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Hong Kong 1920-1984: Conflicted Identity and Race to Revolution

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This project examines the emergence of Hong Kongese political identity in 1920-1984. Based on current events, commentators and historians have highlighted the importance of this unique identity and the historical processes that influenced it, however, they disagree on the nature and the underlying causes of the identity. Based on analysis of primary historic documents such as British colonial legislation, Chinese intragovernmental communications and propaganda, and the actions of the Hong Kongese people themselves, this paper examines the Hong Kongese identity from a framework that does not rely on a binary, either solely pro-West or pro-Chinese, definition of identity. The study identifies several factors including liberal economic and political practices by the British Colonial government, the Communist Chinese Government overbearing influence, and Hong Kongers' own determination to blend Eastern and Western culture. As a result, it argues the current scholarly debate surrounding the Hong Kongese identity creates false dichotomies, mirroring old Cold War ideologies, rather than addressing the nuance that Hong Kong has been created in a world in between the two cultures, with the citizens being firmly rooted in both Western and Eastern ideology. This study has implications for understanding the violent tensions today as young contemporary Hong Kongers have become disillusioned with British promises and mainland Chinese interference. It lends insight into present violent disputes between the Hong Kongese citizens and the People's Republic of China, as in both cases we can see the effects of the earlier constitutional language and party policy in the contemporary era.

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Hong Kong 1920-1984: Conflicted Identity and Race to Revolution

This project examines the emergence of Hong Kongese political identity in 1920-1984. Based on current events, commentators and historians have highlighted the importance of this unique identity and the historical processes that influenced it, however, they disagree on the nature and the underlying causes of the identity. Based on analysis of primary historic documents such as British colonial legislation, Chinese intragovernmental communications and propaganda, and the actions of the Hong Kongese people themselves, this paper examines the Hong Kongese identity from a framework that does not rely on a binary, either solely pro-West or pro-Chinese, definition of identity. The study identifies several factors including liberal economic and political practices by the British Colonial government, the Communist Chinese Government overbearing influence, and Hong Kongers' own determination to blend Eastern and Western culture. As a result, it argues the current scholarly debate surrounding the Hong Kongese identity creates false dichotomies, mirroring old Cold War ideologies, rather than addressing the nuance that Hong Kong has been created in a world in between the two cultures, with the citizens being firmly rooted in both Western and Eastern ideology. This study has implications for understanding the violent tensions today as young contemporary Hong Kongers have become disillusioned with British promises and mainland Chinese interference. It lends insight into present violent disputes between the Hong Kongese citizens and the People's Republic of China, as in both cases we can see the effects of the earlier constitutional language and party policy in the contemporary era.