Difference Between Hong Kong and China

Hong Kong vs China

The difference between Hong Kong and China can be understood clearly when you pay attention to the status of each place. Hong Kong, an island lying on the southern coast of China, is one of the most heavily populated areas in the world. Today, it is a SAR (Special Administrative Region) of China, but many people remain confused pertaining to differences between Hong Kong and China just because of this special status. Is it an island, a city state, a part of China, or One country- two systems, which is what Chinese policy in dealing with Hong Kong? Let us take a closer look.

More about Hong Kong

Until 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony, but the year marked an end of 156 years of colonial rule and the island nation has been transferred to China with a caveat that China will not interfere in the currency, legal system, and the polity, which is parliamentary system of democracy as in Britain for the next 50 years. This clearly means that Hong Kong is still an independent country though, technically, a part of China now. You still dial 999 to call police or fire as in Britain and the main languages are Chinese and English as they were in British rule. The population is still made up of mostly Chinese people, and it is only natural considering the proximity of mainland China to Hong Kong. People still enjoy democracy as China does not have a say in the political system.

Difference Between Hong Kong and China

Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline at night

You would be surprised to hear that Hong Kong does not produce anything, yet has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. This is because of Hang Seng, the stock market in Hong Kong, which has an impact on all major financial markets of the world. Hong Kong is a place where people are hard working, but they also know how to enjoy. They are materialistic in nature and spend most of what they earn. Hong Kong culture has a great western vibe in it as it was under British rule for a long time.

More about China

In sharp contrast to Hong Kong is China, where communism rules supreme. The official language in China is Standard Chinese and Yuan is the currency. People envy the lifestyle of Hong Kong, but they cannot go and live in Hong Kong because of the special status of Hong Kong. Citizens of mainland require a special permit to go to Hong Kong. China maintains an embassy in Hong Kong. Chinese currency is not accepted in Hong Kong where the currency is still Hong Kong dollar. Disparity in exchange rates of the two currencies makes it very cheap for Chinese people to go and enjoy in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong vs China

The Great Wall of China

If you look at the Chinese culture, you will see that it is one of the richest cultures in the world. They have a long line of different monarchial lineages. The Great Wall of China is a good example to show how rich and powerful Chinese were even in the past. China is also one of the most powerful states in the world. China even has the veto power in the UN Defense council.

What is the difference between Hong Kong and China?

• Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong is an independent city. China or People’s Republic of China is an independent country.

• In sharp contrast to China, where there are so many restrictions, even on websites, there is no restriction or filtering of websites based on their content in Hong Kong. This is because of democracy in Hong Kong.

• Despite the population made up of Chinese people, one has a British feel in Hong Kong, which is quite different from the Chinese culture. The infrastructure, especially the mass transit system called MTR subway, makes one feel as if he is not in China but in a western country.

• In cleanliness, Hong Kong is far ahead of China, and one can see men cleaning and sweeping the streets all the time. There are commercials on TV requesting people to keep the city clean. People are reminded of manners and health etiquette to keep diseases under check.

• One can find people spitting in mainland China but, in sharp contrast, one is fined when found spitting in public places in Hong Kong.

• Hong Kong is a democracy and China is a socialist single-party state.

• The official language of China is Standard Chinese while the official language of Hong Kong is Chinese and English.

• While Taoism is the mostly followed religion in China, the mostly followed religion in Hong Kong is Buddhism.

• According to the IMF data, Hong Kong has a higher per capita income ($ 52984) than China ($ 11868).

• Hong Kong is a strong city. However, when you compare it with the power China has in the world, Hong Kong becomes second.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline at night by Base64 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. The Great Wall of China by Severin.stalder (CC BY-SA 3.0)