China is erasing its border with Hong Kong

China is erasing its border with Hong Kong

The border has an expiration date.
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With original music by Tom Fox

When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997, Chinese leaders agreed that Hong Kong would be able to keep its economic and political systems, including some of the civil freedoms denied to China’s citizens on the mainland, for the next 50 years.

Although Hong Kong still has nearly 30 years of semi-autonomy left, China has started tightening its grip, and many believe it is chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms. In this episode, I explore how Hong Kong is dealing with the looming deadline and China’s premature moves. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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90 Responses

  1. Vox says:

    You can watch part one of Vox Borders: Hong Kong here:

    And stay tuned for new episodes premiering every Wednesday!

    • Mj Loke says:

      SaaLoves Chuu Woah chill I know that this Video hasnt fully expressed all viewpoints (maybe due to financial reasons) But i feel as if you’re expressing too much of your personal viewpoints of CCP. Its a good system for the middle class to focus on their daily lives but it really undermines thier understanding of the world which is why they are portrayed so badly as tourists. As a Malaysian Chinese myself I wanna improve this image but this really needs a lot of time to be resolved.

    • Free China says:

      Vox Must it be titled ‘China is…’ it’s doing the work of the most murderous regime in the history of humanity (the Chinese communist party).

    • I don't care says:

      wait a sec, i get how the west constantly complains about china not adopting western model and being a democracy, but just go back to the beginning and see the bridge. if under democracy, projects like this bridges always take forever to build or even plan, why would china want to adopt west model? i mean, wouldn’t.

    • Tommy L says:

      Vox I appreciate the effort you put into making these videos

    • Edwin Car says:

      I don’t watch a lot of Vox but I think it’s clear they highly value narrative simplicity. They always revolve around one or 2 elements and themes. I don’t think it’s one of the best traits of investigative journalism and it makes them downright propaganda-ish at times but simplifying these complex issues for a global audience is what made them popular. Here it’s underdog HK’s fight against the natural disaster that is China, which obviously cannot properly mention the negatives of the UK and HK’s role because it muddles the narrative, and rightfully so. However I still feel that is quite unfair to China.

      It is also disappointing to see though that there can still be no civil discussion involving China in any way on an English-speaking forum. I do believe in the success of western democracy and values, especially for a country as large and, frankly, as diverse as China, but at this stage they must do so organically and through inspiration rather than interference from the west. China missed that chance in 1911 when a warlord usurped the Sun Yat Sen. Now that we’re here though, the CCP today is honestly not worse than many governments that formed in the chaos of the 20th century, especially independent of western influence. Yes there is still greed, corruption and plenty of abuse but also lots of pragmatism. The economic growth of China the last 3 decades proves it alone. Logically China’s continued growth will depend on their transition to the service and advanced tech sector, and a large educated, thinking and inter-connected workforce will start demanding western freedoms en-masse, if by then the champions of democracy in the US and EU has retained their success. Here’s hoping for the best.

  2. Masked Singer says:

    Appreciate the work but I would dispute some points:

    1. News on the main TVB channel is still in Cantonese, as are >95% of content.

    2. The 2014 protests are akin to the populism movements in the US and Europe. The low and middle classes have suffered since 2007 and the protests were about fighting for hope to change their fortunes through democracy. Hong Kong never had democracy under UK rule, and personal freedoms are still abound. Just look at the fact people can assemble and protest. The resentment is largely driven by economical outlook rather than political ideology.

    3. As to why China is blamed for HK’s increasing wealth gap…it boils down to several factors. One, the best jobs (ie investment banking) have been going to skilled Mainland immigrants. Two, mainland capital is partly to blame for unaffordable housing prices. But low interest rates is a bigger culprit. Three, low skilled wages have been stagnant because of unskilled Mainland immigrants and cheaper wages just across the border in Shenzhen.

    • BrotherCheng says:

      What the hell are you talking about? She was elected in 2017, by a committee of ~1000 people (,_2017#Background). Last I checked HK has 7 million people. The alternative that was ultimately rejected was a real election where the whole city can vote… except the candidates have to be approved first.

