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Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Bland, Ben, Generation H K: Seeking Identity in China's Shadow, London, Penguin, 2017, pp. 140

(A Penguin Special and one in a series on Hong Kong)

The author charts the attitudes of the generation who grew up since 1997, arguing that they have a distinctive Hong Kong identity, detached from Britain's legacy and far from identifying with mainland China, but aware of pressure from Beijing. He follows the stories of 'activists turned politicians', 'artists resisting censorship' and. some connected with the world of high finance, making comparisons with other Asian countries he has covered as a journalist.

Branigan, Tania ; Kuo, Lily, The Battle for Hong Kong, Guardian Weekly, 2020, pp. 34-41

The authors assess the prospects for the protest movement in Hong Kong since Beijing announced the new security law. They examine the 2019 movement and developments early in 2020 in the context of the recent history of Hong Kong and the failure of the Umbrella Movement.

See also: Kuo, Lily and Helen Davidson, 'From the Shadows, Beijing Asserts its Control', Guardian Weekly, 2 October, 2020, pp.24-5.

Describes how key individuals with a reputation for repression in China are directing Beijing's policy in Hong Kong and the role of the central government's liaison office.  The article also comments briefly on the virtual suppression of open protest, which has become extremely risky.

See also: Wright, George, 'Hong Kong Protest Singers Fear for their Future', BBC News, 25 August, 2020.

The report discusses the impact of the Beijing Security Law on Hong Kong's musicians.

Bush, Richard C., Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan, Washington, DC, Brookings Institute Press, 2016, pp. 170

The Director of the Brookings Institution's Center on East Asian Policy Studies examines the conflict between the Chinese government and the protesters over the role of popular control in Hong Kong's political system in the context of the 2014 movement. Bush stresses the popular resentment about growing economic inequality and the dominance of the business sector, discusses policies which would promote 'both economic competitiveness and good governance', and examines implications of developments in Honk Kong for the USA.

Chan, Debby ; Pun, Ngai, Economic Power of the Politically Powerless in the 2019 Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Movement, Critical Asian Studies, Vol. 52, no. 1, 2020, pp. 33-43

The authors, from the Department of Sociology at the University of  Hong Kong, note the unprecedented 'scale, scope and time span' of these grassroots 'leaderless' protests. They also comment on the dramatic scenes of violent confrontation between police and protesters. They argue that this confrontation obscures 'an emerging economic resistance movement' trying to develop alternative political resources to redress the imbalance in power between them and the government. 

Chan, Johannes, Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement, The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 103, no. 6, 2014, pp. 571-580

This article was written before the occupation of areas of Hong Kong had been ended by the authorities, so it is an initial response to the protests. It examines the causes of the movement and speculates about its wider implications for politics in Hong Kong and relations with China.

Chan, Shun-hing, The Protestant Community and the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Vol. 16, no. 3, 2015, pp. 380-395

Examines the surprisingly high level of participation by Protestants in the movement, despite the doubts or opposition of church leaders to the Umbrella movement. The author argues this participation can be explained by Richard Wood's theory of faith-based community organizing: using biblical stories, images and symbols to create a culture of protest.

Cheng, Edmund W. ; Chan, Wai-Yin, Explaining Spontaneous Occupation: Antecedents, Contingencies and Spaces in the Umbrella Movement, Social Movement Studies, Vol. 16, no. 2, 2017, pp. 222-239

Dapiran, Antony, City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong, London, Penguin, 2017, pp. 134

(Penguin Special)

Dapiran argues that Hong Kong has been 'a city shaped by civil disobedience', and he sets the 2014 movement in the historical context of protest since the 1960s. He also discusses the role of these popular protests in forging a distinctive Hong Kong identity, whilst indicating that the relationship between politics and cultural identity is complex.

