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  • Hongkongese or Chinese

Hongkongese or Chinese

The Problem of Identity on the Eve of Resumption of Chinese Sovereignty over Hong Kong

Lau Siu-kai

English , 1997/01 HKIAPS, Occasional Paper Series Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK

Tags: Hong Kong Studies, Politics

215 x 140 mm , 36pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-441-065-5

  • US$4.50

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"Hongkongese" and "Chinese" are the two major identities which the Hong Kong Chinese themselves consider to be meaningful. Drawing upon survey data collected in the last decade, the study shows that there are significant differences between Hongkongese and Chinese in their socio-demographic characteristics, in their attitude toward the People's Republic of China and the Chinese government, in their understanding of the June 4 Incident, and in their conception of democracy and political reform in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, Hongkongese and Chinese are similar in their support for traditional Chinese values and identification with China in the ethnic and historical sense. Irrespective of their identities, Hong Kong Chinese are still quite different attitudinally from the Chinese in mainland China. Particularly noteworthy is the negative feelings toward the Chinese government held in common by both the Hongkongese and the Chinese. Notwithstanding the pervasive anxieties engendered by the 1997 problem, the Hong Kong Chinese are apparently not suffering from a salient sense of "identity crisis," at least as far as the common people are concerned. However, in view of the vast differences in values between the mainland and Hong Kong, mutual adjustment will be difficult and inevitable in the future. In the process of intensified interaction between Hong Kong and the mainland, there is the likelihood that a new identity of the Hong Kong Chinese will appear. This new identity however will still be different from that of the Chinese people on the mainland.

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