Independence Movement begin before the leaders signed the Sino-British Joint Agreement or the enactment of Basic Law in a parallel world?


Kwok, C. (2018) ‘香港自古以來就是中國的領土?’, Medium, 19 October. Available at: https://medium.com/@cklsnoopy/%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF%E8%87%AA%E5%8F%A4%E4%BB%A5%E4%BE%86%E5%B0%B1%E6%98%AF%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B%E7%9A%84%E9%A0%98%E5%9C%9F-8924bbbceaee (Accessed: 19 July 2020).

The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, (1993) The Basic Law. Available at: https://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basiclawtext/index.html (Accessed: 19 July 2020).

司馬遷. (B.C. 109 – B.C. 91) 史記. Available at: https://ctext.org/zh (Accessed: 19 July 2020).

宋濂. (1367) 奉天討蒙元北伐檄文. Available at: https://zh.wikisource.org/zh-hant/%E5%A5%89%E5%A4%A9%E8%A8%8E%E8%92%99%E5%85%83%E5%8C%97%E4%BC%90%E6%AA%84%E6%96%87 (Accessed: 19 July 2020).

梁啟智. (2020) ‘《香港第一課》:香港自古以來不就是中國領土嗎?’, The News Lens, 28 January. Available at: https://www.thenewslens.com/article/130292 (Accessed: 19 July 2020).

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