Why Hong Kong disturbs Xi Jinping’s vision for China | FT


China’s President Xi Jinping
has made the restoration of his country’s
power and dignity the central theme
of his presidency. But Hong Kong, a part of
China’s sovereign territory, has descended into
violent anarchy. Universities have turned
into battlegrounds. Protesters are hurling Molotov
cocktails at the police. But they appear to retain
a strong measure of support from the population. Chinese troops have
appeared on the streets, but so far only to
help clear the roads. The spark for the first
demonstrations in June was the introduction
of a bill allowing extradition of criminal
suspects from Hong Kong to mainland China. By most accounts,
that was an idea pushed by Carrie Lam, Hong
Kong’s chief executive. But Mr Xi bears a
broader responsibility. In the seven years since
he came to power in Beijing the Chinese state has
become significantly more authoritarian. Preparing the ground in
Hong Kong for a backlash against rule from Beijing. An anti-corruption drive
has seen prominent figures disappear from public
life on the mainland and a rash of suicides among
Communist party officials. And more than 1m
people have been interned in re-education camps
in the province of Xinjiang. The treatment of
Xinjiang is often cited by demonstrators
in Hong Kong as a sign of just
how far Beijing will go to crush cultural
and regional diversity. During the Xi period, the
mainland’s intolerance for free speech and thuggish
attitude towards the law has seeped into
Hong Kong itself. The case of some Hong
Kong booksellers, who were kidnapped, then
detained on the mainland sent a chilling message. So did the decision to
ban elected lawmakers from the Hong Kong
assembly for mangling loyalty oaths to China. Prominent anti-Beijing
political activists, such as Joshua Wong and
Edward Leung, were imprisoned. Mr Wong is now out of jail while
the still imprisoned Mr Leung finds his slogan “Free
Hong Kong, Revolution Now,” chanted on the streets. During the Xi years China’s
gone backwards politically. Maoist era slogans
have been revived and Xi Jinping thought
has been written into the Chinese constitution. Free speech has been
further restricted. Civil rights lawyers
have been locked up. And non-governmental
organisations have been closed down. So it’s hardly surprising
if Hong Kong now regards the prospect
of full integration with the mainland with horror. And that date no longer
seems impossibly far off. The most radical
demonstrators are often in their teens or
early 20s and they’ll be in the prime of their lives
when the second handover takes place in 2047. The current revolt
raises questions, not just about Mr Xi’s
handling of Hong Kong, but about his entire
political project. The president’s mantra
is the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people. And central to that
is the restoration of national
territorial integrity. Just as disturbingly
for Mr Xi’s vision, the rebellion in Hong Kong
undermines a central tenet of the patriotic education
pushed by the Communist party. Namely, that there
is one China and that all Chinese people long for
nothing more than to be united. It’s now clear that
millions of Hong Kongers do not feel that ethnic
solidarity overrides their political concerns
about mainland China. On the contrary,
they’re increasingly asserting a separate
Hong Kong identity that’s often tinged with
prejudice against mainlanders.

20 comments

  1. The fake news are fooling you again!
    CIA plotted the HongKong protest–more than 1000 officials /spies in US Consulute in HongKong. Most of the protesters are paid by NGOs who get funds from NED, who serves for the CIA.

  2. Hongkong stays as a part of China.
    Financial times need to understand
    How Hongkong get its alpha plus
    status ,because of freedom and rights there

    And also how China has making a 6 percent growth year on year,because it also has freedom and rights

  3. It's pretty disgusting how governments try to control their citizens inatead ofnhelping them. It is a moral duty for every human being to prevent dictatorships from interfering with humanity's progress. Hierarchies and stupid obedience is not the solution to solve humanity's problems.

  4. Well put! The 'oneness' of China has extended from Communist Party ideology into a type of ethno-fascist China where if you aren't Han, you had bloomin' well better behave like one. Centralisation of cultural and political thought at all costs. Ultimately, that's why China will only develop so far, before attempts to economically advance are stalled by either brain drain or lack of ability to think the unthinkable in trying to innovate.

  5. hong kong riots do not disturbs Xi's visions for China. It disturbs the west's image of peaceful protesters that brought chaos and destructions the cockroaches brought to their city.

  6. This video is spot on. People who think The CCP cares about the lives of normal citizens are either ignorant or been brainwashed.

  7. If President Xi is so bad, why his plan can lift hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty? Please enlighten me, which country President ever did that?

  8. But why can’t they just get their 5 demands they seem decent and it’s not like they ask for autonomy or independent all their asking for is democracy.

  9. China systems is better than USA UK fakes demoncrazy violence chaotic makes country instability nothing brings hatreds to nations Death suffering devided bombs woman and children around the 🌏 call it human rights or freedom as blankets ridiculous 😁😁😁

  10. Peaceful resolution of University siege. Still no bloodshed. After 6 months and pretty extreme provocation. Unlike in Chile, iraq, Iran, Bolivia, France. In fact fewer arrests than 10 days of climate protests in London. Very light sentences, unlike for example in Spain. Now isnt this embarrassing? Not sure for whom though.

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