In China's Second Continent, Howard French explores the Chinese presence in 15 African countries. The relationship goes beyond economics: more than a million Chinese citizens have migrated to Africa.
He says there's a debate about the long-term consequences of China's push into the African continent: Will it create development and prosperity, or will it lead to exploitation reminiscent of 19th-century European colonialism?
The territory's residents are demanding democracy in city intersections, not central squares.
The significance of the protests, which have brought tens of thousands into the streets, lies not only in what protesters are demanding but also in where they're demanding it—and where they're not. Consider that pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong typically happen in Victoria Park, which is about two and a half miles from Central District and which hosts the annual June 4 candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This time around, however, few police or protesters have ventured there.
The unpredictable, spontaneous geography of the protests is important precisely because it transcends the status quo. It is a testament to how serious these demonstrations are that they refuse to be contained.
Tags: political, conflict, governance, China, East Asia.
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