Introduction: In this essay, I will be analysing the cause and effect of Hong Kong becoming an independent country from China. I chose this topic because it directly affects me and it is an issue currently being debated by the Hong Kong people and government. Many rallies and protest has been going on just because of this issue. This links to the IR topic Changing Communities Global Perspective: There is not much Global Perspectives around this subject, but there are a few global organisations that spoke out on this matter. On October 16th, 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Committee urged China to allow Hong Kong people to vote without restrictions on the candidates (Forsythe). On August 31st on the same year, Beijing made specific guidelines for the 2017 election. According to the guidelines, candidates must be approved from more than half the members of a 1,200-person nominating committee, which includes many of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing business men as well as representatives of other social groups loyal to Beijing (Forsythe). Because of this, citizens took to the streets and started Occupy Central. Even last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten spoke out about how he supports the protests and called the Hong Kong government to push Beijing in concerns of the change in legislature (Nip). China did not like this international reaction and involvement. Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokesperson, told a news conference in Beijing that Hong Kong was purely their “internal affair”. They were resolutely opposed to any foreign country using any method to interfere in China’s “internal affairs” (“Hong Kong Protests: UK ‘concerned’ about Situation”). Analysis:                     In the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, Article 21, states that everyone has the right to take part in the government and that the will of the people should be the basis of the authority of government. This will should be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which should be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures (“Universal Declaration of Human Rights”). China is going against everything that this Article states. They do not give the people the right to take part in the government and they ignore the people’s opinions. This gives the UN the right to call China out for their actions. Democracy is one of the UN’s universal core values and principles. Personal Response:           Personally thinking, even if the UN tried to push China into letting Hong Kong having the rights to true universal suffrage, China will not listen. I feel like China will keep things as they are and go with the elections without any changes. Just like the Tiananmen Square Massacre, China will be stubborn and will go with their own thoughts. China is ruled by closed minded republicans and since the Anti-Rightist Movement in 1956, there has been no progression for freedom of speech. My sources are very reliable such as BCC and the Washington Post, the New York Time, the UN website and they helped me pull out important information that I would have needed to dig more deeply for. They are reliable because they are recommended sites from the school. Future Scenarios and Courses of Action: Although I think China will not give in, I still believe the Hong Kong people and the UN should push China to giving the Hong Kong people what they want. It does not have to be full independence, but just for the 2017 election to be true to its universal suffrage rule. Hong Kong pro-democracy parties must win more seats in the parliament to make the decisions the people want. National Perspective:           All the shouting and protesting for independence may have always been there, but I think Occupy Central may have triggered this protest for independence to become a big issue in Hong Kong for almost 4 years now. Occupy Central was a civil disobedience against Beijing. Beijing promised them “universal suffrage” but twisted it by making people vote for candidates they picked (“What Is Occupy Central?”). The Hong Kong people were outraged and protested outside the government building from 26th of September 2014 to the 15th of December. Hong Kong was affected in many ways. In the Hong Kong economy, there was a dramatic fall in the first few days of October during the protests (Noble). SASA reported 3% sales drop during the holidays, retail sales were dropping and there were delay in stock exchange with Shanghai and Hong Kong (Noble). Tourism was also affected by the protest. During the protests, figures from the Tourism Board showed 4.92 million people visited Hong Kong, a 8.4% decline year on year (Lai and Lam). Hong Kong’s biggest group of visitors – Mainlanders – there was a 9.8% year on year fall (Lai and Lam). Travel Industry Council Chief Executive Joseph Tung Yao commented that the protests impacted tourists desire to visit Hong Kong (Lai and Lam). He also says that some tour agencies were concerned that mainland tourist are not welcomed in Hong Kong (Lai and Lam). Tung urged the Hong Kong protesters to stop in hopes for more tourist to come (Lai and Lam). Because of this protest, many of Hong Kong’s sales were disturbed and tourism percentages dropped in a city that thrives because of its tourism. This can be linked back to the Global Perspective example of Brexit, where economy was affected drastically for a while. Analysis:           The problem here is that Beijing triggered something that could have been prevented. If Beijing had not broken their promise at let the Hong Kong people had their universal