Hong Kong people feel more Hong Kong

Since going to UWC Atlantic College, I’ve been faced with having to explain the distinction between coming from Hong Kong and coming from China. It is, in all honesty, a small distinction, but one that many people in Hong Kong hold dear. With all the problems now associated with China, it seems hardly a surprise that HK people now attempt to distinguish and distance themselves from the social and political upheaval just across the boarder.

The SCMP recently reported on the 29th of December 2011 that

Despite increasing economic integration, locals are viewing themselves more strongly as Hongkongers rather than Chinese citizens than at any time in the past decade, a survey has found.
The poll asked 1,016 city residents to rank the strength of their feelings as “Hong Kong citizens” on a scale from zero to 10, and found an average rating of 8.23 points, a 10-year high.
Asked the same question about their identity as “Chinese citizens”, the average rating was 7.01 points, a 12-year low. The poll was conducted from December 12-20.

For me, the more convincing explanation of this statistical result is given by Dr. James Sung:

Political scientist Dr James Sung Lap-kung said the weakening local sense of a “Chinese citizen” identity could be tied to a wide range of factors to do with China’s diplomatic relations as well as social and economic developments.

The recent Wukan protest over confiscated farmland, and demonstrations over a proposed power plant in Haimen , Guangdong, could have affected Hongkongers, Sung said. The small-circle chief executive election might also weaken people’s sense of engagement, making them believe Beijing was exerting its influence over the city, he said.