    • cyx says:

      First, all candidates have to be approved first in every democracy. including the one in my own. Otherwise you have foreigners running for elections or criminals running for elections.

      Second , the election committed of 1200 ARE elected by the 7 million people of hong kong. Thats pretty much just the way the united states electoral college works. in the US the people vote for the electoral college , then the electoral college votes for the president. Thats how donald trump win the presidency despite having lesser votes.

      If you hate Carrie Lam, you have even less reason to love Chris Patten, which was voted in by ….. 0 votes. Dont be a hypocrite.

    • BrotherCheng says:

      Democratic countries don’t need “approval” for candidates. You just need to fit a list of basic criterias (e.g. age, no criminal records, born in the country, etc) and you are good to go. This is completely different from what would have been implemented in HK where a centralized government can use arbitrary measurements like “whether you are a patriot” to shoot you down.

      The committee with 1200 people are *not* elected from the general population. They are mostly chosen from industries and therefore have a pro-business slant. I guarantee you if you walk on the street and ask a random pedestrian whether he/she had a hand in choosing the committee the answer is “no”. That’s different from US’ electoral college where basically everyone over 18 had a chance to choose the members.

      I didn’t mention Christ Patten at all. I think you are just projecting… But I already mentioned in previous comment why UK’s lack of democracy was (while not perfect) not as big an issue. Namely economy was fine, and hey, you don’t get kidnapped for selling the wrong books, so at least you could say whatever you want.

      Look, @cyx, you are intentionally confusing very different concepts and creating a false equivalence here (approval from central authority vs basic criteria, an actual electoral college vs a small committee not chosen by the general public) in order to push an agenda. I don’t think I can continue this discussion if you are not arguing in good faith. It’s one thing saying the China way (no democracy) is the way forward because democracy is flawed, it’s quite another to pretend the HK model right now is democracy which is basically false.

    • cyx says:

      Oh yes they do, basic criteria are these “approvals”. Every country is different hence standards and criterias are different. In the US you cant run as president if you are below 39 but In some countries the idea of age limit is ridiculous. In short, everyone has their own systems that suit their demographic or geopolitical situations. There is no rigid universal definition on what is democracy and what is not. Some countries use the presidential system, some uses the parliamentary systems, some uses direct democracy, some has constitutional monarchy….they are all unique and different in their own way. Would you dare to say one is more democratic than another? No 2 countries have the exact same system and no country’s democratic system is perfect and flawless. We all have our own flaws thats simply a fact of life. Does that mean its not democratic if the system have flaws? If thats the case no country is a democracy then. Whatever system Hong Kong is using , to say its absolutely not democratic is a cold hearted, outright lie one would find in propaganda media. It is this very system that created the freest economy in the world (and with that also comes with its own sets of problems) , but nonetheless, the freest economy in the world.

    • Kc12345 says:

      cyx, Only members of the election committee has the right to vote for the chief executive. Most of these 1200 people in the committee are NOT elected by the 7million people of Hong Kong.

      They are NOT like the electorate college in the US unfortunately. They are supposed to represent the various business interest of Hong Kong but most of these people have vast business stake in China and are controlled by the CCP government. Interesting enough, many of these tycoons in the committee have foreign passports. So standing in this kind of election is a waste of time……….
      The approval of candidacy is also getting worse every year and is Not as simple as based on age or nationality… If the low level official believe that you may not fully support the basic law, he or she can reject your application and there is no appeal process…

  3. Jonathan Ng says:

    HK People in 2047 will be thinking…….

    – Australia
    – USA
    – Canada
    – UK

  4. Darsh says:

    China wants Taiwan Hong Kong Africa the whole China sea Area. They taking over and nothing anybody can do about it. They throwing their money around the carribean, central America, south America, Australia, New Zealand. Lol. That’s why Trump is trying to do all these tariffs to stop China’s wealth but it ain’t gonna work

    • arimpact says:

      Princess D I know right? ‘merica, self destruction ftw!!!!

