Postcolonial hangovers
in Hong Kong and British culture, 1945–97
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This brief chapter examines Britain’s the post-colonial legacy in Hong Kong. On the surface, little had changed, with basic institutions (an Executive-based government, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, a bureaucratic civil service, rule of law) enduring. Yet with Occupy Central and what many were calling the Umbrella Revolution unfolding, numerous Hong Kong people—including students too young to have a memory of the Colonial era—argued that too much had changed. To such observers, Hong Kong’s economy had become too dependent on mainland tourism, freedom of the press was gradually eroding, and Hong Kong’s hard-earned special status was evaporating. The chapter reflects on the irony that critiques of the Beijing government—including demands for full democracy—in the second decade of the twenty-first century were often accompanied by nostalgia for the Colonial period.


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