One country, two systems

People cross a road in the Central district of Hong Kong on 25 October 2021. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

It may soon be illegal to discriminate against mainland Chinese in Hong Kong

With a strong push by the pro-establishment camp, the Hong Kong government has made a breakthrough in legislative efforts against discrimination against mainlanders. But negative feelings did not happen overnight. With increasing mainland arrivals over the years, Hong Kongers have been feeling that their space, rights and even property are being encroached upon. Without solving the underlying issues, will legislation improve the situation much?
University students display a flag of the Communist Party of China to mark the party's 100th anniversary during an opening ceremony of the new semester in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on 10 September 2021. (STR/AFP)

How is mainland China planning to achieve reunification with Taiwan, when a common history no longer holds the same significance?

For Beijing, the anniversary of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution on 10 October is replete with political significance, not least as a reiteration of the Chinese Communist Party’s mission and an assertion of its one-China stance. But for Taiwan's younger generation, the revolution and even the history of the Republic of China are fast losing their meaning. How will mainland China communicate its thoughts on cross-strait relations as it commemorates the Xinhai Revolution over the weekend? With such different perspectives on the history, present and future of "China", how is mainland China going to achieve its goal of reunification?
Police officers stand guard outside a Chanel Ltd. store in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong on 1 July 2021. Hong Kong's leader pledged to press ahead with an unprecedented national security crackdown, as the Asian financial center marked a series of fraught anniversaries symbolizing Beijing’s tightening grip over local affairs. (Chan Long Hei/Bloomberg)

Hong Kongers losing their voice as district councillors quit?

Over 200 pan-Democrat district councillors might be removed from office as Beijing tightens its rule over Hong Kong. Tai Hing Shing notes that the complexion of Hong Kong’s district councils has changed drastically after the last two years of political upheavals. Are the district councils fast losing their purpose as a loudhailer for ground sentiment, and would this lead to the Hong Kong government and the people being further estranged?
A supporter gestures while holding the final edition of Apple Daily in Hong Kong, China, 24 June 2021. (Lam Yik/Reuters)

Beijing’s message behind the closure of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily

Han Yong Hong observes that the Hong Kong pro-democracy paper Apple Daily meant different things to different people. Its own history and rise to infamy was also chequered and at times conflicting. But its demise just before 1 July seems to indicate that the central government is sending a clear message that without “one country”, there can be no “two systems”.
A pit stop on a government organised media tour — a monument of the hammer and sickle in Nanniwan, some 60 km from Yan'an, the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party from 1936 to 1947, in Shaanxi province, China on 11 May 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP) (Hector Retamal/AFP)

When will the CCP stop being an ‘underground party’ in Hong Kong?

For decades, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Hong Kong has been seen as somewhat of an underground organisation which operates in the shadows. This could soon be changing. Since the anti-extradition law protests in 2019, Beijing has emphasised that Hong Kong has to be run by “patriots”, and there are growing voices in support of the CCP coming out or operating in the open. How will this change the political ecosystem in Hong Kong?
Members of the media (bottom) take photos as (left to right) Acting Law Officer (Special Duties) Llewellyn Mui, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Roy Tang arrive for a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on 13 April 2021. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

Hong Kong's electoral reform: Powerful businessmen to lose influence in politics?

Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing analyses the Election Committee’s expanded role in deciding who becomes the chief executive and gets to sit on the Legislative Council. Will these adjustments help Beijing reduce the influence of the pro-democracy camp as well as the business sector?
The People's Liberation Army Navy Qinzhou Type 056 corvette docked at the Central Military Dock at Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, China, 29 March 2021. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

When 'new Hong Kongers' run the show, where do the old ones go?

It is clear that the Beijing government wants to have more say in the governance of Hong Kong, not least with the recent passing of the bill to change Hong Kong’s electoral system allowing more new migrants from mainland China to be part of the Election Committee. Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing charts the rise of these “new migrants” in Hong Kong and the political force they are becoming. How will their increasing assertiveness affect the dynamics between the new and old migrants, as well as the locals?
Ai Weiwei in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, 3 March 2021. (Pedro Nunes/Reuters)

Do artworks need to be patriotic? Hong Kong politicians fight over Ai Weiwei's 'middle finger photograph'

In itself, a subversive artwork by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei to be shown at Hong Kong’s new M+ museum may not have drawn such attention. But under the shadow of the national security law in Hong Kong and the looming chief executive election, everything is magnified a hundredfold.
Pro-democracy demonstrators gesture with three-fingered salutes outside West Kowloon Magistrates Courts during a hearing for 47 opposition activists charged with violating the city's national security law in Hong Kong on 4 March 2021. (Lam Yik/Bloomberg)

Overhaul of Hong Kong's electoral system: Is it still 'one country, two systems'?

Hong Kong’s electoral reform is set to be a hot topic at this year’s Two Sessions, the annual meetings of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) currently underway. Changes are being planned to ensure the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong”. Will going from a “Hong Kong run by Hong Kongers” to “Hong Kong run by patriots” mean going against “one country, two systems”?