Scenario: Rise of the Snow Lion
Hong Kong, officially the Republic of Hong Kong, is an independent sovereign state on the Pearl River Delta. It is located in close vicinity to the Vietnamese province of Nam Việt. It shares a northern border with the city of Cửu Long Bắc, and the city of Áo Môn (formerly Macau) lies across the delta to the west. With a territory of 140 square kilometres but a population of over 2 million, it ranks as the most densely populated country in the world (population density: 14,285/km²).
The city-state of Hong Kong traces its history back to 1842. It had been occupied twice in its history, the first time during the Second World War by Imperial Japan (1941-1945), and the second time by the People's Republic of China for a period of fifty years (1997-2047). The PRC authorities installed a highly unpopular puppet regime in Hong Kong known as the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)", headed by a Beijing-appointed leader known as the "Chief Executive".
The 2014 protests known as the "Umbrella Revolution" called for the PRC leadership to grant universal suffrage to Hong Kong. However, it failed due to the fragmentation of the various factions that formed among the protestors as well as a gradual dilution of their goals as it progressed. This sparked the rise of the localist movement in Hong Kong, consisting mostly of young intellectuals whose goal was to gain independence from China and establish a city-state. In 2018, the various localist parties emerged as a united Hong Kong National Front (HKNF, 香港民族聯盟), which was immediately branded as an illegal separatist organisation by the authorities.
End of the HKSAR
On the night of June 4, 2019, civil unrest broke out in Admiralty outside the Legislative Council building after Article 23 was passed. The situation quickly escalated as the protestors set police vehicles on fire, resulting in the death of a police officer. The incumbent Chief Executive issued an order to the police to fire indiscriminately on the protestors and called her counterpart in the Central Liaison Office for an emergency meeting, during which she requested assistance from the People's Liberation Army to quell the unrest. 500 people, mostly students, were killed in the gunfire that ensued. This became known retrospectively as the Massacre of Admiralty (金鐘大屠殺). News of the massacre was suppressed throughout China and foreign journalists were barred from entering Hong Kong.
Three days later, Chinese authorities abruptly declared the end of "One Country, Two Systems" and dissolution of the HKSAR. All government offices were immediately disbanded and the territory of Hong Kong was wholly absorbed into the neighbouring Chinese city of Shenzhen.
The various localist parties responded by uniting to form the Hong Kong National Front (HKNF, 香港民族聯盟), which pledged to wage war against the Chinese until independence was achieved. It was immediately branded as an illegal separatist organisation. In the following months, massive crackdowns were launched against the HKNF and thousands were purged, sent to internment camps, or executed. However, the movement continued to operate underground. A paramilitary force was formed, with training in guerrilla warfare provided by overseas organisations sympathetic to the localist cause, with the intention of taking over the government in case of collapse of the PRC leadership.
In the late 2030s, there was an economic crisis in China on an unprecedented scale leading to massive unemployment and widespread discontent with the ruling Communist Party. In 2039, the HKNF officially declared independence and the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Hong Kong (香港共和國臨時政府). The People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered Hong Kong swiftly at midnight on September 1, but encountered fierce resistance from the HKNF guerrillas. The Commander of the Guangzhou Military Region ordered an indiscriminate massacre of Hong Kong civilians, which left 2,000 dead and provoked condemnation of the Chinese authorities from the international community.
In the following six weeks, the HKNF managed to recover Hong Kong Island and Kowloon from the invading PLA, while the New Territories remained in Chinese hands. Under mounting international pressure and with its military largely crippled and demoralised, Chinese authorities called for a ceasefire and agreed to entered into talks with the HKNF. A referendum was held by the new government: 83% were in favour of independence, while 15% were opposed and 2% were undecided. The representatives of the HKNF demanded unconditional recognition of Hong Kong independence and immediate withdrawal of Chinese troops from Hong Kong soil. After three months of negotiations, both sides agreed to the secession of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from the PRC after a five-year transition period, with the New Territories remaining as a part of China. The new international border was drawn along Boundary Street in Kowloon City.
