hong kong protest – initial questions


From the Guardian.

Right now, pro-democracy protesters are in conflict with police in Hong Kong. I am not a China expert, so my knowledge is limited. A few questions for readers who know more than I do:

  • What lessons have the Chinese state and activists learned from previous rounds of pro-democracy protest?
  • Is this “internally generated?” Or have activists received training and support from outside China?
  • Was this triggered by specific events, or is this a response to the slow assertion of mainland power in Hong Kong?

Use the comments!

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Written by fabiorojas

September 29, 2014 at 3:32 am

Posted in fabio, social movements

5 Responses

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  1. Based on biased observations, (1) they seem to be convinced that a harder suppression works best, especially when internal fraction within the protesters break out. In particular, locals told me that they were struck by the level of violence use by the police which were unprecedented in previous protests. (2) seems to be mostly internally generated, but not entirely sure though. They’ve been preparing “occupy central” for quite some time. (3) Carroll, Feng, and Kuilman’s (2014) recent piece on sociological science provides a nice and related point. Locals seem to believe that universal suffrage is the way to break the hegemony of “functional constituencies” controlled by top capitalists (who are supported by the Mainland).



    September 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

  2. (1) You can search “Hong Kong 1 July marches” for more information. But the experience from previous rounds, may not be so crucial, compared with the leader change in China.
    (2) My response is similar to Luke, but there are some exchanges between Hong Kong students and students who led “Sunflower Student Movement” in Taiwan.
    Also, China-sponsored organizations and media usually produce rumors: the leaders get the money from western countries (mostly the US or the UK).
    (3) Luke said the remote cause, but the immediate cause is that students are caught and hit by the police on 26/9.

    P.S. Hi Luke. Our chat in Yokohama is nice. :)


    A sociology student from HK

    September 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  3. Thanks for the comments. In doing a little reading, there is a little bit of borrowing of symbolism using the “occupy” rhetoric.



    September 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm

  4. I closely tracked protest movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the past few years, both for personal interests and academic research. Is it entirely internally generated? Well, that depends on what you mean by internal.

    I know for a fact that the student leaders in Hong Kong have frequent interactions and regular meeting with the Taiwanese “sunflower” student movement. Two major Tiananmen square Chinese student leaders, Wang Dang and Wu’erkaixi are also both residing in Taiwan and participate actively in various student groups. Wang Dang is now visiting professor at various leading universities in Taiwan and many of the student protest leaders are his students. Wang Dang also received his PhD from Harvard a few years back and openly discussed tactics observed in US.

    So there are many direct channels to exchange ideas. The Hong Kong students are closely connected with the Taiwanese groups, and many of them have indirect ties to US.


    Chih Liu

    September 30, 2014 at 8:59 am

  5. The rate of business start-ups declined following the 1997 Handover due to uncertainty and this event is likely to produce a similar effect. See the analysis at:



    September 30, 2014 at 5:33 pm

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