Hong Kong Rallies

Monday, August 25, 2014

Demonstrators march during a pro-democracy rally seeking greater democracy in Hong Kong on July 1, 2014 as frustration grows over the influence of Beijing on the city. (PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty)

A pro-democracy movement is hoping for free elections of Hong Kong's new leader in 2017, and staged a huge rally earlier this summer. Then marchers loyal to Beijing responded with their own protest in opposition to the movement. Michael Forsythe of The New York Times reports from Hong Kong, on who’s behind both movements, what each wants and what it means for the future of voting, the economy and democracy there. 


Michael Forsythe

Comments [7]

Sara in Inwood from New York

Thanks so much for spending some time on Hong Kong! It's a great place full of wonderful people, who are in a very difficult position. They'd benefit tremendously from having the world pay closer attention.

Michael Chugani would be an interesting guest. There were once three English-language dailies in Hong Kong (now two); he's been the editor of two and a columnist at the third.

Aug. 26 2014 10:21 PM
Richard Sloat

Michael Forsythe is naive if he does not understand, as David said below, that the Chinese are diverse and have many conflicts among themselves. I have been in Hong Kong many times and have had Hong Kong friends over the years. They were excited about the change to China and then regretted it. My wife reads the NYC Chinese paper from Taiwan and they are often have stories about the conflicts between those originally in Hong Kong and the flood of Chinese from China both legal and illegal. China policy is to flood areas that are looking for freedoms with Chinese who support the government. They may be a different ethnic group such as Han Chinese in Tibet. Or just politically correct. Think of the conflicts the same ethnic group in Europe has had over the years or in Ukraine today.

Aug. 25 2014 05:24 PM
John from Rego Park

Perhaps you might consider inviting Michael Chugani speak on the democracy movement in HK. Michael is an American background journalist and TV commentator. He can speak to behind the scenes compromise negotiations. He can speak to what would be broadly acceptable. The leverage here is the embarrassment factor. The central government is usually sensitive to this. What if no one showed up for the election?

Aug. 25 2014 11:57 AM

I was in Hong Kong earlier this year, and it was clear to me that mainland China's influences are getting stronger and stronger. I fear for the democratic future of Hong Kong. I disagree with Mr. Forsythe. While most Chinese are ethnically the same (Han Chinese), culturally the divisions can be quite great. I'm saddened that the Cantonese culture is beginning to become overwhelmed by the Mandarin speakers of the north. Soon Hong Kong would become Mandarin speaking. To lose the great and proud Cantonese culture on the home city of the Cantonese people would be nothing short of tragedy.

Aug. 25 2014 11:53 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Churchill's famous dictum: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947)

Aug. 25 2014 11:43 AM
Ava from sausalito

Not so surprising if you consider the backlash against the first democracy after the disastrous Pelopponnesian Wars.

Robert Kagan claims much of Thucydides was written to downplay how democratic Pericles was.

I have family in mainland China, not too happy about the anti-democracy protests.

Aug. 25 2014 11:29 AM
antonio from baySIde

Democracy in its pure form sucks, e.g. one vote can silence or create a minority. Maybe they want a Republic, which is what we used to have.

Aug. 25 2014 10:06 AM

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