What would cause China to self-partition ? Differing self identities of enough Chinese ? An alternative vision of their/family future ?
I think the protests in Hong Kong show that the lack of democracy will give energy toward such "self-partitioning." Admittedly, probably not enough too actually achieve a clear break. Here is another article, parts of which I have cited, that explain this as an issue:
Extradition and independence: What’s behind the continued protests in Hong Kong
(Vox) Hong Kong has operated as a “special administrative region” of China since 1997, when it was transferred to the country after more than 150 years as a British colony. In a model known as “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong, which has long had a significant pro-democracy faction, retains its own political and legal systems but is under Chinese sovereignty — this arrangement was meant to last until 2047.
But that independence is under threat in the eyes of many Hong Kongers. Ben Bland, a Hong Kong expert at the Lowy Institute in Australia, told Vox’s Alex Ward, “In recent years, the Hong Kong government has disqualified elected lawmakers, banned activists from running for office, prohibited a political party, jailed pro-democracy leaders, expelled a senior foreign journalist, and looked the other way when Beijing kidnapped its adversaries in Hong Kong.”
The Chinese government has also been working to tamp down pro-democracy efforts within the city, Ward reported: “At China’s direction, the Hong Kong government in recent years has quashed the city’s democratic movement, blocked opposition candidates from running for elected office, and put down nearly all protest movements.”
The extradition legislation was introduced amid this atmosphere, and was seen by its critics as a continuation of that trend.