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How to Know Hong Kong and Macau

Roberto Ignacio Diaz, Dominic Cheung, Ana Paulina Lee, Authors

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Who Is Hong Kong? 4

Looking Back: How It Became This Way

Britain's Most Important Legacy

The first two points are tied directly to what may be Britain’s most influential legacy in Hong Kong: the lack of a government-sponsored national ideology, contrary to China and Taiwan. Nationalism and patriotism were seen as a danger to British colonial rule, as they could incite a surge of Chinese national feelings that would threaten colonial power, and as such they were never taught or propagated by the ruling government. In the PRC and the ROC (Taiwan), however, the school system and other entities controlled by the government, as well as the government itself, directly “teach” their citizens what it means to love the country (Lau). Despite the vastly different views and practices of instilling nationalism or choosing not to, Chinese nationalism did develop in Hong Kong. The important difference is that it was spontaneous, not forced, and not regulated or imposed by the government: it was, instead, a thing of the people. Also because of this, it never became a majority view or a precisely defined ideology. This, I believe, could be why Hong Kongers are more relaxed, but also more confused, about their identity than mainland Chinese. It has led to the development of a mixed identity where a local allegiance to Hong Kong has emerged and coexists alongside elements like Chinese cultural roots and increasing Western, globalized influences.

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