11 September 2017

Hong Konger Identity

'The Legal Foundation of Hongkonger Identity' by Simon T M Ng comments that
The individual exits in a context, bounded by history and all sorts of political, legal and social institutions. The individual’s identity, rights, freedoms and duties are largely defined and shaped by these secular institutions. Discussion on the Hongkonger identity has been keen recently. The legal aspect of it, however, is usually overlooked. How does the law define the identity of the people of Hong Kong? This paper argues that residency law in Hong Kong provides the fundamental framework in defining who belong to Hong Kong and it gives the foundation on which a civic identity of Hongkongers may be constructed. “Hongkongers” in this sense is inclusive and rights based, and all Hongkongers share constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedom in common. This embracive legal identity also calls for a public morality requiring equal respect and concern for everyone. Such identity is preferred to other narratives, such as one based solely on restrictive linguo-cultural distinction (Cantonese and Cantopop culture for example). Calling for the morality of equal respect and concern is always challenged in the face of narrow, ethnocentric localism discourses. Upholding of such morality requires courage and clear voices. The Catholic Church, as defender of human dignity and bearing the roles of prophet, teacher and servant, has an important role to play here. ... 
Identity tells who we are and where do we belong. Yet, it is a complicated, multi-faceted and protean construct. And one can, at the same time, have different identities: personal identity (what I say I am); social identity (what we say we are); legal identity (what the law says I am or we are) and so forth. How does the law define us as members of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region? This is critical in defining our rights and freedoms and in constructing our relationship with our fellow Hongkongers, compatriots in the same State, the wider community and beyond. This article intends to give an account on the law defining our legal identity: how has Hong Kong Permanent Resident developed out of the unique historical and constitutional context of Hong Kong? How does the law define it? How does it relate to the wider legal category of Chinese nationality? And how the understanding of the law is relevant to the discourse and narratives on the Hongkonger’s identity? It argues that residency law in Hong Kong provides the fundamental framework in defining who belong to Hong Kong and it gives the foundation on which a civic identity of Hongkongers may be constructed. “Hongkongers” in this sense is inclusive and rights based, and all Hongkongers share constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedom in common. This embracive legal identity also calls for a public morality requiring equal respect and concern for everyone. Such identity is preferred to other narratives, such as one based solely on restrictive linguo-cultural distinction (Cantonese and Cantopop culture for example). Calling for the morality of equal respect and concern is always challenged in the face of narrow, ethnocentric localism discourses.