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Hong Kong under pressure to use standard Chinese language

Over half of Hong Kongers now can speak Mandarin as economic dependence grows

More and more Chinese flags can be seen on the streets of Hong Kong lately. (Photo by Takeshi Kihara)

HONG KONG -- The shadow of linguistic domination is creeping over Hong Kong amid mainland China's growing influence in all areas.

While Hong Kongers use Cantonese on a daily basis, Legislative Council lawmakers and high-ranking government officials who speak Mandarin -- known in Chinese as Putonghua, meaning "the common tongue" -- have appeared. A recent government survey found that for the first time since Hong Kong's return to China in 1997, more than half of Hong Kongers can now speak Mandarin.

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