Disclaimer: unlike much of my post, this is merely opinion-based
I woke up this morning feeling miserable about Hong Kong's future. Having spent a fair few years in the city, it is hard not to notice the decreasing quality of life of its people. Hospitals are being overcrowded, housing prices are rising and increasing numbers of Hong Kong people cannot find suitable housing. Having been shown a youtube video a few days about how Hong Kong meant very little to the British Empire in whole, I must remark that whether this is true or not, it is simply irrelevant. In Chinese, there is a saying 生娘不及養娘大 shengniang buji yangniang dai - this proverb means that the adopted parent outweighs the birth parent.
The implication of this towards Hong Kong is that while China claims to be the 祖國 zuguo, or ancestral country, traditional Chinese filial piety actually values the adopted parent more. This is because despite the action, and perhaps sacrifice, of birthing a child or in this case a city, the act of raising one is far greater. When the United Kingdom seized Hong Kong after the First Opium War in 1842 (at least Hong Kong Island), it was the move that sparked the development of an advanced economy.
From fishing village to Asian economic powerhouse, from backwater to trend-setter, the Hong Kong that was taken from China is not the same Hong Kong that was returned. In fact, the China that has taken Hong Kong in 1997 is not the same China that has given it. The 1911 Xinhai Revolution that ended Imperial China also expelled the Manchu minority which had ruled over the Han majority. If China can understand the importance of having another people rule over them, why do they seek to govern Hong Kong? I can't that one may ask the same of the British government for the 150 years but the truth is, Hong Kong's citizens were generally either impartial or fond of the British rule. Is this true in Hong Kong today for mainland Chinese rule?
If China is so sure that we, the Hong Kong people, support them, why not make their presence in Hong Kong known? The Chinese Communist Party's influence is known, yet they stay hidden behind different guises. Some Hong Kong people have joined the Chinese Communist Party, however, they keep their membership status private. This only thing this veil of secrecy only accomplishes is to facilitate increasing distrust of the Chinese government. More importantly, if China believes that the Handover of Hong Kong in 1997 is legitimate, they should give us a referendum. After all, it is our destiny that rested in the hands of the Chinese government, should we not a choice?
What is the legitimacy behind the handover? If Hong Kong should be returned to China, our zuguo, because of ethnic ties, then would China please release the people of Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Guangxi from the the rule of a different ethnicity. If Hong Kong's return was because colonialism is wrong, then would China please grant Tibet its independence since China (during the Qing rule) invaded and occupied Tibet. If Hong Kong is given to China because it was spoil of war forcibly taken by the British, then would China please divide back up into the states during the Zhou dynasty. If all of this is simply because of uniting the "Chinese" people, then would China please look at the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or perhaps the Ottoman Empire; more recent examples would be Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union. Nations do not necessarily stay united; this is not the general trend amongst non-nation-states.
Supposedly, self-determination is a right granted to all peoples and safeguarded by the United Nations. Where was the UN on July 1st, 1997? If there is a sense of decency in anyone who may see this, please at least admit that Hong Kong people were fed to the wolves because of economic considerations, because China is too powerful to upset and this is the reason why we were never given a choice of administration. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Hong Kong people, or at least those who were able to, voted with their feet. Many chose to leave Hong Kong and even those choose to return after the Handover retain their foreign citizenship in case of instability in Hong Kong caused by China.
British Hong Kong's coat of arms means that the big lion (UK) took the pearl (Hong Kong) from the dragon and the pearl was kept safe and prosperous for years. Yet, life has not been the same since the dragon ripped the pearl back from the lion. Personally, if there was a referendum in Hong Kong today regarding our status, I would say: "God Save the Queen!"