Mainlanders as ‘Others’ in the Life and Law of Hong Kong
University of Tasmania - Faculty of Law; Dalian Maritime University Law School
Kong Shan John Ho
University of Newcastle (Australia) - Newcastle Law School
July 26, 2011
King's Law Journal, Forthcoming
This article assesses the significance of the colonial period in the development of the Hong Kong Chinese identity and contends that the recent maternity ward cases before the courts involving Mainland women legally entrench Hong Kong identity with use of a “reasonable” discrimination concept which ignores the historical transience of Chinese peoples in Hong Kong and the proximity of the border. The central argument is that border closure in the early 1960s and British assimilation of extant refugee populations created the Hong Kong identity on a foundation of Mainlander “otherness” and these policies began the modern practice of legal discrimination against Mainland people. It also essays whether, in light of economic convergence of the Mainland and Hong Kong, the maternity ward controversies and the exceptional of position of Mainlanders under the Race Discrimination Ordinance will have lasting significance.
Keywords: Discrimination, Mainland Chinese, Hong Kong Identity, Right of Abode, Maternity Fees in Hong Kong Hospitals
JEL Classification: J71, J78Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 27, 2011 ; Last revised: December 10, 2012
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