THE PROBLEM OF THE SPREAD OF THE CHINESE LANGUAGE IN HONG KONG
The article is devoted to the actual problem of the spread of the national Chinese language ("Putonghua") in the territory of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The policy of language unification in China has a long history, and the most active phase of the spread of Putonghua began in recent decades, when the Chinese authorities set the country to strengthen the unity of the state and turn it into a superpower. Hong Kong was in the possession of Great Britain for almost a hundred years and was actually alienated from the political, socio-economic and cultural life of the rest of China. In terms of language, Cantonese, which is native to the locals, historically has dominated in Hong Kong, and since the transition to British jurisdiction, English has spread to the area. Thus, the linguistic situation in Hong Kong at that time can be characterized as typical for the colony, where the local language served as the language of everyday communication, and the language of the metropolis was used for education, work in government institutions and in public administration. After incorporation with China Hong Kong faced the problem of the need to resolve the language situation against the background of actual bilingualism and Beijing's attempts to spread Putonghua to Hong Kong, which actually leads the territory to trilingualism, complicating linguistic interaction and supplanting the native Cantonese language, officially considered by Chinese government as a dialect. In the article, the authors analyze the linguistic history of Hong Kong, the place of Cantonese in the Chinese language system, and also show a reaction to Beijing's policy of spreading Putonghua in Hong Kong from various circles of society in this administrative unit of China. According to the authors, Beijing's political steps to spread Putonghua in Hong Kong have both negative and positive sides and cannot be considered unequivocally, apart from the tasks which the entire state is facing against the background of the situation in the country and the current international situation.