‘Stay or go?’ Hong Kong’s handover generation face tough choice

by | Jul 1, 2022 | World

Taipei, Taiwan – “Should I stay or should I go?” This is the question facing many of Hong Kong’s young people, 25 years after the city returned to Chinese rule.At the time of the handover in 1997, Beijing promised the former British colony 50 years of self-government, as well as civil and political rights that do not exist on the Communist Party-ruled mainland. But Beijing’s intensifying crackdown on the city’s freedoms – including a national security law passed in 2020 that has stamped out practically all dissent – has irrevocably altered life for the people of Hong Kong.
“The things that we assumed that would always be here just gradually faded, like the system itself, like freedom of speech, press freedom, all of this, and we lost faith in our government,” said Iris, a 25-year-old Hong Konger who was born in the year of the handover.
“Overall, our generation is pretty hopeless about the future,” she said, asking that only her first name be used. The office worker said many Hong Kong people see her generation as “cursed”.
Hong Kongers born around the time of the handover grew up in an atmosphere of resistance to Beijing’s encroachment on their way of life. They were children during mass demonstrations against a proposed national security law in 2003 and teenagers during …

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