The review of one country two systems of Hong Kong over two decades from the perspective of social development

Sum Yeung (Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Publication date: 24 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the development of one country two systems of Hong Kong over two decades and examine its challenges and prospect. One country two systems is pragmatic and compromise principle and social arrangement for Hong Kong under China sovereignty. It has served to resolve some issues related to the future of Hong Kong after the end of British Colonial rule since July 1, 1997. There are lessons to be learnt as the merits and flaws of the system have been identified in the study as perceived from the perspective of social development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on quantitative methodology. Data of public opinion polls conducted by various local universities on the development of one country two systems of Hong Kong have been employed in the study. Based on the data obtained from the relevant survey, different aspects of social development of Hong Kong under one country two systems has been examined and explored. Data are current and up-to-date to reflect the social mood of Hong Kong people toward one country two systems over the years.

Findings

The challenges and prospect of one country two systems of Hong Kong over two decades since the change of sovereignty have been identified in this paper. Hong Kong has remained the moist free market and the third financial center in the world. However, the high degree of self-autonomy as stipulated in the Basic Law has been fading way. There is social discontent of Hong Kong people on social and political grounds and there are high sense of mistrust to both Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) government and the Central government in Beijing. This will provide a guideline to the government for improving the situation.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on data obtained from various public opinion conducted by several local university on the development of one country two systems and how Hong Kong people feel about it. The data are current and up-to-date. However, there will be variation of findings as social mood and perception of Hong Kong people toward one country two systems may change due to the changes of social and political events. With these limitations, one needs to be careful while drawing the conclusion. Yet, the over trend of social development of Hong Kong can be seen.

Practical implications

The study will provide an overall view and assessment of one country two systems of Hong Kong over two decades after the change of sovereignty since July 1, 1997. The findings and discussion of social mobility, quality of life, income disparity, social and political movement and ethnic identity and its changes in recent years of people in Hong Kong are rather revealing. It will provide a reality check and yardstick for people who are concerned about Hong Kong society and its people under China sovereignty.

Social implications

The study and its findings will provide a useful guideline for people who are concerned about how Hong Kong people live under China sovereignty. Hong Kong to most of Hong Kong people is on longer a borrow place living under the borrowed time. The former British Colonial rule has been replaced by HKSAR government rule under China sovereignty. There is a high degree of mistrust toward both HKSAR government and the Central government in Beijing. People in Hong Kong keep fighting for democracy and high degree of self-autonomy. Hence, Hong Kong is still a free and open society under China sovereignty.

Originality/value

The paper contributes an original study on the development of one country two systems of Hong Kong under China sovereignty as perceived from the perspective of social development. There are important findings on social mobility, income disparity and issues of ethnic identity of Hong Kong people. The lessons of Hong Kong will provide an interesting case for people who care concerned about how people living in a former British colony has transformed the society into a thriving civil society under China sovereignty.

Keywords

Citation

Yeung, S. (2019), "The review of one country two systems of Hong Kong over two decades from the perspective of social development", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-06-2017-0054

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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