The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

New China Hand: What Next?

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We’ve seen the best and worst of Hong Kong in the last eight days. Around this time last week, we were all in shock as the police unleashed tear gas and pepper spray on protestors. That only seemed to strengthen their resolve and swell their ranks as key parts of the city were forced to shut down by the sheer numbers of those involved.

Then we all marvelled at just how civil this civil disobedience was! With medical stations, garbage collection and recycling points, and signs of apology for the inconvenience caused, we wondered if there had ever been a protest movement quite like this, anywhere. My personal favourite was the strict observance of ‘keep off the grass’ at the war memorial. Classy, HK; classy.

Then we all saw a very ugly (literal and figurative) side of the territory rear its head in the street clashes in Mong Kok. I’m sure there are people and businesses who have been deeply and distress fully inconvenienced by the protestors, as evidenced by sporadic street attack incidents by, mostly, older citizens. The TV pictures from the heart of Mong Kok, though, we’re shocking because they showed not only violent attacks but hinted at police collusion – the images of one agitator being dragged away by police, only to be bundled into a waiting taxi, sticks firmly in the mind.

So-called pro- and anti-Beijing activists have clashed in the streets before, but always in the Hong Kong tradition of passionate argument without any actual physical violence. The agenda of the Mong Kok anti-occupy protestors and their choice of methods, though, seemed rather obvious from the start and perhaps indicated the involvement of another, more sinister, Hong King tradition.

The movement has been a soul-searching experience for Hong Kong as everyone in the territory has been forced to engage with these issues. Ultimately, the question of what level of sacrifice Hong Kongers can tolerate to secure their perceived rights is still in the process of being answered. It has raised many more questions in its wake.

How did you feel watching the news this week? What’s going to happen next? Who are the winners and losers? Comments below!

One comment on “New China Hand: What Next?

  1. brielle87
    October 6, 2014

    I just wish we could go back in time and Great Britain would not have handed governing of HK over to China. There was just no way in the world Beijing was going to allow things to continue on as they had for so long, it goes against their entire modus operandi. I just wish the best for everyone in Hong Kong and that freedom will prevail; oppression is truly so 17th century and many back then felt we would have evolved by this point in time.
    I do truly commend the protesters for standing up for what they believe in, it is not easy to face a bear eye to eye (so to speak).
    I just do not know how this will all evolve over time, which makes me so sad because moving to HK one day was my dream. Not so much of a dream if oppression will become the way there (horrifying thought).
    I truly wish everyone in HK the best of luck and safety.

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