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One Country, Two Cultures: Can Hong Kong Find Its Way?

One Country, Two Cultures: Can Hong Kong Find Its Way?

China Institute hosted a timely panel discussion on February 12, 2020 on “One Country, Two Cultures,” encompassing the ongoing upheaval in Hong Kong and the deep anxiety and frustration motivating new questions about the complex framework that has bound Hong Kong and the PRC together since 1997. Below, we present quotes, photos, and the full event video for your perusal.

We invite you to join the conversation in person at additional upcoming events at China Institute.

Speakers’ Bios

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she writes about China and Chinese-American politics and culture. Her latest reporting about Hong Kong appeared in the New Yorker in December: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/16/hong-kongs-protest-movement-and-the-fight-for-the-citys-soul
Ho-fung Hung is the Henry M. & Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy at the Sociology Department and School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of the award-winning book The China Boom: Why China Will Not Rule the World and Protest with Chinese Characteristics: Demonstrations, Riots, and Petitions in the Mid-Qing Dynasty, both published by Columbia University Press.
Patrick Chovanec is Managing Director and Chief Strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management and an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.
Nathan Law is a young activist in Hong Kong, currently studying at Yale University for a master degree in East Asian Studies. During the Umbrella Movement in 2014, Nathan was one of the five representatives who took part in the dialogue with the government, debating political reform. Upholding non-violent civic actions, Nathan, Joshua Wong and other student leaders founded Demosistō in 2016, and also co-founded Network of Young Democratic Asians (NOYDA).

Quotes from the Panel

“People still cannot contemplate why Hong Kong people viewed [the government] with anger. People cannot imagine petrol bombs and the violent scenes [from Hong Kong]. That really relates to how poeple see Hong Kong. …There are two basic expectations of Hong Kong poeple in the implementation of one country two cultures: the first is democratization, we have the expectation [hong Kong] will become more and more liberal. The second is the security generated by the healthy system. …But for the past 5 years, hope faded and the expectation and the secuirty collapsed.” -Nathan Law

“Hong Kong’s economy, and its growth and evolution alongside China, belongs in this conversation.” -Jiayang Fan

“The question is, does [China] exert control to keep bad things from spreading? Or, in the process, do you risk killing the goose that laid the golden egg?” -Patrick Chovanec

“The idea of Hong Kong’s people is interesting. The negotiation of identity [between Chinese and Hong Konger] is part of what fuels the unrest.” -Nathan Law

“Will China make Hong Kong the next Shenzhen?” -Jiayang Fan

“Why do you need Hong Kong if it is just like every other Chinese city? Hong Kong is its own city.” -Patrick Chovanec

Photos from the Event

One Country, Two Cultures: Can Hong Kong Find Its Way?

Full Video of the Panel Discussion

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