What can the Umbrella Movement teach us about the postcolonial identity of Hong Kong?

In 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese control

Increasing expectations among the populace. People were of the opinion that over time, identification with the Chinese country would grow stronger, thus resolving the issue of Hong Kong's full integration into China. (Lim, 2015). Hong Kong's citizens had excellent reason to think that their democracy had been secured.

Residents of Hong Kong continue to express unease with Chinese authority

16 years after Hong Kong returned to China. This has been made clear by the political pro-democracy campaign that was born out of the 2014 Hong Kong protests. The well-known political uprising known as the umbrella movement provides additional information about Hong Kong's post-colonial character. (Ortmann, 2015). The movement was a clear illustration that indicates dissatisfaction of Hong Kong after it reverted to the Chinese sovereignty. To express their dissatisfaction, Hong Kong people headed to their streets using Umbrella and the movement is referred to as the Umbrella movement. The Hong Kong's postcolonial identity is one that is filled with less political freedom as the civil-disobedience movement demonstrated.

The people of Hong Kong do not enjoy full democracy as they anticipated

The Hong Kong postcolonial identity shows that the people lack their right to neither elect nor nominate their best political candidates to represent them in Hong Kong government who is referred to as the chief executive (Chan, 2014). The Chinese sovereignty screens individuals who can stand for office in Hong Kong. The movement further indicates that identity of postcolonial Hong Kong lacks political control. This is evident from the fact that Hong Kong has a judiciary that operates independently, have freedom of movement and information as well as reasonable free press but lacks political freedom. This represents semi-autonomy identity of Hong Kong after the end of colonial rule. In simple terms, the Umbrella movement illustrated Hong Kong displeasure as they expected democratic rule upon reverting to Chinese sovereignty.

Works Cited

Ortmann, Stephan. "The umbrella movement and Hong Kong's protracted democratization process." Asian Affairs 46.1 (2015): 32-50.

Chan, Johannes. "Hong Kong’s umbrella movement." The round table 103.6 (2014): 571-580.

Lim, Tai Wei. "The aesthetics of Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Revolution” in the first ten days: A historical anatomy of the first phase (27 Oct 2014 to 6 October 2014) of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution." East Asia 32.1 (2015): 83-98.

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