Difference Between Hong Kong and China

Hong Kong vs China

An island lying on the southern coast of China, Hong Kong is one of the most heavily populated areas in the world. Today, it is a SAR (Special Administered 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.

Until 1997, HK 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 HK 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 HK. People still enjoy democracy as China does not have a say in the political system.

You would be surprised to hear that HK 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 HK 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.

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

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 HK. This is because of democracy in HK.

Despite the population made up of Chinese people, one has a British feel in HK, 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, HK is far ahead of China and one can see men cleaning and sweeping on streets all the time there are commercials on TV requesting people to keep the city clean. People are reminded of manners and health etiquettes 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 place in HK.