Analysis

Hong Kong Bristles as China Tightens Grip
A man protests the decision to allow Chinese drivers into Hong Kong at a protest rally in a park in Hong Kong on February 12. A few hundred protesters attended the rally, organized on social networking websites, to show their dismay at the Hong Kong government's plan to allow small groups of mainland Chinese to drive cars into the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). Despite Hong Kong's return to Chinese control in 1997, cross-border traffic is severely restricted as Hong Kong motorist
February 13, 2012
| Security, Economics
| Asia and the Pacific
Summary
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Fifteen years after the former British colony of Hong Kong was handed back to China there are new strains in the island’s relationship with Beijing. A growing number of Hong Kong residents are refusing to assimilate, seeing themselves as politically and culturally different from the Chinese. Is Hong Kong likely to soon see the birth of a popular protest movement that could threaten the authority of Beijing?LIGNET believes that fitting Hong Kong into the rest of China is a problem that Beijing will ultimately be able to manage. China, after all, is bound by a bilateral treaty with Britain to give Hong Kong autonomy and democratic rights that are unheard of in the rest of China. We believe Beijing will abide by the terms of this treaty not only to avoid international condemnation, but also because it is in its economic interest to do so. Hong Kong is one of China’s crown jewels and Beijing will do its best to keep it shining brightly.
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