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Opinion | Xi Should Safeguard Hong Kong’s Interest

30 years after Tiannamen Massacre, China is yet again embroiled in another movement led by young people. Young protesters in Hong Kong, an island state administered by People’s Republic of China (PRC) through Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), is asking for more rights and freedom.

Hong Kong was taken on lease by United Kingdom for 99 years. In 1997, the time period of the lease ended and Hong Kong was handed back to China. As an agreement signed with Britain, China had agreed to keep Hong Kong under the ambit of ‘one country, two system’ for fifty years. Under this system, Hong Kong enjoys relative autonomy that include a free press and an independent judicial system.

The ongoing protests in Hong Kong is inevitable considering, inter alia, the influx of mainland Chinese into the HKSAR. One such repurcussion is that there have been reports of many young people from Hong Kong migrating to other countries as the standard of living is high and properties are too expensive to be owned.

Earlier this year, the Hong Kong government proposed an extradition bill for fugitives from mainland China and Macao but it was suspended in June due to widespread protest.

But the protesters are now asking for more freedom in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong protests is an amalgamation of all that has not gone right with the increase in purchasing power of the mainland Chinese as well as the tightening grip of rising China over Hong Kong. As the financially well-off mainland Chinese buys real estates in Hong Kong, prices is said to have sky-rocketed, thus making it difficult for young Hong Kongers to buy houses and start families in Hong Kong.

It is thus pertinent for Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to safeguard the ‘one country, two system’ in every sphere vis-a-vis Hong Kong; as well as protect the utmost interest of the Hong Kongers in the island state. Furthermore, Mainland Chinese should be restricted to buy properties partially or in toto. Hong Kong-China relationship should learn from the UK-Scotland or UK-Northern Ireland model and go in tandem with the said arrangement.