Hong Kong and the By-Products of Colonialism (RELS 348)

Both colonialism and imperialism were two very common utilized practices by powerful nations to conquer or settle another land. These two similar terms have often been used interchangeably, and although you cannot separate one from the other, they have two distinct definitions. Colonialism is the establishment of your own city-state in another region, while imperialism is an expansion of the imperial power through military power, where you impose the empires rule on another nation. As mentioned in class, we live in a postcolonial era, and thus we have seen the decline of many great powers in the colonial era. Some decolonized nations are still facing many of the negative consequences that came at the price of sovereignty. Currently, this struggle is evident within the nation of Hong Kong, and its fight for considerable autonomy and political independence from China, after being a colony of Britain for 156 years.

In the article, “British army-linked cadets active in Hong Kong amid debate over new PLA-backed forceSouth China Morning Post, 23 January 2015, Alice woodhouse reports on the controversial debate of the military cadet force in Hong Kong, that has links with the British army. Despite Hong Kong being a part of China, it does not consider itself Chinese, due to the impact of British colonial Rule. Therefore, it does not come to a surprise that Hong Kong today is considered a nation within a nation, that operates under a “one country, two systems” policy. The recent inauguration of the Hong Kong Army Cadets, displays a military group that closely aligns itself with a “British – style group”, wearing similar uniforms and carrying symbols such as the royal family’s coat of arms. The realization of such military group being active generates great concern for the city, as the Hong-Kong Army Cadets could have “inappropriate sovereignty implications”. Even further, Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying has heavily criticized these groups that advocate for Hong Kong nationalism, stating that they only perpetuate instability and identity issues within the city.

There are many issues that a city or a country that was a former colony can face, such as political restructuring and economic downfalls. In this particular article, it demonstrates the several opposing views regarding the military group who has close ties with its former colony, which poses a threat to the sovereignty of Hong Kong. In my belief, Hong Kong is struggling with establishing its own independent identity, one that is separate from China, despite originating from that nation and one that is distinct to the familiarity of British ideals. Nevertheless, decolonization has sparked other political and democratic problems that face the public of Hong Kong, and it is a current example of the negative consequences and aftermath the can come of Colonialism and the quest of other nations to extend their power and territory.


#348 #uwreligions


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