One Country, One System: The Emergence and Implications of the Hong Kong Independence Movement

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China Studies Research Centre Seminar Series

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Thursday 02 May 2019 06:00 pm until Thursday 02 May 2019 07:30 pm (Add to calendar)
China Studies Research Centre
3 9479 3889;
Presented by:
Dr Kevin Carrico
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Since its handover to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, Hong Kong has been ruled under the framework of one country, two systems, according to which the city is supposed to enjoy a “high degree of autonomy” that allows for the maintenance of its distinct way of life. The idea of one country, two systems was originally designed not only to resolve “the Hong Kong question,” but was also supposed to provide a model for Taiwan. Twenty-one years later, however, rather than Hong Kong providing a model for Taiwan, ever more people in Hong Kong are seeking inspiration from the Taiwan model of a nation distinct from the People’s Republic of China. This presentation asks how this came to be.

I first analyze the historical emergence of mutual animosity and provocation between the authorities and civil society that led to an unprecedented independence movement. Second,  I provide a brief overview of the diverse and often mutually antagonistic wings of this movement. Finally, I analyze the Party-state’s response, examining both the prescriptions of Beijing’s academic Hong Kong-ologists and recent policy developments: a troubling amalgamation of ignorance/power has led Beijing to reproduce in its counter-responses the very mistakes that produced this oppositional movement in the first place, adding further fuel to the fire of an increasingly contentious political feedback cycle. These findings then have broader implications for thinking through Beijing’s increasingly indurate and extreme approach to cultural difference along its borders.

About the Speaker

Dr Kevin Carrico is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Monash University. He is the author of The Great Han: Race, Nationalism, and Tradition in China Today (University of California Press), Legal Malware: Hong Kong's National Anthem Law (Hong Kong Watch), and the translator of Tsering Woeser's Tibet on Fire (Verso Press).


Room 3.04, Level 3, La Trobe University City Campus

360 Collins Street, Melborune



17th Nov 2019 3:03pm

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