What will happen before the year 2100

Hong Kong and Macau will no longer be independent of China by about 2050

Depending on where you live in China, you may be dealing with a completely different style of government than your buddies an hour down the road. That’s because Hong Kong and Macau, despite being part of China, are their own entities with their own styles of government. Thanks to the “One Country, Two Systems” compromise, Hong Kong (which was a British territory until 1997, when China took over sovereign rule) is a capitalist city in a socialist country, while Macau is almost completely autonomous, basing itself heavily on the culture of Portugal, the country that ruled it until 1999.

Thing is, these compromises have an expiration date. In both cases, they’re set to run out 50 years after they were signed, meaning Hong Kong is set to revert to Chinese rule in 2047, while Macau will join them in 2049. For the time being, this means both territories will become socialist by then, though we all know contracts are made to be renegotiated. One think tank, called the One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, is designed to foster communication between Hong Kong youth (the ones most likely to be affected by a 2047 government change) and China, to ensure whatever happens that year will make as many people happy as possible. Likely, Macau will work to ensure similar communication because it wouldn’t be a good look if 2049 rolled around and Macau suddenly turned socialist and took everyone by surprise.