ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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China's Hong Kong Conundrum

The cosy relationship that the Hong Kong establishment cabal had earlier with London and now with Beijing has been broken by the mass protests of university and high school students. China's problem is that animosity in Hong Kong towards Beijing has grown since reunifi cation in 1997; those on the streets seeking an unfettered right to elect their government have grown up after reunification. China cannot now hope that the Hong Kong model will persuade Taiwan to unite with it.

Seventeen years after the United Kingdom handed Hong Kong back to Chinese sovereignty, residents of the former British colony have made it amply clear they do not want their city to become like the rest of China. This is the meaning of the student-led protests that have rocked the territory since the last week of September.

Hong Kong has not seen turmoil on this scale since the Red Guard-inspired riots in 1967 at the height of the Cultural Revolution. This time though, events in China are not causing unrest in Hong Kong, but rather it is China that fears the precedent that could be set by events in Hong Kong.

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