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HK’s post-colonial dispensation comes under growing strain

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on:2015-11-17
Preservation of colonial-era postboxes has long been a topic of debate among philatelists, but only in the increasingly troubled city of Hong Kong could it cause a simmering political dispute enveloping issues of identity, independence and incompetence.
Some 18 years after Hong Kong was handed back to China from British control, the government has decided to cover up the royal insignia on the territory’s 59 remaining colonial postboxes on the grounds that they are an “inappropriate” symbol of the past.

The government’s critics were motivated less by a love of the boxes than by the belief that this was another instance of kowtowing to Beijing and undermining the “high degree of autonomy” promised Hong Kong by China in 1997.
From the postbox affair to the debacle over a new electoral system to the row over academic freedom at the University of Hong Kong, people are increasingly split into pro and anti-Beijing camps.

What many share is a lack of faith in the ability of the “one country, two systems” arrangement to deliver the political, economic and social change needed to keep this city of 7m people thriving.
C.Y. Leung, the incumbent, is flagging in opinion polls and his government sparked one of the most potent street protest movements in China since the Tiananmen massacre in 1989.

This compromise was less problematic when Beijing took a hands-off approach in the years after 1997 and Hong Kong boomed on the back of China’s economic miracle.
But it is under ever greater strain now that political and personal tensions between Hong Kongers and mainlanders are growing, China’s economy is slowing and many feel that the good years lined the pockets of property tycoons while driving up the cost of living for everyone else.

Hong Kong’s politicians are not rising to the challenge. In the legislative council recently, a pro-democracy lawmaker ended a rant about Mr Leung selling out Hong Kong to the mainland by asking him: “When will you die?”