mandag 30. september 2019

'They don't understand Hong Kong': clash of ideologies looms on China's 70th anniversary

When Chinese president Xi Jinping warned his Communist party cadres against the threats of “black swans” and “grey rhinoceroses” in January, there was little sign of what would lie ahead. The millions-strong protests in Hong Kong in recent months, sparked by a controversial extradition law, have morphed into an unprecedented political storm that has blown up in the faces of Hong Kong and Chinese leaders.

A huge protest, planned for 1 October, is set to overshadow the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. This is the last thing Xi would want the world to see.

Analysts say years of complacency by Chinese and Hong Kong governments have played a role. After the Umbrella movement in 2014 failed to pressure Beijing into granting genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong, apathy pervaded as the pro-democracy movement dwindled. Two years ago, when the Hong Kong government ejected six pro-democracy lawmakers, it managed to pass many unpopular bills. It expected the extradition bill would also be rammed through in June in the same manner.