Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong
The Umbrella Revolution is a series of protests held in Hong Kong against the Chinese government that planned to take control of the region. It occurred after the British government signed a deal to provide autonomy and freedom to Hong Kong. In response to this oppression and control, students and the anti-occupied government gathered meetings and demonstrations. The gatherings were aimed at confronting the anti-demographic decision of the Chinese government which decided to select the candidates to govern Hong Kong. Although Chinese people were not previously endowed with such rights as the freedom of press, students and thousands of other representatives of Hong Kong joined the protest to fight against the reforms and a voting system in China. Hence, the Umbrella Revolution is an attempt of Hong Kong’s community to fight for democratic principles and protect their voting rights and freedom of press. The revolution, therefore, has a potent impact on the social and business development of the region by introducing new democratic principles and a new economic environment.
Hong Kong is regarded as one of the world’s significant financial centers that have acquired the new status. It happened after the British government signed a new deal to provide the region with greater freedoms. Being a former British colony, it was governed by two systems, but one country. However, the region was returned to China in 1997 (Kaiman, 2014). The major principle of ruling Hong Kong was negotiated between Britain and Beijing. The task of the Chinese capital is to defend the region and ensure successful international relations. As for the rest, the former colony enjoys civil liberties and self-government, involving the freedom of press and independent judiciary. However, Beijing decided to regain the control over the city. It declared that the region would have the right to vote during the universal suffrage by 2017 (Kaiman, 2014). However, an attempt to restore the power was not supported by people because of the lack of democracy in the decision of the Chinese government. It is afraid that the region would choose a pro-democratic candidate.
While analyzing the protest, the attention should be given to different perspectives, including the Chinese government, Hong Kong’s demonstrations, and other countries involved, including the United States. According to Hong Kong residents, the main Chinese government have systematically increased its pressure on the city, causing the region to feel economically limited and politically marginalized (Kaiman, 2014). The real estate market spent money of the mainland region, increasing the costs provided for home ownership. The local media has tightened its control and censorship because of the fear of pro-democratic advertising. What is more important is that the Chinese government accuses the US authorities of influencing Hong Kong’s community and making it organize protests. The attempt to foment the revolution in the region is explained by the desire to promote democracy for strategic purposes. The commentary assumes the inevitability of the US direct intrusion. Therefore, the Chinese government associates the American involvement with the consequences and further disturbances in the former colony. The accusation also assumes that the US government only pretends to be concerned with democracy issues. In fact, the authorities try to promote their personal interests and attract new sources for the economic investment. According to the Chinese government, the United States takes its advantage of interfering with other countries’ political and economic affairs. However, Hong Kong’s revolution is unlikely to be controlled by the American authorities. It is so because of the increased Chinese government’s protection and aspiration to sustain prosperity and stable development. Although China asserts that foreigners take control of Hong Kong disturbances, they claim against the United States that was not related to this movement, but to the American government. Its accusation is compelling, but it relates mostly to the analysis of independent different media outlets, in which Hong Kong takes the main position. According to Kaiman (2014), “the allegations themselves are most likely based on a NED-hosted public discussion on democracy in Hong Kong between Occupy Central leaders Martin Lee and Anson Chan that was held in Washington, DC in April of this year.”
The Umbrella Revolution can have a potential impact on the demographic orientation and policies in China, in general, and in Hong Kong, in particular. However, there is an assumption that democracy is not a prioritized issue in this case. Rather the problem lies in the inequality. The citizens are not satisfied with the tyranny on the part of Beijing government. The emergence of radical ideologies recast the genuine economic crisis that makes people struggle for the autonomy of Hong Kong. The movement, therefore, is a new tendency which has been caused with the recent events in other countries. They are also associated with the co-called post-Cold War Phenomenon. Specifically, the author explains, “while the foot soldiers are largely well-intentioned people with genuine concerns for their own welfare and that of the Hong Kong society, they are led by activists with a strong ideological agenda” (Kick, 2014). Consequently, the main purpose of the revolution is to overthrow the government and introduce radical changes to the political system in China. Hence, it can be concluded that the protest message has the problematic nature because the concept of democracy is excluded from ideological policies of the movement.
