Academic Journal Critic Says Hong Kong Should Be Spelled As “Xianggang” After Official Name


A reviewer of the journal said “Hong Kong” is a foreign name that should be changed to include its Mandarin romanization “Xianggang”, raising concerns about academic freedom.

Andrew Yu, doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh tweeted that one of the four reviewers of an academic article he submitted to a peer-reviewed journal stated that it “would not be [be] appropriate to use only the foreign name: Hong Kong. The unidentified critic suggested that “Xianggang” should appear next to its English name, which has been in use for at least 180 years since Britain colonized the region in 1841 after the First Sino-British War. opium.

The University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Photo: Wikicommons.

“One of the critics asks me to add Mandarin Pinyin and remove all formulations related to colonialism,” he wrote. “Maybe he or she is from China?” My response to requests is NO.

Journal editors typically invite academics qualified in the field of study to review articles before publication. Yu said his article has been double-blinded, meaning he does not know the identities of his reviewers.

Her author page on the University of Edinburgh website appeared to be inaccessible at the time of publication, but has since been restored. HKFP has contacted Yu and the University of Edinburgh for comment.

Yu’s tweet was posted on July 20 under the hashtag #DefendingHongKong but gained traction two weeks after Pen Hong Kong President Tammy Ho and Tuen District Councilor Mun Sam Cheung shared it on Facebook.

Cheung told HKFP that the translation could never be “Xianggang”: “It is totally unacceptable that they call Hong Kong“ Xianggang. ”They are testing the limit of Hong Kong people, little by little, to see when it there would be a backlash.

Sam Cheung. Photo: Sam Cheung, via Facebook.

“It also proves that the oppression is overwhelming and pervades all aspects [of life]. Some might have thought they were apolitical, but this example from academia revealed that this is impossible.

Update 6.8.20: this piece has been updated with a line on Yu’s author page, which has since become accessible.

Tagged: Academic freedom, Sam cheung, Tammy ho

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and university researcher. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and is interested in cultural journalism and gender issues.

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