The first presidential elections in Hong Kong were held in 2043 under universal suffrage. HKNF emerged as the clear winner, with 64% of the popular vote. On July 1, 2047, exactly fifty years since the Chinese occupation of Hong Kong, the Republic of Hong Kong (香港共和國) was founded with Victoria (維多利亞城, formerly Central District) as its capital city.
The Islamic Empire of Great Vietnam attempted unsuccessfully to annex Hong Kong in 2079, sparking the brief Hong Kong-Vietnamese War. In the end both sides agreed to respect the international border at Boundary Street.
In 2085, following bilateral negotiations, Lamma Island was leased to the Buddhist Republic of Tibeto-Mongolia for a period of 100 years, renewable indefinitely. It was renamed as Lama Tsoling (Tibetan: བླ་མའི་མཚོ་གླིང་, Cantonese: 喇嘛島).
The territory of Hong Kong comprises the Kowloon peninsula, Hong Kong Island and numerous other smaller islands. Its northern border is drawn at Boundary Street, which used to be the border between British Hong Kong and China from 1842 to 1860 as defined by the Treaty of Nanking. Administratively, Hong Kong is divided into five cities: Victoria (維多利亞), Wanchai (灣仔), Eastern City (東城), Kowloon South (九龍南) and Aberdeen (香港仔).
The New Territories ceased to be part of Hong Kong in 2047 following Hong Kong's independence.
See also: Transport in the former New Territories
The MTR has been the sole operator of Hong Kong's railways since 2008. Northbound trains on the Central line terminate at Prince Edward Station, which is the main border crossing into Vietnam. The other two border crossings are at Kai Tak and Stonecutter's Island.
The Saigon-Kowloon High Speed Rail (Cantonese: 九龍西貢高速鐵路, Chữ Nôm: 塘鐵高速西貢九龍, Quốc Ngữ: Đường Sắt Cao Tốc Sài Gòn Cửu Long) connects Hong Kong to major cities in Nam Việt and Vietnam proper. It is operated jointly by the MTR and Vietnamese Railways. A land journey from Hong Kong to Saigon, which used to take three days in the past, now takes only 6 hours. Daily services run from West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong to the following destinations:
- Phúc Điến (福田)
- Đông Hoản (東莞)
- Ào Môn (澳門)
- Quảng Châu (廣州)
- Quế Lâm (桂林)
- Quý Châu (貴州)
- Hà Nội (河內)
- Sài Gòn (西貢)
The Republic of Hong Kong's airport is located on reclaimed land southeast of Po Toi Island, known as the Hong Kong Azureland International Airport (香港雄藍國際機場), which was completed in 2055. It consists of two passenger terminals and four runways. The Airport Express (機場快綫) connects the airport directly to the city centre.
The island of Lama Tsoling can be reached in a thirty-minute ferry trip from Victoria. Direct flights to the Buddhist Republic of Tibeto-Mongolia depart daily from the Lama Tsoling Guru Rinpoche Airport.
Hong Kong is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic with a multi-party democracy. The President of the Republic of Hong Kong (香港共和國總統), who serves as the head of state, is elected for a term of five years and may not serve more than two terms. Major political parties include:
- Ruling party: Hong Kong National Front (香港民族聯盟): merged from various smaller parties from the former localist camp of Hong Kong. Holds 60% of the seats in Parliament.
- Major opposition party: Hong Kong Party for a Democratic China (香港大中華民主黨): successor of the Democratic Party, the only remaining party from the former pan-democratic camp with a centre-left political position, takes a socially conservative stance and favours economic and cultural ties with China.
- Minor parties: Hong Kong Christian Democratic Union (HKCDU, 香港基督教民主聯盟) - a far-right party which calls for the unity of church and state and campaigns actively against LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, which had been legalised in 2049.
- Defunct parties: Extremist parties, including the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB, 民建聯) and Federation of Trade Unions (FTU, 工聯會) were dissolved following Hong Kong's independence as their activities were found to be unconstitutional. The DAB was re-founded in the PRC and continued to campaign for Hong Kong's reunification with China (and later its successor state, the Federal Republic of Huaxia).