Arts and Culture
This paper questions the dominant view that the emergence of a local distinctive Hong Kong identity during the post-riots period can be attributed to British colonial policies and the development of a capitalistic popular culture. Instead, it argues that Chinese nationalist discourse, and particularly Communism in the 1970s, was involved in the Hong Kong identity formation. It takes as a case study the Cultural Revolution discourse in the young nationalist journal, Pan Ku and the Hong Kong University Students’ Union journal, The Undergrad -- which held nationalist views and engaged public discussions on local and national affairs. After the 1967 riots, supporting neither the leftist racial disturbances nor the colonial government’s suppression, the two publications understood the riots as a way to lay bare the colonial system’s deficiencies, in turn opening up an occasion to examine Hong Kong relationship with the Chinese nation. In the 1970s, particularly after Beijing took the place of Taiwan as a United Nation member, the two publications further promoted Chinese nationalism, along with the Maoist views. This paper shows how the Cultural Revolution encouraged the growth of Chinese nationalist sentiments and the local practice of Maoism in the Chinese Language Movement, the Defending the Diaoyu Islands Movement, and the “Learning about China; Caring about society” campaign. By revealing the youth appropriation of Maoism in a local identity against colonialism, this paper demonstrates how the Hong Kong identity formation related to the interaction between local ideological hybridization and the international spread of Maoism.