Editor’s note: Has China become a giant of proportions that should worry humanity? In a series of analyzes to be read until Monday, our columnist and expert political scientist on China, Loïc Tassé, tries to answer this question.
Hong Kong is on the eve of a great exodus. Of the 7.5 million people who live in Hong Kong, almost half have or can easily obtain dual citizenship. Of this number, 300,000 hold Canadian passports.
Many Hong Kong people are selling their homes and packing their bags. They are wisely waiting for the global pandemic to end before they leave.
Their favorite destinations are Great Britain, Australia and Canada.
They will be welcomed with open arms. They are not only wealthy, but above all extremely well educated.
The Beijing authorities are happy to see these Hong Kongers leave. For Xi Jinping, these Hong Kongers are insufficiently patriotic. They are even seen as an internal threat.
Moreover, their departure deprives the democratic movement in Hong Kong of many supporters.
Moreover, under pressure from Beijing, Hong Kongers who have dual citizenship are now asked to choose between that of Hong Kong and that of their other country. If they do not choose, they will be deprived of consular services.
And then, the Chinese government is convinced that it can replace these Hong Kongers quite easily.
Indeed, millions of Chinese in the neighboring province of Guangdong are eager to move to Hong Kong, which is difficult for them at the moment.
A face that changes
The large Western companies that had established themselves in the city are gradually replaced by Chinese companies.
So the British face of Hong Kong is starting to fade. Moreover, English is more and more replaced by Mandarin.
The fate of Hong Kong makes Taiwanese shudder. They believed that Beijing’s China would have preserved their specificity in the event of reunification.
Since Deng Xiaoping, the authorities of mainland China had tried to reassure the Taiwanese that the island would be subject to the rule of “one state, two systems”. But Beijing has not kept its word.
Worse, the relentlessness with which Xi Jinping destroyed the democratic movement in Hong Kong illustrates well how much his administration has become an enemy of democracy and therefore of democracies.
Hong Kong is becoming a Chinese city like any other. In the process, it loses its soul, its power and its uniqueness.