    • feli luk says:

      In Kenya, it is increasingly becoming worse. The Chinese came here to and built our railway and a highway. A good percentage of the railway system has been completed and is in operation. Several Kenyans were trained in the operation of the railway system, but currently, all of the operations are being run by the Chinese. All of the manuals and systems are in Chinese. The Kenyans have been reduced to cleaners and onlookers. Recently there was an uproar on Twitter, but the govt denies any wrong doing. Soon the news in Kenya, like in Hong Kong will start with the Chinese anthem.

    • feli luk says:

      For Now.

    • Dux says:

      Chris Song Yes, generalize every European country (and the US) into a blanket statement about race. Terrific.

    • Qian Chen says:

      At least Chinese government never exerts their power to invade and threaten any countries. South China Sea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are parts of China by the way

  5. Tech Tnx says:

    Please do make video on india and pak border…. Or ind and China border

  6. Black & White says:

    sooo… there is another massacre on its way then…

  7. matthew chang says:

    Cantonese is older than mandarin. theres nothing we can do against china. and everytime i watch ur video about hong kong makes me recall the time before hand over. feels real sad

    • Luke says:

      Johnson C got it! Yeah, he’s really good tho, compared to this dictator.

    • Supporter van de Europese Unie says:

      煜东 刘 Of course the world is running with or without the CCP. Xi Jingping isn’t China’s worst problem, the CCP is. Xi Jingping is a dictator and he has a great apparatus to clean up his image. The economic policies he’s proscribing are working out pretty well, but that doesn’t make him democratic per se. Democracy means people’s will, not communist’s will.

      BTW, China banned Google, YouTube and Amazon for 2 reasons; Protectionism (unfortunately, the EU is pretty bad at protecting Sillicon Valley stuff) and a thing we Dutchmen call “totaalcontrole”, the government’s will to totally control everything in society.

    • Peizxcv says:

      @matthew chang
      That’s some funky history they are teaching in Hong Kong. Both Cantonese and Mandarin are offshoots of Middle Chinese. They are equally old

    • Aredus says:

      煜东 刘 Not a dictator? Bahahaha, didn’t he just remove term limits effectively making himself emperor? The brainwashing is astonishing.

    • Kc12345 says:

      Peizxcv, Cantonese has 9 tones and Mandarin has only 4. Mandarin cannot rhyme properly with the Poems from tang and song dynasty……Mandarin is really a Mongul tainted language with only 400 years of history…..Cantonese can trace back to Tang Dynasty…….

  8. AncientEsper says:

    This is how you get the attention of Chinese paid trolls on YouTube.

  9. OgerPinata says:

    When the border dissolves, all of the democratic institutions will be purged and hundreds will be killed.
    Good luck with that one…

    • Electro_blob says:

      Ya, pretty much sucks. The free market capitalism that distinguished Hong Kong as such a cool place will pretty much die as well.

  10. Qufox says:

    *Hands down best series yet*

    • 郑智林 says:

      Agreed. Vox is definitely one of the best news sources we have on Youtube. Covers their subjects with lots of detail and little bias.

    • Qufox says:

      郑智林 – agreed , but they did have thing with American politics tho haha, I’d like for then to stick to the kinds of videos like this.

    • ilickspam says:

      it’s 2018 and china’s still scary. i grew up with chinese news reporting people being taken away at night. it’s still a thing? i’m glad i live in the states.

    • Broccoli 24 says:

      郑智林 that’s bs, watch the IS terrorist video. Awfully bias to the US

    • Miguel Martinez says:

      ilickspam me too. I agree I love that I live in the states. I feel compelled to help the people of Hong Kong and of China from the government of China. Scary.

  11. Bud Riley says:

    While western governments have many flaws, they are a far cry better than communism.
    I feel sorry for these people.

  12. MrAnperm says:

    It would be great if it could become an independent city state like Singapore.

  13. farhan ibrahim says:

    This is in a way a breach of contract, where’s Britain in all these

  14. CoinOpTV says:

    This video was …… made in Hong Kong

    • zharfan razin says:

      CoinOpTV XD

    • asdfgh123456978 says:

      Very powerful statement. Love it

    • Neil Jordan says:

      Hongkongese were slaves in the Manchurian Empire.
      Manchus never treated Hongkongese as humans.
      Manchus gave Hongkong to the British Empire.
      Manchus ruled China for 300 years till 1911.
      Manchu conquest of China, Wikipedia

    • Neil Jordan says:

      In WWII, Hongkongese were enslaved by Japan.
      Japanese killed and raped many Hongkongese (Hongki).
      Japs never treated Hongkongese as humans.

