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8 - Hong Kong as a Political Consciousness

from Part III - Resistance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 April 2022

Ho-fung Hung
Affiliation:
The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
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Summary

Chapter Eight discusses how the rise of the radical wings of the democratic movement in tandem with the rise of localist, or even separatist, consciousness among the younger generation. For a long time, the ambiguous Hong Kong local identity had been no more than a cultural identity. Most social and opposition movements had been imbued with the Chinese nationalist discourse. But as a reaction to rising inter-class and inter-generational inequality driven by Chinese capital and Beijing’s tightening direct rule over Hong Kong, the consciousness that Hong Kong constitutes a political community separate from China’s emerged, and after about 2010, became mainstream among the younger generation of activists. Corresponding to this politicization of the Hong Kong identity was the germination of the demand for self-determination or even for Hong Kong independence within the democratic movement. The localist turn of political demands and increasingly militant protest underlined the escalating conflicts, starting from the anti-National Education curriculum mobilization in 2012, to the Umbrella Movement in 2014, and to the 2019 uprising.

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City on the Edge
Hong Kong under Chinese Rule
, pp. 172 - 197
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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