suffrage, then all these problem with declining tourists coming into Hong Kong, which also affected the economy on a small scale. Beijing just made the problem bigger by breaking their promise. A solution to this promise is to simply keep their promise, but knowing Beijing, they will most likely be stubborn. The Communist Party will not easily give up on China’s most international city to choose their own leader (Iyengar). They are worried that Hong Kong will elect a chief executive that is an opponent of the Communist Party and set an example to the rest of China of a possible democratic change (Iyengar). Personal Response:           I believe that Hong Kong could and should gain their independence. If only the protesters protested in a smarter manner, there would not have been a drastic decline in tourism. For example, if they had legitimate and powerful politicians that can back them up then they would not be treated like a joke by Beijing and maybe HK independence can become reality. As of currently, Hong Kong independence parties and groups are treated as a joke.           The source (Noble) gave me all the statistics that I needed to put my point across. (Lai and Lam) gave me some insight into what higher ups think of the issue. (Iyengar) gave me some ideas I agreed with. I trust (Iyengar) because it is from the TIME’s news. I trust (Lai and Lam) because it is from SCMP and (Noble) is from Financial Times, a place where I can trust with statistics. Future Scenarios and Courses of Action: Pro-independence groups must seek out legitimate help to be treated how they wanted. But for their ideas and thoughts to ever to accepted, they will need majority seats in the parliament. This may help lead them closer to Hong Kong’s Independence. They may also want to earn more of the people’s support as Hong Kong people right now are taking its politics as a joke and has stopped caring. These pro-independence parties are acting in ways that make them look sillier. They must be more smart and cautious of what they do to earn people’s trust and a little bit of respect from the government. They must prove that they can fight for what the people want. Personal Perspective:           As a Hong Kong citizen, I think Hong Kong should be allowed their Independence. To me, Hong Kong was always separate to China. From my personal experience, Hong Kong people do not want to associate with the Mainland people and get easily offended when called “no different to the Mainlanders”. To me as a student living in Hong Kong, if independence is achieved, I do not think there will be much of a change. There may be a few shifts in how Hong Kong works and the economy and such, but I do not this there will be a lot of change. Hong Kong is already, in its own way, a democratic city. But if independence is not achieved, I think the slow overtake of China will start affecting my learning in school and the choices I make. The law would be totally rewritten, so many things will change and Hong Kong would not be the Hong Kong it was before. This thought terrifies me, even if I will not be living in Hong Kong by then, going back to my hometown to see it has totally changed into the shape China wants it to be, something people fought for so hard for. But I also think Hong Kong will never be able to achieve independence. As pointed out before, China does not want a domino effect of changing into a democratic country after Hong Kong sets an example for the Chinese people (Iyengar). Analysis:           An advantage of Hong Kong being independent is that there will be less conflict on democracy. With all this protesting and fighting, I think Hong Kong people want a break from it now. Another advantage of Hong Kong independence is that Hong Kong can make laws and move freely as they want without Beijing’s approval. A disadvantage is that there may be less mainlanders coming in to keep the shopping and tourism industry running. Future Scenarios and Courses of Action:           I may not be of age to vote, but I can still raise awareness of things happening in Hong Kong. I can help support these groups who are trying to win Hong Kong’s freedom by donating money or just raising awareness for them. I think people need to start acting up again. The Hong Kong people are tired of this fighting, but I believe that the people of Hong Kong need to come back and start caring like they did back in 2014 during Occupy Central. Conclusion and reflection:           The global perspective of Hong Kong independence is that they should be allowed their right of universal suffrage as the UN states. The national perspective is that a broken promise from China has triggered a protest that affected tourism and shopping in Hong Kong. My personal perspective is that Hong Kong should have its independence but it may not be attainable with the way things are.           I found that finding sources for the global perspective was very difficult. Next time, I would have made a question about this kind of subject, but that has more global perspectives. Also, finding any relevant material to the question was very difficult. I feel like I need to improve on finding relevant sources. The research questions were easy to make and it was easy to identify the websites that were relevant to my topic. It was very difficult finding anything related to “independence” for my global perspective since there was close to no articles from the UN about “independence” and any laws about it. I think next time, I should try to make an easier question that has many perspectives and one that I can related more to.


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