07 October 2014
The eleven-day standoff in Hong Kong city central is not a single-issue triggered mass event. It is a result of two strands of social mobilisation: the pro-democracy movement with a history of over three decades, and the recent and increasingly radicalised youth activism.
Headlines in the mainstream media such as “Hong Kong’s gone crazy”, “Umbrella Revolution” and “Communist China’s worst nightmare” have attracted widespread attention. They depicted recent events in Hong Kong with spectacular images of riot police firing tear gas, protesters chanting and raising fists, and students camping on streets between Transformer-style skyscrapers and in the midst of sub-tropical thunder storms.
The crux of this mass social unrest in one of the world’s popular cosmopolitan cities is the exact procedures of the first general election of the Chief Executive in Hong Kong scheduled to take place in 2017. On the one side, the central authority in Beijing, accepting the principle of universal suffrage, is steadfast on maintaining a 1200-member Nomination Committee that will be in charge of the selection and approval of 2-3 candidates. On the other is a part of Hong Kong society that clearly resents such a top-down approach. The most vocal form of their disagreement is the latest wave of mass protests, or what is now known as the “Occupy Central with Love and Peace” movement.
…Fengshi Wu is an Associate Professor at the China Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. She previously taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 08/10/2014