Davis, Michael C., Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement: Beijing's Broken Promises, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 26, no. 2 (April), 2015, pp. 101-110

The article focuses on how the 'one country, two systems' model in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration was undermined by the June 2014 Chinese White Paper and the August 2014 Chinese decision on the conduct of Hong Kong elections. These have meant that the 'one country, two systems' commitment has been broken, underlining the need for more internal democracy in Hong Kong.

Engler, Mark ; Engler, Paul, This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-First Century, New York, Nation Books, 2016, pp. 368

The book examines how contemporary movements are using strategic nonviolent action to promote social change, covering a range of protests including climate change, immigrant rights, gay rights, Occupy and Black Lives Matter. The authors argue that nonviolent uprisings are becoming more common than violent rebellion, and look back to twentieth century antecedents in the Indian Independence and US Civil Rights movements, examine the nature of effective strategy and discuss organizational discipline. Their analysis includes the Arab Spring, but notes its discouraging implications.

Hui, Victoria Tin-Bor, Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement : The Protests and Beyond, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 26, no. 2 (April), 2015, pp. 111-121

This article (following on the previous article by Davis analysing China's role in sparking the protest) focuses on the role of the Hong Kong government in opposing greater democracy and allowing excessive use of force by the police, so fuelling public anger.

Jones, Brian Christophe, Law and Politics of the Taiwan Sunflower and Hong Kong Umbrella Movements, London, Routledge, 2017, pp. 236

Comparison of the Umbrella Movement with the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan is relevant for a number of reasons. Taiwan is under pressure to move closer to China, and although it is politically more independent than Hong Kong, the Taiwanese government since 2010 has entered into a close trading relationship with China, making it economically more dependent. Moreover, many smaller Taiwanese businesses have suffered. The protests occurred between 18 March and 10 April 2014 and took the form of an occupation of the legislature, which spiraled into a mass occupation of the surrounding district. Young people, who feel distinctively Taiwanese rather than Chinese, were prominent in the occupation, but it included a wide section of the population (an estimated 500,000 taking part at one point) and many others gave food, water and money to the demonstrators. This book includes contributions from a range of distinguished scholars from Hong Kong, Taiwan and other parts of Asia who explore, in particular, issues relating to democracy, the rule of law and freedom of speech. Contributors also discuss the legal and political implications of mass occupation as a protest tactic and seek to draw lessons for the future.

Kong, Tsung-gan, Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Pema Press, 2017, pp. 668

A detailed account of the 2014 movement, setting it in the wider context of the campaign for democracy in Hong Kong, and of Hong Kong's relations with mainland China. The author, who is a free lance journalist, explains that he began this account as a record by a participant in the protests, but that he came to see the need to counter propaganda about the movement and give a proper overall picture. The student radical leader Joshua Wong has written a Foreword.

Ku, Agnes, New Forms of Youth Activism - Hong Kong's Anti-Extradition Bill Movement in the Local-National-Global nexus, Space and Polity, Vol. 24, no. 1, 2020, pp. 111-117

This article, which is part of an issue on 'Youth Politics in Urban Areas', focuses on the 2019 Anti-Extradition Bill movement to explore the role of young people in steering this movement. Ku examines how they drew on local and international resources to direct the movement, and 'the path-breaking strategies and results that have emerged'.  

L.F., Francis ; Chan, Joseph, Digital Media Activities and Mode of Participation in a Protest Campaign: a Study of the Umbrella Movement, Information, Communication and Society, Vol. 19, no. 1, 2016

Lee, Francis L.F., Media Mobilization and the Umbrella Movement, ed. Jones, Brian Christophe, London, Routledge, 2016, pp. 152

This study covers both international and local media, as well as the role of conventional as well as digital media, in both publicizing and mobilizing the Hong Kong protests. It discusses, for example, the impact of TV, but also deliberate social media strategies. The editor is a Professor in the School of Journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Lee, Francis L.F. ; Chan, Joseph, Media and Protest Logics in the Digital Era: The Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, ed. Lee, Francis L.F., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 288

Examines how digital media transformed the largely spontaneous movement into a campaign of collective action, with a central organization articulating clear policy demands as a result of a process of 'bottom up' debate and organization. The book covers the role of conventional as well as digital media, and draws on surveys of protesters, wider public opinion surveys and analysis of both conventional and social media platforms content.

