Beren wrote:It's still the same people, the same country and the same culture, even if there are different dialects.
They are not the same culture (my wife's family is from Hong Kong). Hong Kongers are seeing their culture and language destroyed. The mainland actively does shit like ban books on Cantonese grammar for example. They install pro-mainland puppets in the Universities and government. There are often protests against the mainland as well. I feel like I remember my wife's mom telling me about some sort of student protest recently.
Anyway, one of Xi Jingping's main goals is to "deal with Hong Kong". Which is basically to say, he wants to wipe out Cantonese culture/language and replace it with Mandarin. He will be successful.
There is a large Hong Kong Diaspora around the world, so I don't know if Cantonese will disappear as a language, but it's epicenter will disappear for sure.
Keep in mind, until recently, most of the Chinatowns in cities around the world were largely Cantonese speaking.
In the 80s and 90s a flood of Hong Kongers left because they knew the mainland was going to encroach on their culture.
Hong Kongers definitely see themselves as a different culture/language. The mainland sees this too. There wouldn't be any conflict if this weren't true.
Living in China ultimately sucks. The only reason people put up with it is the government is giving out benefits and jobs like crazy. This is only possible because of their economy. Once the economy slows, people will start demanding freedom. This is going to take a few generations. Long enough for China to change the face of geopolitics.
It's going to be an interesting future. Hopefully the rest of us don't come out losers, and hopefully there's no large scale war.