Hong-Kong Protests


AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
3 million people are unlikely to travel to the UK. First, many love their city even if they hate the political system. Second, Taiwan is closer and probably easier to integrate into - I expect the Taiwanese government would be fairly friendly towards them. Third, assuming Trump loses the general election, the US would also probably be a potential destination for refugees. Fourth, for millions, or even hundreds of thousands, to move at the same time we'd need to see a 1989-Beijing style massacre in Hong Kong.

That said, the UK has discussed with other members of the Commonwealth about the possibility of a joint plan to spread refugees around if the numbers were truly exceptional.
1. The minimum wage in Hong Kong is only £3.87 per hour. Compare that with £8.72 per hour in the UK, which is more than double.
And housing costs are generally a lot lower in the UK than in Hong Kong.

You're looking at roughly 1.8 million people in the 18-35 age bracket - many of whom would leave just as economic migrants.

2. Taiwan won't be welcoming masses of new immigrants.

3. The chances of being killed in the USA (just for being East Asian) is much higher than in Hong Kong.
So how attractive is the USA as a destination?

4. You doubt there would be hundreds of thousands of migrants. But I've already pointed out 1.8 million in the optimum age bracket who could move as economic migrants. So let's say there are 500,000 who would move.

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If 500,000 people did move from Hong Kong, I think it would be the pragmatic/elegant solution.

a) Those in Hong Kong who can't accept the situation leave
b) The protests would stop, and business can actually operate with security. Business is the only reason Hong Kong exists and can support that population density.
c) Hong Kong is already grossly overcrowded. Those who remain in Hong Kong would benefit from more living space.
d) At the same time, there are many Chinese people who would be ready and willing to move to Hong Kong, to fill in any gaps.
 
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Mr T

Senior Member
1. The minimum wage in Hong Kong is only £3.87 per hour. Compare that with £8.72 per hour in the UK, which is more than double. And housing costs are generally a lot lower in the UK than in Hong Kong.
Housing costs in the UK are still relatively high. Also, I believe there is a higher percentage of the UK workforce on the minimum wage than in Hong Kong. The minimum wage in the UK is seen more as a "reasonable" wage, whereas in HK it's more of an exploitation wage. No one could live on the HK minimum wage unless they've got accommodation provided for them, are doing multiple jobs, or have squalid living conditions.

You're looking at roughly 1.8 million people in the 18-35 age bracket - many of whom would leave just as economic migrants.
If they were economic migrants they'd probably have a good reason to believe they'd have a better life in the UK and have jobs lined up or see them available.

Also because the UK has an ageing population, lots of young people would be incredibly good for the economy and the country. We also have shortages in some fields like nursing and caring that could be filled fairly quickly. In the more medium term there's no reason to believe young HKese could do high-skilled jobs.

2. Taiwan won't be welcoming masses of new immigrants.
If they were from Hong Kong there'd be a lot of solidarity with them. They're not going to accept 3 million, but no country is by themselves. The numbers would almost certainly be spread around.

3. The chances of being killed in the USA (just for being East Asian) is much higher than in Hong Kong. So how attractive is the USA as a destination?
I doubt many Hong Kongese would believe they were at a significant risk of being killed in the US. If they're choosing to leave Hong Kong, the lower murder rates there will not factor into their thinking. Unsurprisingly, murder rates are highest in poorer areas, and given time HKese would get decent jobs and not be exposed to those risks.

4. You doubt there would be hundreds of thousands of migrants. But I've already pointed out 1.8 million in the optimum age bracket who could move as economic migrants. So let's say there are 500,000 who would move.
Sure, but over how many years? Hong Kong only shares a land border with mainland China. Emigres could travel to Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and South East Asia - maybe even Australia or New Zealand - by boat, but most would need to fly out. It would take quite some time for half a million to leave.

a) Those in Hong Kong who can't accept the situation leave
b) The protests would stop, and business can actually operate with security. Business is the only reason Hong Kong exists and support that population density.
c) Hong Kong is already grossly overcrowded. Those who remain in Hong Kong would benefit from more living space.
d) At the same time, there are many Chinese people who would be ready and willing to move to Hong Kong, to fill in any gaps.
I'm not sure it's easy to say that HKese who can't accept the situation would leave. There are many older people who would not have the desire to leave their homes.

Also, it's impossible to say what would happen with the protests. As I pointed out, there's no reason to believe such large numbers would leave in one go unless Beijing sent in the troops and they started shooting. Assuming a more realistic scenario, the most militant protesters would probably stay on for a while, but more importantly, if Beijing or the HK establishment tried bring in even tougher laws that could trigger new protests.