See also: , Digital Media Activities and Mode of Participation in a Protest Campaign: a Study of the Umbrella Movement Information, Communication and Society, 2016 .

Lee, Paul S.N. ; So, Clement Y.K. ; Long, Louis, Social Media and the Umbrella Movement: Insurgent Public Sphere in Formation, Chinese Journal of Communication (Routledge Journal), Vol. 8, no. 4, 2015, pp. 356-375

The authors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong interviewed a random sample of 1011 to assess the role of social media in the Umbrella Movement. They found a positive correlation between support for the movement and reliance on social media for news and that this group also distrusted the Hong Kong authorities, the police and Chinese Government.

Ng, Jason Y., Umbrellas in Bloom: Hong Kong's Occupy Movement Uncovered, Hong Kong, Blacksmith Books, 2016, pp. 392

The publishers claim it is the first detailed account in English of the movement. Ng, who is a lawyer and newspaper columnist, includes direct reporting from the protest, a timeline, a Who's Who of Hong Kong politics, maps and photographs. The book is reviewed positively by the independent Hong Kong Free Press.

Ngok, Ma ; Cheng, Edmund W., The Umbrella Movement: Civil Resistance and Contentious Space in Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2019, pp. 336

The editors, two professors of government in Hong Kong, argue that although the Occupy Central movement did not achieve immediate specific results it did alter the nature of Hong Kong politics through the emergence of a new movement and repertoire of protest, and also changed Hong Kong's relations with China and its perceived identity internationally. Scholarly contributors from different disciplines assess the origins of the movement, discuss new participants and forms of protest, and the Hong Kong government's response. The book includes perspectives from China, Taiwan and Macau.

See also: , Explaining Spontaneous Occupation: Antecedents, Contingencies and Spaces in the Umbrella Movement Social Movement Studies, 2017, pp. 222-239

Ortmann, Stephan, The Umbrella Movement and Hong Kong's Protracted Democratization Process, Asian Affairs, Vol. 46, no. 1, 2015, pp. 32-50

Ortmann explains the movement in the context of the slow process of institutional democratization and the dashing of early hopes. He notes the obstacles to progress through the democratic political parties created by the Hong Kong authorities. He also points to the role of the business elite, afraid that fully democratic politics would lead to radical economic and social policies, and the constraints imposed by Beijing. As a result the democracy movement has become divided, and students have come to the fore in promoting protest.

Partaken, James, Listening to students about the Umbrella Movement of Hong Kong, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Vol. 51, no. 2, 2017, pp. 212-222

This article explores how activism in the protests influenced how students saw their role and their identity. It also argues that the Umbrella Movement needs to be understood within the context of other Asian student movements from the last century (such as student activism leading to Tiananmen) as well as the recent (March 2014) Sunflower Movement in Taiwan opposing greater economic integration with China. Partaken stresses the impact of the movement on the educational world of Hong Kong and also beyond its borders.

Purbrick, Martin, A Report of the 2019 Hong Kong Protests, Asian Affairs, Vol. 50, no. 4, 2019, pp. 455-487

The author, a former Royal Hong Kong Police officer living in Hong Kong, provides a detailed chronological account of the protests in 2019. He examines both the protesters' tactics and the Hong Kong police strategy and tactics in dealing with the protests, as well as critically assessing the political responses by the Hong Kong government and Beijing.

Reuters, Timeline: Key Dates in Hong Kong's Anti-Government Protests, Reuters, 2020

Covers period from February 2019, when proposals for extradition to China were made by Hong Kong's Security Bureau, to May 28 2020, when China's parliament endorsed the decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.

