Impact Of Emigration In Hong Kong History Essay

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General Description: Situated in the mouth of the Pearl River facing the South China Sea, Hong Kong has occupied the area of 425 sq. miles. History of Hong Kong becomes clear when we flash back to British colonial age. Hong Kong once ruled under the British capitalist system has now been handed over to Peoples Republic of China after the agreement of the British government and Chinese government. The handover of sovereignty of Hong Kong from Britain to China occurred on 1st July, 1997 after the several rounds of talks from 1982-1984 between Chinese government and British government. Margaret Thatcher and Zhao Ziyang signed on the declaration paper representing their countries Britain and China respectively.

After the date 1st July 1997 Hong Kong was to be ruled by the government of People's Republic of china (PCR). Hong Kong was declared as the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and the central and powerful government was the Chinese government which had to resume the control of Hong Kong government after more than one and half century of ruling under Britain.


One hundred and fifty-six years of rule under the Union Jack with the common pray "God save the Queen", Hong Kong was transfigured into the capitalist society under the British crown. After the citizens of Hong Kong and Britain had their last meal on the night of June 30th; the historical day 1st July 1997 arrived, with the lots of expectations, joy, pleasure and some dissatisfaction among people of Hong Kong, when control of the Hong Kong government was handed over to Chinese government. In other words, Chinese government resumed the control of the Hong Kong after 156 years.

This historical day not only bought the chance for people of Hong Kong to witness the new system of ruling by the masters from the Beijing but also the great uncertainty about their future under the communist system of ruling. Change is not possible overnight and same had to happen with the Hong Kong's people to change into communist system from capitalist system. Considering this situation China decided to keep the capitalist system in Hong Kong for 50 years to bring an ease in change. "One country two system" policy was implemented by China keeping the semi-autonomous capitalist society. Some experts predicted that this policy was bought into action in order to be benefited from the wealth generated by the free enterprise in Hong Kong.

Britain had the capitalist society with freedom and the human right of Hong Kongese [1] people was well respected. Current government of Hong Kong i.e. china has a completely different system as compared to Britain. The government of China is supposed to be rude and has no respect to human rights. The Chinese government wants to maintain power at any cost and is linked with western world to be updated about trade and technology only or it is self bias in nature. This polarity in the ruling system of two countries created a situation of confusion in the mind of Hong Kongers and many migrated out of country being doubtful in the policy of Chinese government due to its past violent record. Whereas some cannot trust that relation of Hong Kong can co-exist with the socialist china which has been the main cause of emigration from Hong Kong.


The main targeted countries for emigration from Hong Kong are Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, U.K. and U.S.A. [2] 

Many youths migrate to these countries for the purpose of studying and many business people migrate there to settle their business in those countries where they can freely generate the wealth. The reason of migration varies in accordance of the age group but the main reason is that they all are doubtful in the policy and relationship of China and Hong Kong after the deadline of 50 years is finished i.e. when the Hong Kong have to be following the communist system of ruling under the control of China.

Migration to these destinations has a great impact on the Hong Kong as well as the mainland China. The major Social and Political impact of this rapid emigration on China have been discussed onwards.


Every coin is two sided. Likewise, the Hong Kong's emigration has also both the positive and negative impact on the social environment of mainland China.

Negative Impact:

When we talk about the adverse effect of emigration we find that the main problem to be highlighted is that Hong Kong (SAR of PCR [3] ) has been facing the rapid emigration of manpower which may result in the brain drain. Brain drain is the state when the large numbers of human capital with technical skills migrate out of the country which causes the lack in the human resources of the country and the development of the country slows down. Current rate of outflow of people from Hong Kong signifies that the stage of brain drain is not so far from now. As Hong Kong being the SAR of China, PCR also cannot be benefited from Hong Kong if brain drain occurs. Hong Kong will be converted into bare land and PCR will have nothing to fetch from it. Instead PCR should come forward to improve the social status of Hong Kong in the critical phase of brain drain.

Due to lack of civilized human resources, society of Hong Kong may suffer from social instability by the breakdown of standards and values. It will invite the uncertainty in the social status of Hong Kong due to lack of purpose and ideals. Corruption of society in Hong Kong has adverse effect on China as many of the people residing in Hong Kong today are the immigrants from mainland China during past days. The social crisis in Hong Kong may also result in the migration of Hong Kongers to Chinese territory in search of wealth, security and stability which will certainly bring about the change in China's social environment. However the state of anomy may not arrive soon if it is being checked by the government.

The new terms like "astronauts" and 'parachute children' has been brought into use due to emigration. Astronauts generally indicates the men who return to Hong Kong from the foreign countries and Parachute children are those children who are living with their mothers in different countries. This kind of differentiation for individuals indicates the lack of unity and civilization in the Hong Kong society which will create a contrast in society. This will definitely make an impact on Chinese society as Hong Kong has the direct relation with China being its SAR.

People who migrate out of Hong Kong settle them in different countries and the culture following them. But they also have their relatives in Hong Kong whom they meet occasionally when they come to Hong Kong. In their visit to Hong Kong they not only share the love, affection and happiness but also the culture they bring with them; the cultures which are good as well as the culture which are bad. They may leave the corrupted cultures in Hong Kong when they return back and it will act as a virus in Hong Kong's cultures, etiquettes and taboos. And China has to bear the open risk from this as it is closer and related to Hong Kong.

