Why Hong Kong is taking on China

September 29, 2014

So much for “one country, two systems”. Residents of Hong Kong, always wary of Beijing’s promise to grant certain concessions to capitalism and democracy after Britain handed over the region to China in 1997, have taken to the streets for the fourth straight night, with tens of thousands of demonstrators filling the streets of the city’s central business district. Why the protests and how high are the stakes?

Dubbed the “Umbrella Revolution” after the large number of protesters carrying them to protect against the sun and, somewhat less successfully, the sting of tear gas, the demonstrations aim to pressure China to hold fully democratic elections for Hong Kong’s legislature in 2017 and to prompt the current executive, Leung Chun-ying, to step down.

The protests are expected to escalate in anticipation of China’s National Day holiday on Oct. 1, but—so far at least—the central government appears unswayed: “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong,” said Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Minister told a news briefing in Beijing.

A Reuters graphic looks at how public opinion has changed since the handover. Polls conducted by the University of Hong Kong show ebbing confidence in China’s “one country, two systems” philosophy and Hong Kong’s future in general, and more than 50 percent of respondents are either “quite distrustful” or “very distrustful” of the Beijing central government. Doesn’t sound like the protesters will be leaving the streets anytime soon.

 

 

5 comments

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“Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong”
Now that we have China investing heavily in Canada with protection that effectively disables our own constitution, how long do we wait before they say: “Canada is China’s Canada”

Posted by lotuslandjoe | Report as abusive

If Hongkong is part of China, why is China’s foreign minister
involved in this matter?

Posted by pbgd | Report as abusive

For the 100 years britain controlled HK the local peasants didn’t have a say

Posted by wetroot | Report as abusive

IS it really any surprise that the Party is tightly trying to control HK? That’s how they’ve maintained their position on the Mainland and the only way they know how to govern. This was inevitable. All it’s doing is setting up another incident like in Tiannmanen, which will probably occur soon enough once the mainland gets tired of hearing about the protests.

Posted by Dehumanist | Report as abusive

Well we certainly are becoming “China’s America” under the leadership of the GOP and their ugly stepchild, the Tea Party.

Posted by grindermonkey | Report as abusive