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The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
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.


Via Seth Dixon
Nevermore Sithole's insight:

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 7, 2014 10:02 AM

The increased visibility of the internet and globalization has made large scale demonstration not only a good way to show civil discontent but the preferred method of increasing awareness of an issues across the world. Because Hong Kong is such an integrated part of global economy, they can stage these massive protests without too much fear of violent police reaction, as the world will be quick to condemn such action as soon as it happens. While the protests started as a student movement, it has now spread throughout the city and both younger and older people, students and professionals, have begun to participate. This popular participation shows how serious these issues are to the people of Hong Kong.

Chandler and Zane's curator insight, October 16, 2014 4:44 PM

Political: There have been lots of protest lately in China. Chief executive CY Leung announced that he is planning to shut down Hong Kong's  central district. People are not happy with this and the protest are becoming very big for this little island. 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 2:43 PM

The seemingly random geography of protests shows an inability to be contained and how demographics play a key role in these protests. The protests have broken up into multiple smaller groups, blocking off intersections, and popping up in different locations that are not traditionally used for protesting. Instead of amassing in one large group, the protesters are using an almost guerrilla-like tactic by breaking into smaller numbers that are harder to disband or predict. While protests were traditionally held in Victoria Park, these groups are popping up in all sorts of locations, including residential, school, tourist, and shopping locations. Many college and high school aged children are joining the fray, which is why protests are occurring in areas synonymous with students and younger demographics. Families are also getting involved, which is why some are in residential areas. It is evident that people from all different demographics support democracy.  

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China publishes new map

China publishes new map | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
China has published a new map of the entire country including the islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) in order to "better show" its territorial claim over the region.

Via Seth Dixon
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James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 7:12 PM

(East Asia topic 2)

The aggressive stance which China is seen as taking towards its oceanic claims can be tied closely with its lack of a mainland frontier. Having no where else to go westward, the only other option is apparently to go very-outward into the south and east. The fact that there is virtually no land in this region is a mute point due to the huge resources which lie under the ocean's surface.

   This action taken by China seems to eerily represent actions of the United States around 70 years ago; once the western frontier had been settled and firmly claimed, the desire to continue expansion can be seen through the U.S.'s involvement with Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, Midway Island, and the like. Though there may have been the use of war as a reason to do this in the case of America, the nationalistic desire for expansion can clearly be seen. European powers, which have especially been short on land frontiers, certainly have exhibited the same traits in history.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 22, 2014 9:46 PM

This new map of China, not surprisingly produced by China, may not look any different than the maps you see now, until you notice the dashed lines in the South China Sea.  These lines are meant to outline the area of Chinese territory.  They have also claimed, which has turned up as false, that they had ancient claim to this area.  This wouldn't be such a big deal except the fact that there are oil reserves in the area in which China has marked its claim.  Not only would this specific area become a new resource for China but also the international waters that they have greatly increased for themselves.  With China's new claim to this area in the South China Sea they have expanded the area that they control as well as gaining a great deal of international water that they would have drilling rights to.  This has neighboring countries up in arms for good reason.  China is trying to take over land that isn't theirs with no validity solely for the oil claims.  Although they are controlling the area in which they have staked a claim on, the courts could soon make sure this isn't happening.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 10:50 PM

The new map published by the Chinese government is a clear message of what they feel are their territorial boundaries. In areas that are contested between China and other countries, the map makes a bold claim that these areas belong to China. Chinese activities in these disputed areas match up with the attitude conveyed by this map.

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Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

"Tensions escalated on Sunday when the broader Occupy Central protest movement threw its weight behind student-led protests, bringing forward a mass civil disobedience campaign due to start on Wednesday.  China's leaders must be sitting uncomfortably in Beijing.

As long as the protests continue, there is a chance they will spread to the mainland, where many are unhappy with one-party rule.  But if the protesters hold their ground, how far will Beijing allow events to spiral before getting directly involved?"


Via Seth Dixon
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Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

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Ethan Gore's curator insight, October 1, 2014 9:36 PM

The large scale protests in favor of democracy is something I haven't seen yet in my lifetime. And most people haven't seen such a large protest occur so peacefully. A similar protest in the US, Occupy Wall Street, was not very peaceful nor successful. Its still unclear as to whether these protests will prove to be beneficial or not. So far, Hong Kong officials have refused to respond to protestors, citing that they will look weak if they do so. But in a democracy led world, with enough pressure both internally and externally, it shouldn't be very hard to expect a change up in Hong Kong politics within the next ten years.

 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:36 PM

Seeing all of these protesters laying across the highway caught my interest.  These people are serious about what they want with their elections and it is not have their candidates picked out for them.  People are taking over roads, shopping malls, schools, whereever they can go to prove their point.  They know that the amount of police forces is not enough to stop them.  Although for the most part other countries are staying out of the business of China Britain is supporting the protests as long as they stay within the rules of protesting.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:42 PM

It will definitely be interesting to see how far this political protest goes and how far the Chinese Government will go to stop this. China in some ways is a victim of its own success, in the past China would have been able to simply throw its military might on the political dissidents and silence all opposition but how possible is that today? Now China is a global economic power and the Western World's view on China matters, not wanting to risk trade problems China is showing far more caution this time around. While China is reaping the rewards of its world position without doubt China is also missing some of the benefits of the Bamboo Curtain.