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18th Party Congress

The Chinese Communist Party's 18th Congress, held in Beijing November 8-14, 2012, marked a key power transition in China. A new generation of leaders, headed by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, took over from the previous leadership headed by Hu Jintao. The Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee was reduced in number from nine to seven. Unlike his predecessor Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao handed over both the Party General Secretary and Chairman of the Central Military Commission positions to Xi.  

NewsHong Kong

Hu appeals to Hong Kong's sense of identity in response to anti-mainland gripes

Apparent rebuke to anti-mainland feeling says city 'shares in pride of being Chinese'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 3:44am

In an apparent response to growing anti-mainland sentiment in the city, President Hu Jintao expressed confidence Hongkongers would have a shared sense of pride in being Chinese, with the remarks being described as a "rare" move.

In a speech opening the party congress in Beijing, Hu reiterated that the central government would "safeguard the nation's sovereignty and security". The remarks follow recent heated comments associating the waving of Hong Kong's colonial flag and the chanting of anti-Chinese slogans with demands for independence.

"We firmly believe that our Hong Kong and Macau compatriots not only have the wisdom, ability and ways to govern and develop the special administrative regions well, but can definitely play a proactive role in national affairs and share the dignity and pride of being Chinese, along with all Chinese people of different ethnic groups," said Hu, who will soon retire as party general secretary.

Analyst Johnny Lau Yiu-siu said it was rare for state leaders to mention Hongkongers taking pride in their nationality.

"Beijing may feel that protesters' slogans like 'Chinese people go back to China' hurt people's feelings, so leaders try to stress the dignity and pride of being Chinese," Lau said.

On his expectations for Hong Kong and Macau, Hu said the central government would "firmly support" their efforts to "focus on developing the economy, effectively improve people's livelihood, move forward democracy in a gradual and orderly process" and foster unity.

In his 2007 opening speech for the 17th congress, Hu stressed the overall need to strengthen cross-border co-operation.

Yesterday, Hu said the principle of "one country, two systems" was "recognised around the world as a success".

Lau also said Hu deliberately left out certain phrases in his report, including "to prevent and curb external forces from interfering with Hong Kong and Macau affairs". Lau said this was to avoid stirring fresh controversy.

The external forces, Lau said, might refer to local or Taiwanese opposition groups, or overseas pro-democracy activists.

In Beijing, Li Gang, deputy director of the central government's liaison office in the city, said there was no support in Hong Kong for independence.

He also said the rumours Beijing might replace Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying were "ridiculous". And he said Hong Kong had a constitutional responsibility to enact national-security legislation, but the timetable was up to the city to decide.

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Sunny
This just shows how much Chinese communist party leaders are so far behind in understanding the theme of people’s identity, which is complicated for each and every person, especially since the world is becoming smaller, more global and people have experienced living in multiple cultures, east and west. People are advancing to becoming more international and broad-minded, rather than nationalistic which can cause narrow-mindedness.
Hong Kong people are firstly proud to be Hong Kongese. Many are proud to be Chinese, but also proud to uphold western values.
Just as Tibetans are firstly proud to be Tibetans over living under a forced Chinese sovereignty. With over 70 self-immolations of Tibetans over oppression since 2011 and Chinese ‘rule’, this is a sign that you cannot force others to adopt your rules and identity.
likingming
If being nationalistic can cause narrow-mindedness, what about being citylistic ?
Oppression would lead to revolution rather than self-immolations.
Only extreme religious belief could cause 70 self-immolations and a lot more in the future.
shafinhk
Hong Kong's Colonial flag has no value except the very fact that it is history. i wonder why mainland government get irritated by this flag? Hong Kong people believe in one country two system. and this is why they are always identified as Hong Kongers not Purely Chinese. i do not see that by waiving colonial flag Hong Kongers are asking for separation from China, it is just way of expression to ensure that other can have a look on their voice. it is simple and trivial matter. and i believe it should not become a part of regular discussion.
ejmciii
HK people who are Chinese are almost all proud to be Chinese. They are not necessarily aligned with all the attributes of being citizens of the People's Republic of China. They have a unique history just like peoples in many areas of China and they are in that regard different. People from Tibet have a different history and culture although on and off part of China for centuries. Similarly for the peoples of Xinjiang. Mainland officials are quick to tell others that when in China they must act in accordance with their rules and norms, however they seem to bristle when their people are told to do the same when visiting other cultures. That is not a sign of respect for the others. Perhaps the outgoing Rulers should speak more about respect for the different systems by all involved rather than berating Hong Kong people for having pride not only in being ethnic Chinese but also in being HK people who are now part of the People's Republic of China.
shafinhk
Tibet is NOT part of China for centuries.
likingming
If Tibet were not part of China,
Xinjiang is not
Inner Mongol is not
Canton is not (for speaking cantonese)
Shichun is not
AND the white american should give back the States to the red indian.
shouken
Tell that to the Qing emperors of Yongzhen and Qianlong. Qing garrisoned Lhasa since, is it 1720? Even then Dalai Lama had to balance his power with the two ministers (the ambans) sent from Beijing.
shafinhk
Tibet was independent until 1959. It was incorporated into the Peoples Republic of China and previous Tibetan government was abolished in 1959. we can say Tibet always or from centuries had link with China but can not say it was exactly part of China.
ejmciii
History is not with you on that one. It goes back to the Tang Dynasty. That said, it is hardly of moment. The point is that HK has its own culture that should be respected by Beijing rather than being attacked in favor of our bowing down to the kings in the Northern Capital. And "our leaders' are just doing whatever they can to kill as much or our autonomy as they can as fast as they can.
yuuzan
Tibet's status as part of the Chinese empire at certain times is certainly debatable. However, I think the most salient issue at the moment is the huge influx of Han Chinese into Tibetan areas. Prior to the establishment of the PRC, very few Han lived in Tibet. The PRC government is now actively encouraging Han to settle in Tibetan areas and this has a far more profound effect on Tibetans and Tibetan culture than their prior on-off relationship with the Chinese dynasties. China's current policies in Tibet are a textbook case of colonialism and the forceful annexation of Tibet into the Chinese nation-state (as opposed to the earlier imperial relationships).
 
 
 
 
 

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