China and Hong Kong

By | January 7, 2022

China and Hong Kong

At the end of September 2014, thousands of people took to the streets in Hong Kong to protest against the modalities of choice for the next head of the government of the special administrative region – called Chief Executive ¬ defined by Beijing with a decision taken on 30 August. Students and pro-democracy activists occupied the central district of the city for two weeks, demanding the resignation of the current Chief Executive, CY Leung, and the democratic revision of the electoral system. The demonstrators had already expressed in early September their desire to paralyze the financial heart of Hong Kong, where the offices of international banks and multinational companies from all over the world are located. protesting against what they believe to be a violation of the pacts agreed upon the handover between the United Kingdom and China in 1997. The purely political reasons were joined by more economic complaints, against growing social inequalities and the exorbitant increase in costs for services Basic. Renamed ‘Umbrella Revolution’ by the media due to the use of umbrellas to protect themselves from heat and tear gas, the story has taken on international significance both for its importance andfinancial hub now covers and for which it is essential to ensure economic and political stability, both because this protest gives voice to the generalized malaise of young people in Hong Kong, who see the authoritarianism of the Beijing government as the enemy to which a democratic system as a solution can be opposed of all problems.

In June 2015, the LegCo – the local parliament – rejected the Chinese government’s proposed electoral modification which provided for the election by universal suffrage of the Chief Executive after the selection of candidates by a restricted electoral commission. The opposition has thus managed to reject a proposal that was intended as partial, but now the electoral reform seems to have frozen at least until the next elections in 2017.

The Brics Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

In the two-year period 2014-2015, China launched two important initiatives aimed at reviewing global financial governance. In July 2014, the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) signed the agreement for the establishment of the New Development Bank (Ndb), an international multilateral bank with an initial capital of 50 billion dollars. In addition, in March 2015, the applications for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Aiib), an Asian regional bank based in Beijing and managed ad interim by the Chinese Jin Liqun, were completed. The initial capital of the AIIB is 100 billion dollars and they have joined as prospective members 52 Asian and non-Asian countries. The birth of the Bank was a diplomatic success for China which managed to involve all the major world economies except the USA, Japan and Canada, thus managing to overcome, at least in this case, the traditional relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, the first European country to join. Although the Chinese have repeatedly reiterated that these initiatives want to present themselves as complementary to the current financial governance system, Ndb and Aiib are configured as direct competitors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on a global level and of the Asian Development Bank (led by Japanese). on a regional level.

The Uyghur question

According to PROZIPCODES.COM, relations between the autonomous Uyghur region of Xinjiang, 60% populated by ethnic minorities of Turkish origin, and the People’s Republic of China have always been rather turbulent, marked in recent decades by various ‘incidents’, demonstrations, scuffles and actual attacks. terrorists. Although the separatist terrorist movement does not enjoy the support of the majority of the population, the attempt to sinize the Uyghur population and the presence of strong socio-economic differences between Han and Uighurs have generated widespread ethnic tension. On the one hand, the Chinese government is implementing policies that undermine Uyghur cultural identity – for example by substituting Mandarin for Uighur as the only language for education – on the other hand it does not sufficiently promote educational and employment opportunities for the Uyghur population. who on average earn less than Han residents in Xinjiang. Perhaps also due to the strategic position that Xinjiang holds nationally and internationally, the central government has always had a harsh attitude towards the Uighurs, severely condemning any act that could even remotely affect national unity: the sentence to life imprisonment is significant. for ‘separatism’ of academic Ilham Tothi, a supporter of greater cultural autonomy in Xinjiang. Many Western analysts have noted the difference with which the central government treats Uighurs compared to the other Muslim minority in China, the Hui, who are fully integrated into Chinese culture and life.

China and Hong Kong