Hong Kong protests: Is Beijing ready to step in?


Hong Kong’s protests have stirred confrontations in various places around the world in recent weeks, usually involving patriotic Chinese students confronting pro-democracy groups, Reuters reports. At Seoul National University, for example, students have created their own “Lennon Walls” – mosaics of Post-it notes named after the John Lennon Wall in communist-controlled Prague in the 1980s – which have appeared in Hong Kong.

With protests now in their sixth month, Hong Kong faces another challenge: a District Council election scheduled for Nov. 24. These low-level elections are in the spotlight, given the escalating unrest in Hong Kong and the protesters’ demands for universal suffrage, notes Maggie Shum, research associate at the Keogh School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, and a native of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s government shows few signs of a reconciliatory approach, and public polls indicate continued public support for the protesters, despite the increase in confrontations between police and protesters, the former National Endowment for Democracy research intern writes for the Post’s Monkey Cage blog:

Many analysts see the District Council elections as a test for Beijing and Hong Kong authorities’ political will to uphold the “one country, two systems” arrangement and hold free and fair elections at the district level. Hong Kong voters will probably view any tampering with the election schedule or process as an attempt to erode one of the few democratic pillars left in Hong Kong’s political system.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email