Positive Impact:

Emigration from Hong Kong can create the pressure for deviance. The unsatisfied citizens who do not want to be ruled under the communist Chinese policy can object and protest against the Chinese government. This kind of situation creates the violation of the social harmony and initiates the war like situation between two groups of people, with one with China and another against China. But if the populations against the Chinese government emigrate from Hong Kong to their desired destination then there is no any chance of aggressive protest in Hong Kong as they will be living on their own choice. Emigration here acts as the safety valve to relieve the massive deviance.

Along with the migrating mass of business people their families also migrate out of country. They move to different costumes and traditions and collect a huge experience of foreign style of living. When they come back to visit the Hong Kong they share it with their relatives about those lifestyles. This causes the broadening in the way of thinking and keeps the society up to date with the current world. This will ultimately bring a positive change in China's social status.

The traditional way of migration has been changed in China due to the induction of the Hong Kong's migration trend. Traditionally only men used to migrate out of the country for earning leaving his wife and children in between the families and relatives. But due to the emigration of female manpower in Hong Kong, people in China have begun to accept the new trend of migration in which female also migrate out of country leaving behind the household. This has encouraged the women empowerment in China which is a sign of social improvement.

Cultures and costumes move along with the people of Hong Kong wherever they migrate. They share their culture with different people in the world which makes it more famous. Since, the Chinese and Hong Kong's cultures are similar to each other it also promotes the Chinese culture. Hence, emigration results in popularity of culture all over the world.

The outflow of people from Hong Kong has created the opportunity for the rest who are living there. The level of living standard has risen as they can get the jobs easily due to high demand of manpower. Few percentage of unemployment in Hong Kong has now become negligible and working and living in Hong Kong become easy for many Chinese immigrants.


Emigration has also both advantageous and disadvantageous effect on Political environment of mainland China. As Hong Kong is the SAR of China every political issue in Hong Kong directly affects the Chinese government.

Negative Impact

As many people are emigrating from Hong Kong after it is being handed over to China from Britain it has aroused a questionable situation regarding the ability of Chinese government. It is clear that Chinese government could not convince the people of Hong Kong about their policy which resulted in this rapid outflow of manpower. This situation has directly challenged the political ability of Chinese government to convince their citizens.

Sometimes it also shows the irresponsible nature of Chinese government for SAR Hong Kong as China was not so much serious about the Hong Kong shortly after the handover. Hong Kong became the area of concern for China when the emigration had developed as the trend in Hong Kong and the emigration rate was high.

The movement of the business people leaving their country reflects the erosion of the authority. It shows the depletion of lawfulness (i.e. legality) in the present Chinese government resulting in the depreciation of goodwill of China's political policy in Hong Kong.

Rapid emigration shows that income generating age group has no faith in present and future stability of Hong Kong under China. They choose different countries instead of their own countries because they are not confident enough to put their business under risk of China's communist policy which is soon to arrive. Hence, this leads many Hong Kongese to sacrifice the faith for their country.

The reason for most of the business people and their families who emigrate from Hong Kong is the uncertainty in Chinese policy. Those migrants will share their view with the inhabitants of the destination countries. Therefore, people from different countries will have an impact in their mind that government of China does not have reliable political structure. Hence, it will make Chinese government unscientific in global point of view.

Some of the Hong Kongers may return back to their homeland after getting the foreign passport, when Hong Kong becomes republic fully under control of China. At that stage they may claim that they are the permanent resident of Hong Kong. This kind of issues regarding the returnees can create a political problem in future as it will violate the meaning of the passport and creates a questionable condition whether the passport is for identity of a citizen of country or simply a travel document to enter the country.

Positive Impact

Emigrated manpower from Hong Kong will create space for the Chinese people to move to Hong Kong and work there. China will be benefited by this. Social crimes due to unemployment will stop which will support the political stability in China.

China is said to be self bias in nature which wants to maintain power at any cost and become superior. But it becomes the responsibility of China to maintain relationship with the countries, where most of the Hong Kongers have migrated, for their human rights protection. They should at least show the relationship in front of international human rights organizations. This will help in overcoming China's bias nature and broaden the narrow and old fashioned Chinese government.

Due to migration of frustrated and unsatisfied people of Hong Kong, remaining left are on support of China and are happy to be in communist society. Hence, China can easily implement the desired rules and policies in Hong Kong. China will have the strong support from its SAR Hong Kong and can build a strong political structure.

Large number of emigration and immigration will test the ability of Chinese government to manage things off in critical situation. This will help China in future as it will have enough experience regarding the migration issues and can come up with the practical and genuine solutions.


When concluding the social and political impact of emigration in Hong Kong on China we can briefly note down few points which are highlighted as the major area of concern and demand the urgent solution. Below are listed the summarized form of the above report.

Social Impact

Political Impact





1.Brain drain

2.Social instability

3. Transfer of corrupted culture

1. Up to date with current world.

2. Safety valve to relief deviance.

3. New trend of migration.

4.Populatity of culture

1. Challenge in Political ability of China.

2. Depletion of lawfulness.

3.violate meaning of passport

1. Long term stability.

2. Overcome bias nature.

3. Help in solving future migration issues.

Above mentioned summarized points makes us clear that China still needs to improve its policy and work out on the protection of human rights. It should create a basic freedom for citizens because the emigration from Hong Kong may induce the same situation in mainland China also. Coming up with the best solutions to solve this critical emigration problem must be prioritized and suitable environment for the income generating people must be created in society by bringing some changes in current communist system.