Shek, Daniel, Protests in Hong Kong (2019-2020): a Perspective Based on Quality of Life and Well-Being, Applied Research in Quality of Life, Vol. 15, 2020, pp. 619-635

Shek examines how the Extradition Bill 'ignited' pre-existing social and political sources of conflict in Hong Kong to create a political conflagration. This was fanned by 'disinformation and misinformation, anonymity of the protesters, public support for the students, and support given by parties outside Hong Kong'. The author is critical of the extensive 'vandalism', which damaged the transport infrastructure, of assaults on opponents, and especially of the damage to the Legislative Council building on 1 July 2019.

Shen, Simon Xu-Hui ; Chan, Wai Shun Wilso, The Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong from Comparative Perspectives, London, Imperial College Press, 2019, pp. 300

The authors, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong argue that the Umbrella Movement was not unique. They aim to throw light on it through comparison with other potentially revolutionary movements, including Gandhian satyagraha, the US Civil Rights Selma campaign and Euromaidan in the Ukraine, as well as movements in Malaysia, Taiwan and earlier in Hong Kong itself. A chapter examines the Umbrella Movement through the lens of various International Relations theories and there is also a chapter on Beijing's perspective.

Ting, Tin-yet, From 'Be Water' to 'Be Fire': Nascent Smart Mob and Networked Protests in Hong Kong, Social Movement Studies, Vol. 19, no. 3, 2020, pp. 362-368

Ting, from the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the Polytechnic University in Hong  Kong, focuses on the use of social media and mobile technology that allowed 'largely ad hoc and networked form s of pop-up protest', both in the protests against the Extradition Bill and against police brutality and abuse of  human rights. The article elaborates on how protest repertories and movement goals have emerged.

Veg, Sebastian, Legalistic and Utopian, New Left Review, no. 92 (March to April), 2015

The author notes frequent comparisons between the Umbrella Movement and the Chinese student occupation of Tienanmen Square in Beijing in 1989, but argues that the Hong Kong protesters’ demands were more limited and precise and that they operated in a much more favourable political environment. Veg also comments on comparisons with Occupy Wall Street in 2011 (he points out the focus of protest was different) and the Taiwan Sunflower Movement of 2014, which he sees as a more precise comparison in terms of the context of the protests and the specific nature of their demands. He then examines the background to and evolution of the Umbrella Movement.

Veg, Sebastian, Creating a Textual Public Space: Slogans and Texts from Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement, The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 73, no. 3, 2016, pp. 673-702

This study, based on over 1000 slogans and other texts and visual material, assesses the 'community with fluid borders' created by the movement, and the different 'cultural repertoires' including traditional Chinese philosophy and pop music. The author argues that the occupation also tried to develop a form of 'discursive democracy', and was an attempt to create a new civic culture among the younger generation.

Weiss, Meredith Leigh ; Aspinall, Edward, Student Activism in Asia: Between Protest and Powerlessness, ed. Solomon, Clare, Palmieri, Tania, Minneapolis MN, University of Minnesota Press, 2012, pp. 318

Comparative examination of student-led protest challenging governments in Asia since the Second World War, with a focus on Burma, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines

Wong, Joshua, Scholarism on the March, New Left Review, no. 92 (March to April), 2015

Interview with prominent young leader of the Umbrella Movement charting his personal (Christian) background, and his earlier activism in 2011-12 when still at school, in opposing the Hong Kong government’s proposal to introduce a compulsory course in ‘Moral and National Education’, which he and his friends saw as ideological indoctrination. Notes the impressive support (100,000 signatures to a petition in three days) which his ‘Scholarism’ group mobilized, and the move in 2012 from petitioning to a large demonstration and hunger strike by three students.

Wu, Jin ; Lai, Rebecca ; Yuhas, Alan, Six Months of Hong Kong Protests: How Did We Get Here?, New York Times, 2019

Examines how nonviolent marches and rallies against the Extradition Bill developed into more militant protest and violent clashes after repressive use of police tactics, and how the protesters extended their political agenda to demand wider political reforms and police accountability.