China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is designed to spread its economic and political influence across Asia and beyond. One of the adopted strategies to realise its goal is to develop “International Talents”, who would have relevant language skills and intercultural competence. BRI, however, has generated a degree of tension in some participating societies and beyond. In Hong Kong, the government has started several projects in relation to BRI, which have not been welcomed by all citizens. Against this context, this paper explores whether BRI can be appropriated as an opportunity for linguistic minorities in Hong Kong to increase their life chances. Drawing on documents including official policy addresses on the initiative, media reports and websites of institutes, it explores the extent BRI has been taken up in Hong Kong in terms of multilingual education, and addresses the linguistic status of language minority groups. It concludes with some policy implications to address issues of language rights and enhanced life chances for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong and wider contexts which engage with the BRI. Copyright © 2019 Language Policy Forum.
|Publication status||Published - May 2019|