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China denounces 'Hong Konger' trend

Andrew Higgins The Washington Post 01/12/2012 23:08
China denounces 'Hong Konger' trend - China - Hong Kong - politics

Fifteen years after taking back Hong Kong amid a blaze of fireworks and patriotic fervor, China is battling what it sees as a subversive challenge: an academic survey showing that many in this former British colony identify little with China.

Infuriated by the results, Chinese officials have orchestrated a campaign of denunciation — the latest blast in a barrage of verbal and written broadsides against alleged disloyalty in Hong Kong.

As a “special administrative region” within China, Hong Kong largely runs its own affairs under the “one country, two systems” formula enunciated by Deng Xiaoping, China’s late paramount leader. It has its own legal system and currency, issues its own travel documents and allows free speech and other liberties unknown in the rest of China.

In recent months, however, Chinese officials and pro-Beijing media in the former colony have gone on the offensive against a host of public figures whose views they dislike, including pro-democracy politicians, an elderly Catholic priest, an anti-communist media tycoon and the U.S. consul general. Now, they have turned their fire on Robert Chung, the director of Hong Kong University’s Public Opinion Program.

Chung has been surveying Hong Kong identity since the territory’s return to China, and the results of his latest poll merely confirmed anecdotal evidence of a significant trend among residents: growing resentment toward — and a sense of separateness from — mainland Chinese.