Hong Kong is one of the more confusing aspects of Chinese policy. However as was stated by Hu Jintao, HK falls under the one China two systems that the government has adopted for situations like HK and Taiwan. This is the idea that ultimately HK is under the control of the Chinese government but is not subjected to the same rules as the mainland. This is evident in the protests and rallies that took place this last week against the lack of political freedoms for the people of HK. As the article states, the numbers from last year’s demonstration has risen substantially and this could be a sign for the beginning of a powerful political movement. It will be interesting to see how the long the momentum of these recent demonstrations lasts.
While the US navy visit to Hong Kong is nothing outside of the ordinary, it is extremely convenient for US military power projection in the area. With the increasing rise in tension in the South China Sea with the US, China and the Philippines, the US is looking to reaffirm its power in the area and for now that is easy to with the overwhelmingly evident force of the US 7th fleet. However, as the video points out this long time trump card of military muscle could be properly challenged in the future with the drastic increases and emphasis that the Chinese are making to their naval forces. Also, I feel we are likely to see a Chinese response to this US naval visit to Hong Kong in the coming months.
The cracks in China’s hold on its peripheral regions are becoming more and more evident with each new movement. The protests and acts of self-immolation that have taken place in Tibet and in Qinghai are the most visible and publicized but the protests in other regions like Hong Kong have been left out of the attention of the media. It seems that a general question of autonomy is being called upon by many of the government’s ordained “autonomous regions”. The idea of autonomy for the people that live in these regions and what the government believes to be autonomy are drastically different and I feel this is where the protests are getting much of their complaints. Hong Kong, like Tibet and Xinjiang, have a culture and language all of their own and therefore hold a strong sense of regional identity. However, because of the paranoid nature of the Chinese government, if national identity is not the only or top form of identity then it is perceived as threat. With this mentality more protests will arise and the ones that are already in action will continue and most likely gain ground. The Chinese government is in a drastic need for revision of what they will consider a threat to national identity because the stance that they hold now will likely lead to a complete break down of legitimacy in their autonomous regions. Lets hope that the protest in Hong Kong remain peaceful and productive.
A Bridge Too Far
The cold hard facts: the Tsing Ma Bridge is the world’s longest span suspension bridge carrying both road and rail traffic … it is the key connection between Hong Kong and the international airport on Lantau Island … it is 2.2 kilometres long … the main span measures 1,377 metres … the towers supporting the bridge are 206 metres high … and the bridge cost a whopping HK$7.14 billion to build.
A tripod-mounted 17mm tilt-shift image: set to Bulb, f/22, 30 secs at ISO 50.
That looks so cool! I hope I can see it in person some day.