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There's a third way; getting "Singapore-d".

In the 1960s Singapore annoyed Malaysia so much they were essentially ejected from the federation against their will.

It was a major shock at the time, but decades later the two countries are still mostly amicable. I sincerely hope China would consider this route.




This will never happen under the current regime, if for no other reason than it would embolden Taiwan to "declare" independence and give the world cover to acknowledge it. Taiwan is far too strategically important to China to allow that.


Agree. Don't count on PRC under the current leadership to think anything remotely like that.


Why would China even consider "ejecting" a part of its territory that they fought over for a long time to finally get back?

Recovery of lost territories and reunification of the country is a core policy of the Chinese government(s) since 1912...

And as noted in the replies, striving for national unity is an ancient theme of Chinese national psyche.


Which I find to be irrational.

Stamford Raffles "took" Singapore from the Malay sultanate in the 1820s. In 1963, we finally got it back, but let them go barely two years later due to ingrained cultural differences that manifested during the meantime.

With the rise of so many capable cities on the mainland, perhaps pursuit of unification is just not worth the trouble anymore.


"ingrained cultural differences" -> read: Malay politicians didn't want to deal with a large Chinese-majority city run by a headstrong union leader (Lee Kuan Yew) who could not be counted on to play ball with UMNO.

This is very different from HK and China.


> With the rise of so many capable cities on the mainland, perhaps pursuit of unification is just not worth the trouble anymore.

Maybe to you? It's clear from China's actions that they think otherwise and they're willing to do whatever it takes to ensure control and unification.


You can’t really have a bastion of free speech and democracy on your doorstep as an authoritarian state.


Unity of China as a concept is far older than 1912.


For some perspective, in 1912 the Communist Party of China wasn't even a thing.


Yes, for Chinese these territorial issues are bigger that the Communist Party. In Western countries they would be called "bi-partisan" or "cross-parties" because there is a national consensus on them.


Am not so sure about this, the current emphasis on "territorial integrity" is IMO as much, if not more of, a result of PRC propaganda as established on any historical basis.


No. 900 years ago, a Chinese general tried to take back land from northern nomads and got killed.[0] And he was honored for 9 centuries in the country, even by Qing emperors who themselves were decendants of the northern nomads. In Hangzhou, there was a temple built for him.

7 and a half centuries before Yue Fei, there were Liu Yu[1]. 100 years before him there was Zu Ti. They both tried to fight northern nomads, and were remembered till this day due to their success.

Unification of the nation IS in the genes of the people. There is no question of that.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yue_Fei [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Wu_of_Liu_Song


>Unification of the nation IS in the genes of the people. There is no question of that.

Citation needed.

Cherry picked facts are not universal truth...


It is not PRC propaganda. It's the other way round: PRC propaganda exploits this national feeling.


How do you qualify what constitutes a part of the country though? A whole lot of land changing hands and being conquered by force happened throughout the world's history.

I wonder how much of that unity sentiment is/was constructed and pushed on by leadership due to the area around current China being littered with competing kingdoms and a lot of internal strife and disarray throughout its history, not just the past 100 years.

In Chinese cinema, or at least some films, the theme of unity and to some extent 'glorious leadership' seems to be prevalent. Just came to mind that even in some Jet Li films (or equivalent) set in more ancient times you could probably be faced with some monologues or statements to that tune and at least I was a bit taken aback by how blatant it felt.


Hong Kong was not the only port grabbed by foreign powers. There was also Macau, Xiamen, Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao... I might forget others.

It's trying to push a narrative to argue what is part of the country...


The 'narrative' on the international stage often times seems to be might is right. Cute mythological stories hardly change that.

Almost everything we appear to hold so dear and immutable or self evident seems kinda arbitrary depending on how far back you go and whether you consider yourself part of this team or that.

Nationalism or tribalism is a whole lot of make believe, is what I'm saying.


Source?


History book.


Which one(s)?


About the only thing you will get unity on from the Chinese people is unity.


Not really. Tibet and Taiwan say hi and something about grass-mud-horse.

There is their whole mythology of "centuries of humiliation" and their warlord period for actual stand together or hang apart sentiment. However the sort of "unity" talked about is really just propagandized expansionism. I see it no different than Putin's foolish revanchism for the former USSR.


Sure, why not. Perhaps at the same time they could organize referenda on independence for Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang. Maybe they could open the global Internet to their citizens and abandon the ridiculous censorship programs they run. They could also submit to international adjudication on the South China Sea. They would be reasonable things to do.


As far as I've heard from Singaporeans, they didn't "annoy" Malaysia. Ethnic Chinese politicians got popular (well, especially Li Guangyao) and threatened the stability and harmony of majority Muslim Malay country.

As one Chinese taxi driver in Kedah told me, they were supposed to keep quiet and stay away from politics. At least back then, especially influential Malays feared their absolute power is in danger. Didn't help that Li (who always wanted Malaysia to be a state were every ethnicity has equal rights) openly spoke about how poor Malays are held back both by their religious and lay leaders.


That's not what the research I found I did when considering working out there - basically racism.




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