The extent of political engagement in Hong Kong is evident while analyzing the colony’s history. Specifically, it has been governed by 28 rulers reporting directly to London. Therefore, the democratic issues are now heavily criticized as they introduce the main approaches to managing these issues concerning legislature. Beijing has developed a new plan for voters to elect the next executive. However, this rule is protested by Hong Kong’s civilians because they want to vote for the candidates chosen directly in the region and not appointed by the mainland of China. Apart from the Chinese conflict, it should also be recognized that Hong Kong’s government experiences a difficult period of its social and economic recession. Its benefits of being the only port through goods being imported and exported have been vanished. It may be explained by the market’s economic development in China due to the globalization process. As a result, the economic position of the region as an international financial center has diminished because of the capital deployment. Finally, the average income in Hong Kong is decreasing but the costs for housing have been increased. Additionally, Li (2014) has introduced the empirical data on the origins of public discontent. It differs significantly from the nature of protests. To enlarge this issue, the public poll has revealed that Hong Kong’s economy problems are associated with livelihood and economic challenges predetermined by the political environment. In response, the Occupy Central movement creates some demonstrations and attracts more people to collect signatures against the new political ideology dictated by Beijing. At the same time, it has been acknowledged that the economic infrastructure of Hong Kong is a serious challenge for any government. However, there have been some revolutionary movements and protests aimed at advancing the position to analyze the major problems in Hong Kong. Hence, the Umbrella Revolution is nothing more than the manipulative ideology ignited by the recent movements in other developing countries, such as Egypt and Ukraine.
The nature of the protest is largely ideological, but the problem of the region is not associated with ideological principles. Rather, Hong Kong is still dependent on the Chinese economy. It does not seek any political detachment from China. Hence, both Hong Kong and China should cooperate to achieve economic prosperity and establish new creative strategies that would hinder the destructive nature of the revolution. Currently, Hong Kong’s opposition government is seeking for some destructive policy by promoting new principles. These concepts just ignore the political and economic environment of the Chinese government. On the one hand, Hong Kong’s revolution seeks to achieve equality, transparency, and the freedom of press being the basic democratic principles. They can contribute to the improvements in economic and political investments. On the other hand, Hong Kong has a common economic and political space with China. Therefore, the interests protected by the Chinese government should also relate to the purposes dictated by the Occupy government. Therefore, the revolution has a pivotal role in shaping the social and business environments. It has a direct impact on the community and on business activities in the region. The social disturbances largely affect business in Hong Kong because fewer investors are encouraged to provide a financial support of business projects.
From a social viewpoint, the proposed political vehicle and demonstrations underscore the dilemma regarding the protests against the Chinese government system. It is also the campaign for democracy that can provide Hong Kong with the political, financial and economic independence employed for the purpose of suppressing dissent. The mobilization of the military groups in Hong Kong could be the last decision unless other methods are not effective (Lague, Promfret, & Torode, 2014). The Umbrella Revolution is considered to be a serious dilemma for the interests and new positions of Hong Kong’s government. The latter one has long been under the control of the British ruling. The Chinese authorities should also take into consideration this fact because the former colony has a completely different political and economic system. It differs significantly from the communist model of the Chinese government.
The revolutionary nature of the protest does not provide a peaceful solution to this issue. Yet it will inevitably lead to some tangible shifts in democratic, political, and social problems. Hong Kong’s residents hope for the autonomy and freedom of their media. However, they ignore the interests of the Chinese government that takes control of the international relations of the region. In other words, both the Chinese government and the Occupy Hong Kong protestors should strike the balance and find an optimal solution for both parties to cooperate (Yeung, 2014). The voting system, however, could be arranged in favor of the district. In such a case Hong Kong’s community may believe that mainland China is concerned with the political and economic future of the former colony. At the same time, Hong Kong should also adhere to certain political and economic decisions of Chinese authorities.
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From my personal opinion, I cannot support either of the parties involved in the conflict. Hong Kong’s revolution is chaotic. It does not pursue any accurate and transparent goals. However, the Chinese government should still compromise on the requirements and encourage Hong Kong’s authority to introduce its own autonomic principles.
In conclusion, Hong Kong’s revolution has both positive and negative consequences for the economic and political development of the region. It should be recognized that the protests are focused on promoting democratic principles. However, these concepts contradict with the communistic vision of the Chinese government. As a result, the confrontation has led to the further complication of the situation. Despite the opposed views, both Hong Kong and Chinese authorities should find a compromise to be able to sustain further economic and business activities. Alternatively, the former British colony can suffer significant challenges in the economic and business development. It should also be admitted that the Umbrella Revolution has a negative impact on the development of the society in the country, as well as on the overall situation with business activities in the region.
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