How is technology holding 'One Country, Two Systems' back from being a working system?

When the 'one country, two systems' agreement was introduced, in the circumstances of China and Hong Kong in 1997, technology was not at the forefront of communication and informing as it is today, or as it will be in 2047. The idea of 'one country, two systems' was first suggested by Deng Xiaoping for the reunification of China during the 1980s. So how can the passage of time since it was introduced, and the technology developed since then, affect how well 'one country' two systems' can work?

As Hong Kong has grown technologically under 'one country, two systems', China' s stance on censorship has not changed much. Because of Hong Kong's laws that allow freedom on the internet, censorship is not as much of an issue, beyond the usual unlicensed copyrighted works and other things. However, it is different in China, with internet censorship meaning that a lot of websites allowed in Hong Kong would be inaccessible in China. Another issue with this gap between uncensored Hong Kong and censored mainland China is that Hong Kong is accustomed to greater freedom of speech than China online. As China has influenced Hong Kong more and more, one of the worries is the censorship laws coming into Hong Kong. A noticeable example of this censorship being used in the context of the Hong Kong protests is on the online platform Blizzard, where players have been removed for talking about Hong Kong.

One Country Two Systems was introduced when online news wasn't the main way to receive news and learn information. However, as the Internet grew and developed as technology such as phones and computers did, the world became more reliant on online news websites to be able to see the news from everywhere, and know what is actually going on. This is the case of the news in most countries, excluding a few. Hong Kong, because of its 'high autonomy' allowed by China, has the same dependency on freedom of speech and freedom of use of the Internet as most of the world, while China has some highly controversial censorship laws. As 2047 grows nearer, Hong Kong and its rapid growth of technology development and gaming could easily be stunted by the reversion to Chinese law. When the original handover happened in 1997, Hong Kong was a lot more vital to the economy meaning that they let Hong Kong do what they wanted to boost their economy, indirectly boosting China's.

As 2047 grows nearer, the gap that needs to bridged by Hong Kong and China on censorship and technological freedom grows bigger. The population of Hong Kong doesn't want Chinese laws to be put in place, regardless of whether they are technological or not. We know this from the outrage that the proposed extradition law caused. Technological freedom is one of the things holding 'one country, two systems' back from being a working system, but it's not the most important.

Comments (8)

  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    23 Oct 2019

    An excellent analysis of this question, steady_harmonica. You say technological freedom is one of the things holding back the system, but not the most important - what other factors are more important and why?

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  • Weston-Favell-logo-250x250.jpg honorable_conclusion | Weston Favell Academy
    23 Oct 2019

    I agree with you because, before the great technology advances we have had recently, people did not really have a forum to express their opinions about certain controversial issues. However, now that we have social media sites, there is more opportunities to express your opinions. This has lead to difficulties because people have been expressing how they feel in a slightly unruly manor. This leads to problems because it can cause conflict between different people.
    Also, the technology advancements can be a factor in the problems because it means that the protests can become more violent and the defenses against the protests will become more violent. For example, now we use tear gas, first used in world war 1, to control crowds which can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and lungs.Therefore, I believe that technological advancements have contributed because they have made protests more violent and people able to express their views.
    However, there are other factors that can contribute to the crisis. For example, the fact that the people who lead the country have changed. For example, when the agreement was decided, the President was Jiang Zemin. Now, the leader is Xi Jinping. In Britain, the leader at the time was Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister, and now it is Boris Johnson. This was a factor because it meant that different people run the country differently and have different opinions. This means they would have treated Hong Kong differently in 1997 to now.
    In addition, another factor that may contribute to this is that the authors went missing and mysteriously reappeared in prison some months later. This may have caused controversy because the authors may have sparked anger that the people of Hong Kong could not say what they think even though they have their freedom of speech.

    In conclusion, the technological advancements contributed to the Hong Kong crisis but there were many other reasons as to why there are protests in the country.
    Information found at :https://www.britannica.com/technology/tear-gas

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      honorable_conclusion's comment 24 Oct 2019

      Great reasoning, honorable_conclusion, well done.

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  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    23 Oct 2019

    Can you explain in more detail about why China would want to stop Hong Kong having their a lot of freedom of speech online? I'm not really sure why they would want to stop Hong Kong online. I can see that maybe they wouldn't want HongKongers to talk about the protests online and discuss what they would do in them but is this enough just to ban uncensored online Hong Kong and switch it to China's rules? Personally, I don't think it is as if they ban it then would good would it do because people can just talk IRL and it would only make them more angry and spark more protests which they obviously don't wan't to happen. Please can you say what you think?

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    1. Weston-Favell-logo-250x250.jpg honorable_conclusion | Weston Favell Academy
      succinct_leaves's comment 25 Oct 2019

      China do not want Hong Kong to have their freedom of speech because they believe that only the people who run the country should have a say in how it is run. For example, Britain is a democracy (where everyone has a say in how the country is run)and China is a dictatorship (only one or a few people have a say in how the country is run). Therefore, people expressing their opinions is seen as rebelling against the leaders of the country.
      However, Hong Kong should be allowed their freedom of speech because Britain and China signed a deal which meant that Hong Kong would have all the rights they would of had if they were still a British Colony. As we are a democratic country, it means that they have the freedom to say what they think (unless it is racist,sexist, homophobic or any other hate crime).
      Hong Kong believe that China have disobeyed the rules of this. This is because five Hong Kong authors -who wrote books against Chinese rule- mysteriously vanished and then , months later, reappeared in Chinese prison cells.

      In conclusion, although they have signed a contract which says ,until 2047, Hong Kong have freedom of speech and other such rights, China want Hong Kong to not have freedom of speech so that they are ruled the same way as the rest of China. Also, if no one questions how China is run, it will make them look more powerful.

      I hope you found this helpful.

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      1. Lyons Hall Primary School invigorated_potato | Lyons Hall Primary School B
        honorable_conclusion's comment 09 Dec 2019

        honorable_conclusion you are so right, did you know that China have also kidnapped some Hong Kongese booksellers who have written books against Chinese rules and that some of them have appeared in jail and others preferably dead.

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School invigorated_potato | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    09 Dec 2019

    China are too overprotective of Hong Kong because they think that they are going to lose power over them.

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School invigorated_potato | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    09 Dec 2019

    I believe that China are making it very clear that they want Hong Kong to live under the same circumstances as they do.

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