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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? 7

Tiananmen Incident

I was shocked by these results, especially the fact that Hong Kong people felt the weakest ties to the People’s Republic of China. However, after thinking on why this might be, one may conclude that perhaps this is because the people of Hong Kong do not want to be tied to any one political identity as a part of their cultural identity. They surely identify as Chinese ethnically, but they would rather be citizens of the world (“global citizens”) than citizens of a motherland that, in their eyes, is almost solely defined by its politics.

This can be illustrated through the incident of the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989. As I saw during my time in Hong Kong, the June 4th vigil commemorating the Tiananmen crackdown is the most outspoken and most widely attended observance of the infamous incident that took place in Beijing in 1989. Even though it did not happen within the boundaries of their region, the Hong Kong people have taken it upon themselves to remember and memorialize this brutal moment in Chinese history, at once reviving nationalism and redefining it. There is a clear sense of solidarity with the Chinese people that is alive and well today, yet through their massive vigil, Hong Kongers also blatantly turn away from and condemn the government of the People’s Republic of China.

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