Print Version    Email to Friend
Challenges of post-handover Hong Kong

Over the past 20 years, Hong Kong has experienced many ups and downs. Some people believe that we should celebrate because Beijing has, in general, honoured its pledges since the handover; that Hong Kong people maintain their original way of life and that the One country, two systems principle has been successfully implemented. 
However, many hold opposing views. Issues concerning the economy remain unresolved, while repeated interpretations of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress, a stagnant democratic process and even the chief executive elections, have given the impression that China has been interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, emphasising One country at the expense of two systems. In addition, the deteriorating political climate of recent years has combined with social division has indirectly instigated the rise of the localist movement. 
In the face of this, some say that the central government has treated Hong Kong quite well and that as long as we focus on economic development rather than touch upon politically sensitive issues, integration with China may create lots of business opportunities for Hong Kong. 
Others have expressed disappointment and disillusionment, coupled with a feeling of extreme helplessness, while some have accepted the reality of a small-circle election to select the chief executive, and have lost the drive to reform the system by turning a blind eye to the fact that the ordinary citizens do not have a share in the economic prosperity pie.
Nevertheless, while none of this is ideal, as Christians, we believe that the God is the master of history and each of us is a collaborator who can make changes, give new meaning to history and make a concerted effort to build the kingdom of God.
The Church, in its social teaching, never considers the importance of an act or an incident solely from the viewpoint of economic benefit. Rather, human dignity and value is the top benchmark. When reviewing policies, development projects and regulations, or when assessing a person’s value and behaviour, we must ask whether they are in line with holistic human development and whether they serve people’s right of participation, and the well-being of the community.
The transmission of Christian values and conversion of human hearts needs to be sustained, strengthened and formed under the light of truth in order for people to be able to make informed decisions and act responsibly.
Faced with the divisions in society and the distrust between China and Hong Kong, the Church, as a channel of social conscience, may take the initiative to offer advice to the incoming government and remind political leaders of their moral responsibility to build a space for genuine dialogue and to explore consensus with all sectors of society. 
The new chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, should play a bridging role by honestly reflecting Hong Kong’s true situation to the central government and convince them to trust the city’s people, and to give it more room to implement the two systems as well as to build mutual trust. 
In addition, the new chief executive must resolve the deep-rooted problems affecting the economy and people’s livelihoods, and show concern for every person, especially the ordinary workers and the disadvantaged who have little or no bargaining power.
As Pope Francis said in a recent TED talk, “A single individual is enough for hope to exist. And that individual can be you. And then there will be another ‘you’, … and it turns into an ‘us’. And so, does hope begin when we have an ‘us’? No. Hope began with one ‘you’. When there is an ‘us’, there begins a revolution.” SE