Social Equity in a Time of Change
Edited By Richard Greggory Johnson III
Chapter Two: Discrimination Against the Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong’s Defense of Local Identity
Discrimination Against the Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong’s Defense of Local Identity
WAI-KWOK BENSON WONG
INTRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZING THE DISCRIMINATION
Although Hong Kong is part of China according to the foreword of the Basic Law, a mini constitution of the Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the increasing institutional and political differences between the city and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been salient since the establishment of the PRC in 1949 at a time when Hong Kong was a British colony. A series of political campaigns since the 1950s, and the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), led to residents of mainland China migrating illegally to colonial Hong Kong in order to escape political troubles, establish stable and safe lives, live with relatives, and/or improve their family finances. Since the 1980s, Chinese migration to Hong Kong has used a quota system by the mutual agreement of the Beijing and Hong Kong governments. It was initially set at 150 people per day in 1980, revised downward to 75 persons per day in 1983, then increased to 105 per day in 1993, and finally increased to 150 per day in 1995, where it now stands (Wan, 2006, p. 2).
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