When it comes to the issue of Hong Kong Vs. China, it is a known fact that people from Hong Kong see themselves as different from the people of mainland China, although the independently administered city is meant to be absorbed fully by China in 2047.
Hong Kong stands as one of China’s semi-autonomous regions. Which operates under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. Which was laid out in the Sino-British Declaration of 1984. China experienced several seismic changes throughout the 20th century. From the fall of the Qing dynasty to the Chinese Civil War. Hong Kong, a British crown colony from 1843 until 1997 was largely shielded from these upheavals. Owing to this, there are a number of distinct cultures. And social discrepancies between the two territories.
Hong Kong Vs. China: What’s the Difference?
The root of Hong Kong’s separation from the mainland dates back to the Opium Wars. Between Great Britain and China (1839-1860). During these military and trade clashes, China was mandated to cede Hong Kong Island. Also a part of Kowloon to Great Britain in perpetuity. And in 1898, Britain negotiated a major land expansion of the Hong Kong colony. And signed a 99-year lease with China. The said lease ended in 1997, at which time Britain returned Hong Kong to China as a Special Administrative Region (SAR). Known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR).
Known officially as the People’s Republic of China, China stands as the world’s most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion people. This East Asian country, is governed by the Communist Party of China, which has jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the SARs of both Hong Kong and Macau.
China is the country with the second-largest economy in the world, standing at $13.6 trillion, right after the United States, at $20.4 trillion. China’s economy was built on heavy industry development, which ramped up the country’s industrial and service output over the years.
Major Differences Between Hong Kong and China
Traditional Vs. Simplified Chinese
When it comes to written Chinese. Simplified characters are used in mainland China. While Hong Kong relies on traditional characters.
Simplified Chinese characters are modern inventions. Which have been promoted by the mainland Chinese government. Since the 1950s in a bid to increase literacy. Simplified Chinese is based on traditional characters. Even though they have been adapted so that they contain fewer strokes. Theoretically making them easier to learn.
Even though according to many Hong Kong is seen as being more ‘Westernized’ than mainland China, it is believed that Hongkongers tend to be more superstitious than mainland Chinese. Ranging from belief in feng shui to regular temple attendance to folk village festivals, Hong Kong retains many traditional beliefs and practices which may not be that important for those in mainland China.
During the revolutionary fervor of the 20th century. Mainland Chinese intellectuals were seen to reject Confucian ideas. Feudal society as well as folk superstitions. Many traditional customs got outright ban during the cultural revolution. Because of modernity.
Social Media and the Internet
Hong Kong enjoys unfettered access to the internet without the need for a VPN and Hongkongers boycott Chinese social media apps and sites, except they need to conduct business or talk to friends in mainland China. WeChat stands as the most popular messaging app in Hong Kong, and Western social media sites and apps like Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, and Snapchat are also generally used in Hong Kong.
China on the other hand uses the microblogging site like Weibo and the social media app WeChat more. These microblogging sites have their own separate internet ecosystem which is dubbed the ‘Great Firewall’, which the Chinese government employs in regulating online communication. To get access to blocked foreign sites like Facebook and Google from mainland China, you are to use a virtual private network (VPN).
Prevalence of English
In Hong Kong, it is very easy for those who speak English to get around. This is because, all street signs, official documents and government services, and most restaurants menus and websites, are bilingual. Additionally, local schools in Hong Kong maintain a relatively high standard of English instruction, and many middle and upper crust Hongkongers attend university abroad in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, or Canada. China, on the other hand, does not have proficient English speakers in everyday life. If you plan on staying in China for more than a brief amount of time, then you have to learn a bit of Mandarin.
Cantonese vs. Mandarin
Hong Kong’s official languages are Chinese and English. Practically, ‘Chinese’ literally means ‘Cantonese’. Which is a southern Chinese language. That is mutually unintelligible with Mandarin. ‘Unintelligible’ here implies that Cantonese as it’s spoken. What Hongkongers write is usually perfectly legible to mainland Chinese people if they familiarize themselves. Sufficiently with traditional Chinese script.
The official language of China is Modern Standard Mandarin. Based on the Beijing dialect, Mandarin was adopted as a common national language in 1955, and all mainland China schools teach in Mandarin. However, many Chinese people use a regional language or dialect at home.