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That only works against a semi-principled oppressor. Won't work in China; won't work in the current USA. The British were already weary of the overwhelming India-ness of India, and so when confronted with the reality that India was going to do India no matter who was nominally in charge, they decided to just let India do India all over itself, and not be responsible for it any more.

China (PRC), on the other hand, loves nothing more than to do China everywhere China is, or was, or will be. They can't stand it when somewhere that should be China isn't doing China hard enough. So when Hong Kong goes around saying "a little less China, please; we'd like to still be a little Hong Kong" then China retorts "how dare you not be all-the-way China!" They will gleefully beat more China into Hong Kong if given a flimsy, contrived excuse to do so. It's the same as it was in Tibet, except Tibet did not have the leverage of being so important to international trade. China very much wants to erase the historic embarrassment it suffered from the UK in the Opium Wars, and as long as Hong Kong doesn't want to be more Chinese, the wound stays open. Macau isn't facing the same mainland attitudes, probably because it wasn't taken by force.

But on the other hand, violent resistance definitely won't work, either. China won't kill everyone, but they will kill, imprison, or hospitalize enough people that the others learn what kinds of things can get you vanished, erased, or exampled.

The only winning strategy against China in Hong Kong/Macau is to get out, and with one's money, if possible. Expand businesses into Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and/or Australia, de-emphasize the Hong Kong facilities, and move people and households elsewhere. And that works fine for China, too. It makes Hong Kong more PRC-Chinese at the same time it is making other places more ethnically-Chinese, and they get to keep all the capital that was left behind.

Anecdotally, everyone I know from Hong Kong already moved to Vancouver.




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