What is the nationality of Hong kong people?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Semon, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. Semon Howdy, hi and hello. Registered Senior Member

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    I come from Hong kong, and I am arguing with my friend what is my nationality.
    I say we should call ourself chinese but he say would say he is Hong kong man(hongkonger, hongkongese, or something like that) but not chinese. He say he is not chinese but I disagree. who is right?
     
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  3. vslayer Registered Senior Member

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    officialyll you are chinese, the chinese government allows hongkong to govern its own internal affairs, however international relations; trade deals and the military are run by the chinese government.

    i suppose if you want to look at it then you are hongkongian(whatever) too, just as a texan is both american and texan, and a cantabrian is both new zealander and cantabrian.
     
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  5. Semon Howdy, hi and hello. Registered Senior Member

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    my friends' question is "should he call himself chinese to foreigner?" because he said he will be treated differently if he call himself chinese.
     
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Not really. Perhaps that's how you envision it but in reality China is calling all of the shots there now. China is just allowing many of those that were in charge to stay in their positions somewhat but is telling them what to do.
     
  8. geodesic "The truth shall make ye fret" Registered Senior Member

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    Depends how you feel - I could call myself English, and I live in Scotland, but I usually choose to say British, or that I'm from Cambridge.
     
  9. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

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    Just say you're from Hong Kong. I don't refer to myself as an American, I say I'm from Southern California, even to international folk.

    - N
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You could call yourselves British before the lease expired, but not now.

    I don't know how much you've traveled. I find that out here in foreign countries, Chinese people make a really big deal out of which province they're from. Particularly if it's one in which the language has not historically been Mandarin (Beijing hua). Or at least a vaguely recognizable dialect of Mandarin such as Sichuan hua.

    Hong Kong is historically part of Guangdong province. You folks speak Guangdong hua, or Cantonese as we call it in English. The fact that you call the city by its Cantonese name, Hong Kong, instead of its Mandarin name, Xiang Geng, probably implies that you speak Cantonese, although you've probably learned Mandarin as a third language.

    In recent centuries there has been a huge rivalry between the people of Guangdong and the people of northern China. The Cantonese were quicker to make contact with foreigners and have become more cosmopolitan than the people of the imperial capital.

    So if you want to call yourself Cantonese, there is plenty of historical precedent. Most well-educated foreigners understand the unique history of Guangdong and Hong Kong.

    Or you can say you're from Hong Kong. Even more people will understand that.

    Or you can call yourself Chinese, because you certainly are.

    The choice is yours. It's more a matter of how you want to identify yourself to us, all three names are proper.
     
  11. Try examining his passport. Generally those tricksy bits of paper usually cast the deciding vote on these matters...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  12. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    He's Chinese. Hong Kong is part of China, therefore he is Chinese. As are you.
     
  13. bob-bobby Born Again ;) Registered Senior Member

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    For sure , Chinese !!!
     
  14. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Definitely Chinese!
     
  15. clhh Registered Member

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    Legally, your nationality is technically Chinese, and also British if you were born before 1997. Technically, you are also Taiwanese as the Republic of China claims all Hongkongese to be ROC nationals (but this means absolutely nothing unless you move to a third country and obtained their permanent residency and wishes to apply for a Taiwanese passport).

    Nevertheless, for both practical and ethical reasons, you should say "Hong Kong" as your nationality when it matters, eg on an immigration form. This is because the Hong Kong and British National Overseas passports have a lot more visa-free entries than a normal Chinese passport has, and if you are living in a foreign country and have been registered officially as "China" for your nationality, you *will* have trouble even for opening a bank account because Hong Kong is not under the list of Chinese cities.

    You can also say you are British, if you were born before 1 July 1997. British nationality is for life and you are entitled to call yourself British, receive British consular support (outside of Hong Kong, Macau, and China), and indeed vote if you are residing in the UK. Nevertheless, you may say there are ethical concerns when you declare yourself British on an immigration form, holding a BNO passport - a BNO gives you entry to many countries, but not as many as a British citizen passport does. Simply declaring yourself to be British means the immigration officer might mistaken it as a standard UK passport and give you an arrival visa even when you're not entitled to one.
     
  16. clhh Registered Member

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    This is more than your sentiments, identity politics, or independent nationalism.

    When it is legal, Hongkongese should not call themselves Chinese, as in "from China", no matter what one feels about their own identity. This is because legally-speaking, Hong Kong is a part of China but there are clear *legal* differences -

    1. Holding a Hong Kong passport to travel means you're unlikely to need a visa; however, if you call yourself Chinese, the immigration officer will most likely demand a visa from you. In fact, the airline staff might not even let you board until you make it absolutely clear that it's a Hong Kong, not Chinese passport.

    2. Living in a foreign country and registered as Chinese would give you trouble because your identity card is likely to say "China" and apart from the investment products that will be withheld from someone from China but not Hong Kong, you will have difficulty filling in forms because Hong Kong is not under China as a city.
     
  17. clhh Registered Member

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    Wrong on the Britishness. British nationality is for life, and so Hongkongese born before 1 July 1997 are always legally entitled to call themselves British unless they have opted to actively renounced their British nationality. Nevertheless, British nationals (including citizens) cannot actually legally renounce their citizenship or nationality without personal approval from Her Majesty The Queen, the monarch, and so they could always get it back (unless of course Lizzy did give them her personal approval).

    Hongkongese would belong to the class of British national overseas - entitled to the BNO passport (different visa-free entries, no "European Union" on top on the cover, and nationality says "British national (overseas)". But they are still entitled to consular protection outside of Hong Kong, Macau, and China, and other services; and they can vote if they are residents in the United Kingdom. It's very ambiguous how different EU countries treat BNOs but legally-speaking there should be no special rights.
     
  18. clhh Registered Member

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    That is the legal definition, but on immigration forms and anything that matters, a Hong Kong person holding a Hong Kong passport should always choose Hong Kong instead of China/Chinese for nationality.

    This is because the passports have very different visa requirements in countries and if a Hongkongese becomes an expat in a foreign country and was registered as from China, there will be a lot of trouble, including opening a bank account because Hong Kong is not under the list of Chinese cities.
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It depends if you want to identify with China, or if you think Hong Kong should be totally independent. There is no right answer.
     
  20. clhh Registered Member

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    This has as much to do with legality and practicality as identity.

    Ever if a Hongkongese is very pro-Chinese and feels very Chinese, on immigration forms or anything that matters, they should still say "Hong Kong". Otherwise, they will face trouble entering the country or living there, due to the many obvious legal differences between Hong Kong and China. Hong Kong is its own jurisdiction with its own passport.
     
  21. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Legally, you have to follow the rules, but personally, you can decide if you want to identify with the mainland or not.
     
  22. clhh Registered Member

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    The rule, ie the law, is that Hongkongese are Chinese, but the de facto rule is that if you choose to fill in China instead of Hong Kong, you will not be able travel or live in a foreign country without unnecessary troubles. There's a reason why Hong Kong is an option on every single country list.
     

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