Riddle, mystery, enigma: What it means to be a Hong Kong person [China Daily]

I am a Hong Kong person. I was born in this city, I spent my childhood and adolescence here, I have permanent residency, and a Hong Kong identity card with three stars. I am ethnically Chinese through my mother. But behind these simple statements lies a more complicated reality. I am also American, as indicated by my US passport. I went to university in the United States.

I have multiple identities, all overlapping at the same time. One of these identities, no more or less dominant than the others, is my identity as a Hong Kong person.

Some people like to argue that, since Hong Kong is a part of China, to be Hong Kong is to be Chinese. And to be Chinese, is to be fully Chinese, in culture and language, and in tune with current developments on the mainland. As the author Gish Jen said to The New York Times, “to many (Chinese) … you have to be culturally Chinese, and that’s much deeper than anything you can acquire by yourself.” Anyone that is not Chinese in this way cannot really be a Hong Kong person.

This is an excerpt from an opinion piece published in China Daily on September 19th, 2013. The full article can be accessed here.