Hong Kong is overcrowded, but shedding part of the population isn't a long-term solution. The issue is the lack of housing. Moreover, if as you say the people most likely to leave are young, that would lead to worse demographics in the city and a brain drain.

You suggested that "Chinese" (I assume you mean mainlanders) would be ready and willing to move to Hong Kong. I'm not sure that's the case. Most of the young mainland Chinese I've known didn't really rate Hong Kong, thanks in part to negative coverage in the Chinese media about how the city was chaotic, in contrast to the constant positive messages they get about mainland Chinese cities. Sure, sometimes you get mainland Chinese desperate to get into HK, but they're more like the pregnant mothers trying to get better healthcare and benefits/social housing. They're not eyeing up a lifetime of sacrifice and hard work.

Finally, if the plan is to replace young HKese that leave with mainland Chinese, you're going to just wipe out any gains from less demand on housing, therefore keeping Hong Kong overcrowded.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
Do you think Boris will keep his words to admit three million migrants?
If the law was changed and three million came, legally he would have to accept them, whether he liked it or not. Just as when the UK was part of the EU, legally it had to accept millions of migrants from Eastern Europe because of Free Movement - despite the fact that far fewer were expected.
 

Dolcevita

Senior Member
If the law was changed and three million came, legally he would have to accept them, whether he liked it or not. Just as when the UK was part of the EU, legally it had to accept millions of migrants from Eastern Europe because of Free Movement - despite the fact that far fewer were expected.
China wants Great Britain to succeed also. Besides, national security law is a done deal.
No ifs and buts please. Hurry up already,
 

Mr T

Senior Member
China wants Great Britain to succeed also. Besides, national security law is a done deal.
No ifs and buts please. Hurry up already,
You seem to be criticising CCP policy. Beijing has been screaming in public about the UK's immigration proposals and said there will be "consequences" if it goes ahead with them.

Plus the UK has said it will wait until after the law is drafted and enacted. That's reasonable. Otherwise the CCP could say the UK was jumping the gun and being unreasonable.
 

Dolcevita

Senior Member
You seem to be criticising CCP policy. Beijing has been screaming in public about the UK's immigration proposals and said there will be "consequences" if it goes ahead with them.

Plus the UK has said it will wait until after the law is drafted and enacted. That's reasonable. Otherwise the CCP could say the UK was jumping the gun and being unreasonable.
Yes. I am unaware of ccp policy disallowing anyone from immigrating if they so choose.
I just want Great Britain to succeed with the immigration pledge.

No if drafted and enacted please. National Security Law has been approved.
 
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AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
If the law was changed and three million came, legally he would have to accept them, whether he liked it or not. Just as when the UK was part of the EU, legally it had to accept millions of migrants from Eastern Europe because of Free Movement - despite the fact that far fewer were expected.
And guess who is in charge of changing the laws in the UK?

If there were anywhere near millions of Hong Kongers migrating to the UK, you can guarantee the Conservative Party will swiftly change the law to stop all them.

Personally, I think the implementation of the national security laws in Hong Kong will be fairly reasonable, because you don't need a sledgehammer to solve the problem.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
And guess who is in charge of changing the laws in the UK?
Parliament (you thought I was going to say the government, weren't you). The law would have to be reversed before HKese came to the UK. Once they're in the UK, they're there to stay.

If there were anywhere near millions of Hong Kongers migrating to the UK, you can guarantee the Conservative Party will swiftly change the law to stop all them.
The courts would rule that unlawful. You can't change the law once someone has exercised a benefit under it. I mean, China could do that, but that's because the CCP is above the courts.

The UK government could ask Parliament to change the law if lots of HKese arrived, to stop new arrivals. But it wouldn't be retrospective. Furthermore, the change in law wouldn't be swift because there would be objections from many MPs - Conservative MPs have rebelled over small things like voting arrangements in the Commons, so on something big it's unlikely they'd be quiet. So even if the government tried to row back on its commitments, it probably wouldn't make a big difference.

Personally, I think the implementation of the national security laws in Hong Kong will be fairly reasonable, because you don't need a sledgehammer to solve the problem.
My own thoughts are that the law will be quite wide-reaching to trap as many people as possible and also intimidate organisations in HK that are in any way opposed to the HK administration or give support to those who do. There's no other reason to hurry the law forwards, especially as this is an election year - normally elections are a good place to seek public support for new laws.

All of the protesters who are known to the authorities and who committed violence have been prosecuted. I can't think of a single case where HK prosecutors said "this person committed violent acts but we can't prosecute them because we don't have a national security law". In fact, the HK authorities have been quite creative in suppressing the protests, even using colonial-era laws. That suggests they've got all the powers they need.
 

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