It is not the first time that there has been disagreement about how much autonomy Hong Kong has, and that creates tensions with Beijing. Since Hong Kong passed from British to Chinese in 1997, the region has had a separate status, with its own laws and political system. A country, two systems is the motto.
According to Professor of Modern China in Leiden and director of the largest China think tank in Europe, Frank Pieke was in 1997 a large part of the inhabitants of Hong Kong, free of the British, before the decolonization. They stood behind China, felt Chinese and part of the motherland, but in recent years there has been a change.
“The younger generation have not even experienced the transfer by the British, they don't have that history. And they feel more like Hong Kongs than Chinese,” said Pieke. “They strive for independence themselves, although that will never happen. Hong Kong cannot survive as an independent country.”