    • Neil Jordan says:

      Hong Kong is a piece of shxt.
      The GDP value of Hong Kong represents about 0 percent of the world economy. Hongkongese economy depends on toilet-size houses.
      Many Hongkomngese live in an one square meter “house.”
      Cage home, Wikipedia

  15. Eve H says:

    I live in Shenzhen, right next to the border between mainland China and Hong Kong and I’ve crossed this border many many times and even though it seems like China is trying to erase the border, China is much more strict about the border crossing then Hong Kong. Basically the border is separated into two sides, you have to go through Chinese immigration as well as Hong Kong immigration in order to cross the border. The Chinese immigration is much stricter about letting people through (ex: if you’re crossing the border by car to go to Hong Kong you must leave the car and cross the border by foot, but if you’re going to China from Hong Kong you can stay in your car). So China wants to slowly take control over Hong Kong and make Hong Kong feel like it’s Chinese but they are definitely not trying to erase the border, they are trying to reinforce the border. Another thing is that China definitely doesn’t want anyone to know about Tiananmen Square, anytime there is information about it on TV, the screen goes black (I was watching BBC on my tv in China and when there was a documentary about Tiananmen Square, the screen went completely black) They are extremely strict about what information is spread to Chinese people (for example we were supposed to read George Orwell’s animal farm in school but couldn’t because it got banned in China), and being someone who has lived in Shenzhen for so many years I feel scared to talk about things like Tiananmen Square because the government is so controlling about the information that is spread in China and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this video was banned in China as well. In 2047 when Hong Kong will officially be a part of China there is no doubt that a lot of conflict will arise because people from Hong Kong will essentially lose their freedom of speech and their culture is very different from that of China.

    • Eve H says:

      InfamousMedia That’s an interesting assessment, it makes sense because it’s impossible for them to control everyone, they just don’t want public media to see anything bad about China

    • Yunwa says:

      Brenna Paulson, There are more differences between regional cultures within China itself than between China and Hong Kong. So, no, China and HK aren’t “vastly” different at all. Hong Kong is just a regional cultural variant within China that has more western PR because it used to be a British crown colony. You don’t see people blowing hot air about Macau the way they do about HK supposedly “losing its identity and blablabla”, despite Macau its having own vibrant regional culture and identity with a distinct Portuguese flair. This is because no one cares about Portugal, since it is no longer a super power. But the Anglosphere empire is still present around the world (now under USA leadership), so trashy “news” agencies continue blowing hot air to bolster their declining influence.

    • Eve H says:

      Setto Arisaki Yes! It always amazes me how in Shenzhen one street can look so new and clean and wealthy and then a few blocks away there are streets where everything is dirty and the people are poor.

    • Shivam Shukla says:

      China may not be erasing the border perhaps for its own security.

    • Kc12345 says:

      Your worse enemy: So in your opinion, a controlled press by the government is much better than a free press? Do you think the government gave you all the information about the Long Life Vaccines or the Big head baby formula?

  16. dukeofpkr says:

    I am a Nepali but I was born in Hong Kong and wud like Hong Kong to remain Hong Kong and not China

  17. Elder Jiang says:

    This comment section = too young too simple, sometimes naive

  18. hot wheels TBM says:

    don’t trust BBC or CNN to listen to this crap, they always want to split up others countries which political system aren’t same with them

    • DeclaringPond 22 says:

      hot wheels TBM what. Even fox doesn’t want chinas government. This isnt an us vs them issue. Chinas is trying to steal land and culture just like russia did.

    • Ricardo Mateo Estévez Balvin says:

      hot wheels TBM Fox News is just as bad!

  19. Jimmy a Geek says:

    I m from Hong Kong and I Love China So Much!

  20. The Derp Chaos says:

    I don’t want to cross that.

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