As Hong Kong’s summer of discontent passes its tenth week of street protests, analysts agree on one key point: this is the biggest political crisis the city has seen since its reversion from British colony to Chinese Special Administrative Region in 1997.
On Nov. 14, 2018, a sociologist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong gave his last lecture, entitled “Tribute to the Enlighteners.” To a standing room-only crowd of over 600 people, professor Chan Kin-man discussed his life of activism, which culminated in the 2014 Umbrella Movement, a demonstration in support of greater democracy for Hong Kong — a demonstration that lasted 79 days and drew the world’s attention to a moment of political awakening.
On March 27, 2017, the leaders of the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong turned themselves in to the police. The group included founders of the movement—Benny Tai, a professor; Chan Kin-man, a sociologist; and Chu Yiu-ming, a pastor—as well as other student leaders, lawmakers, and politicians.
The newspaper headlines that have bracketed my summer trip to Hong Kong have been dark. In mid-July the city, once a British colony and now a Chinese Special Administrative Region, was mourning Liu Xiaobo, a political prisoner and Nobel Laureate who died of cancer under custody.
China’s Palace Museum has always been a symbol of political legitimacy, its art and artifacts a kind of currency. Making imperial treasures public to the new nation, it first opened its doors in the Forbidden City in 1925. But many of its finest pieces are no longer in Beijing.
Read more at: http://evenmagazine.com/imperial-by-design/.
On January 14, the trial of Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s former chief executive who served from 2005 to 2012, was set for January 3 of 2017. This past December, Tsang pleaded not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, charges on which he was indicted in October.
That Johannes Chan—Hong Kong University’s dean of the law school—was barred from being appointed a pro-vice-chancellor, has been called the end of academic freedom by lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, and “a visible litmus test” by Jerome Cohen and Alvin Cheung in the pages of the South China Morning Post.
Last year, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen student movement and its brutal crackdown made major headlines. China-watchers, journalists, and academics commemorated June 4—as the event is called for short—with articles and books, and with lectures and roundtables.
May 17th in Hong Kong marked the opening of a two-week ‘Umbrella Festival,’ a pro-democracy sit-in protest that lasted from September to December 2014. The Umbrella Movement was one of the largest political demonstrations the city had ever seen.
This year, the 43rd annual Hong Kong Arts Festival commissioned a chamber opera in three acts called Datong: The Chinese Utopia. Depicting the life and times of Kang Youwei (1858-1927), a philosopher and reformer of China’s last Qing dynasty, it premiered in the theater of the Hong Kong City Hall.
This week’s “Report on the Recent Community and Political Situation in Hong Kong” underscores the way the Hong Kong government has and continues to portray its position vis-à-vis the Umbrella Movement. Local media reportage has focused on Pan-Democrats and activists’ objections to the way the movement is represented.
A week ago today I sat together with you outside the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s library, a teacher among other teachers, a university member beside students, 13,000 strong. The weeks before had felt quiet.