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The Myth of “Hong Kong Nationalism”

Jeff Hai-chi Loo (Department of Political Science, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 20 February 2020

Issue publication date: 20 August 2020




The persistent growth of ‘nativists’ in Hong Kong not only highlighted people's consideration over mainlandization, it also stimulates Beijing's nerve on national security. This paper adopts a critical perspective to explore the development of ‘Hong Kong Nationalism’ that emerged in 2015. It will show the development of ‘Hong Kong nationalism’ is a phenomenon compounded by the creation of critical academics, government exaggeration, and pro-Beijing media labeling. In fact, this phenomenon leads to the suppression of political space for critical opposition.


The interaction between Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, central government, critical academics, and pro-Beijing media will be used to adopt a conceptual framework to show how their interrelationship would derive tremendous impacts to the development of ‘Hong Kong Nationalism.’ It will further investigate some implications for the further political development in Hong Kong.


The development of ‘Hong Kong Nationalism’ illustrates the triangular relations between critical academic, HKSAR and the Beijing government, and pro-Beijing media. The critical academics create and imagine such ‘Hong Kong Nationalism’ with Hong Kong's political destiny that stimulates the nerve of Beijing and HKSAR on territorial integrity. The ‘imagined nationalism’ advocated by critical and opposition academics and advanced by the activists not only opened the Pandora's box that derives a Trojan horse scenario for the development of pan-democratic camp which affects the democracy movement tremendously.


This paper is the first academic paper to explore ‘Hong Kong Nationalism’ through analyzing the discourse advocated by critical academics. This paper can also fill in the gap from existing literature about social movement in Hong Kong as most of them ignored the influence of radical nativist movement.



Loo, J.H.-c. (2020), "The Myth of “Hong Kong Nationalism”", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 535-545.



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