Most people are familiar with Scotland’s attempt at independence this year. A huge public campaign for each side spread like wildfire, and caused the people of Scotland to be more unified than ever (on each view, at least). However, many people may not know of some similar events that are happening in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, previously a British colony, was returned to the Chinese in 1997. An agreement between the two powers declared that Hong Kong would function relatively independently of China, with it having its own culture, government, language, etc. However, China still has influence over the region, mainly in foreign and defense affairs. In late August of this year, the Chinese government proposed that, in 2017, Hong Kong could have a democratic election system to choose a ruling power. The only catch? The candidate had to be supported by the Chinese government.
As one may suspect, the advocates of Chinese independence in Hong Kong were not pleased at this guise of democracy being given. Protesters in the financial district of Hong Kong, mainly student-aged citizens, started movements in a fashion similar to America’s very own “Occupy Wall Street”, boycotting classes and forming gatherings in protest. While, in the grand scheme of events that make up the world as it is today, the generally peaceful revolt of the small group of students in Hong Kong will likely not get to the point that it will make a big difference, it could possibly lead to similar movements in countries and regions in similar autonomic situations around the world (Northern Ireland, e.g.). (BBC News)
–by Jordan McCormack