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Socio-Political Changes in Modern Hong Kong: the Crisis of 'One Country, Two Systems' Policy

Student: Anastasiia Alekseeva

Supervisor: Mikhail Karpov

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2020

The concept of "One Country, Two Systems" was proposed by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s for the peaceful return of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Beijing justifiably believed that the West would only accept Hong Kong's reintegration if the Chinese government maintained business preferences and a well-established lifestyle for the local population. China has restored its sovereignty over Hong Kong but has pledged to maintain extended autonomy for 50 years. In practice, the implementation of the "One Country - Two Systems" principle in Hong Kong is associated with a number of political difficulties, where the scope of Hong Kong's autonomy and the central government's interference in the Territory's political life are the object of dispute. Beijing, which doubts the loyalty of the local population to China and the CPC, is wary of the democratization of Hong Kong, fearing that the coming to power of uncontrolled democratic forces will destroy the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and jeopardize the existing sovereignty over Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong are therefore protesting because many people see in the One Country, Two Systems policy Beijing's intention to gradually assimilate the region in socio-cultural, political, and economic terms with mainland China rather than granting a number of officially promised freedoms.

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