20 May 2019
The strength of Hong Kong's people comes from our unique identity, not a BNO passport, and we should never belittle ourselves in the face of attempts to turn us into replicas of mainlanders. Photo: Reuters
The strength of Hong Kong's people comes from our unique identity, not a BNO passport, and we should never belittle ourselves in the face of attempts to turn us into replicas of mainlanders. Photo: Reuters

Why the Hong Kong identity is priceless

I sincerely believe bookseller Lee Bo will be able to return home safely, simply because he is a Hongkonger, and his identity as a Hong Kong citizen will prove instrumental in his safe return.

Am I overstating the importance of the Hong Kong identity here?

Absolutely not, because it is a priceless treasure left behind by the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

As far as the British National Overseas (BNO) passport is concerned, it is just a completely overrated and useless document, and it really boggles the mind why people have been making such a fuss over this crap recently.

For years, the people of Hong Kong have totally underrated the importance of their own identity and have been misled into believing that the Hong Kong identity should always take a backseat to the Chinese identity, thanks to the repeated nonsense and mumbo-jumbo pulled by the hypocritical pan-democrats, who make a living by playing on the “Greater China complex” and belittling our own identity.

The notion that Hong Kong will not have true democracy unless China has its own is just a complete load of crap.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, if the Hong Kong identity is as insignificant as these people insist, then why are so many well-educated and cash-flush mainlanders continuing to come to Hong Kong to obtain Hong Kong citizenship?

Why are the overwhelming majority of mainland brides married to Hong Kong men so eagerly seeking to settle down in our city rather than asking their husbands to join them in the mainland instead?

The answer is a no-brainer: Hong Kong citizenship is priceless and can offer them a guarantee of safety and well-being.

The fact that millions of people in the mainland, poor or rich, are willing to go to any lengths to get a Hong Kong ID card speaks volumes about the value of being a Hong Kong citizen.

The Hong Kong identity is priceless and legally binding because it is not a concession or gift granted by the Communist Party but a unique status guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, an international treaty recognized by the United Nations that both signatories, China and Britain, are obliged to observe.

Also guaranteed under this treaty are our civil rights, our rule of law and our freedom of speech.

To Beijing, the Basic Law is just a tool for ruling that it can toss at any time, because it doesn’t involve any third party and nobody in the international community would say a word even if it is breached.

However, the Sino-British Joint Declaration is different.

It is an international treaty that involves two major powers, and if Beijing openly breaches the terms of the treaty, it might risk losing its credibility and international image, something that the party has made a painstaking effort to build in recent years.

Much to my dismay, unfortunately, it appears the people of Hong Kong have got used to belittling themselves and are under the impression that we are completely powerless without the help of the patronizing western powers, thanks to the continued propaganda pulled by some pro-western pan-democratic thugs and misleading analysis made by certain dumb academics and low-life political pundits.

Hence, I believe the recent frenzy over renewing the BNO passports fueled by some ignorant international relations academics is a complete waste of time.

Because our strength as Hongkongers comes not from the BNO but from our identity established and guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a strength that won’t go away unless we allow it to.

Therefore it is our unique identity that we should hang on to, not the BNO.

Let me remind my fellow citizens here once again: never belittle yourselves, because our unique identity comes from our history and international law.

As our city is besieged by communists, we must pull ourselves together and defend our soil.

Remember, the people of Hong Kong are strong, and our home is safe, as long as we stick together.

We have withstood a lot of tests in the past, and prevail we shall this time.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan. 12.

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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