Make China great again: The blood-based view of Chineseness in Hong Kong


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Hong Kong, as a former colony of the United Kingdom, is characterised as a hybrid of East and West. Its colonial history is commonly seen as establishing many positive aspects of Hong Kong and shaping good qualities of its people, such as the value of rule of law, free speech, freedom of the press, and fluency in English. Yet the majority of people in both Hong Kong and China share Han Chinese ethnicity, which has been used by both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to promote a blood-based idea of Chinese identity for decades. This paper explores “Chineseness", or Chinese identity, as promoted by the Hong Kong government. It first explores the concept of Chineseness, elaborating on a blood-based view that connects with ethnic-nationalism, in contrast with a pluralistic view of identity in the Hong Kong context. The paper then examines how Hong Kong government officials promote Chineseness through major outlets, on government websites and in speeches captured in media. As we show, the government tends to advocate a blood-based view of Chineseness akin to ethnic-nationalism. A more inclusive and pluralistic view which recognises the dynamic nature and multiple visions of Chinese identity better fits Hong Kong’s multicultural context. Copyright © 2020 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Early online date16 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2020


Lin, C., & Jackson, L. (2020). Make China great again: The blood-based view of Chineseness in Hong Kong. Educational Philosophy and Theory. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1807938


  • Chinese identity
  • Ethnic nationalism
  • Ethnicity
  • Hong Kong
  • China

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