Impressions of developments in the society of Hong Kong
was a photo exhibition in the premises of Blank Space in down-town Oslo. A total of 42 photographs by a number of photojournalists working in Hong Kong were on display. The working conditions for these photojournalists are nothing short of extremely difficult, as they operate where riot police confronts front line protesters. The photos inContinue reading “Battleground for freedom and democracy”
This article is quite different from the other posts in this blog. Here I write about experiences and reflections that are deeply personal. These have been days with conversations unlike any I’ve had before, and the memories and impressions will be with me for life. So the following text comes with no references to informationContinue reading “Social events with the Hong Kong delegation”
On February 28th MP Guri Melby of the Liberal Party in Norway (Venstre) arranged a mini-hearing on the situation in Hong Kong in the parliament). The hearing was live streamed and the recording remains available here (jump to 06:15 for the start of the meeting). Several Norwegian politicians were in attendance, including members of parliament.Continue reading “Hong Kong mini-hearing in the Norwegian parliament”
Through the summer and into the autumn of 2019 the world has witnessed scenes of escalating violence on the streets of Hong Kong. On the other side of the world, people are bewildered about images of protesters that at the same time demand an independent investigation of the police while also having radical members throwingContinue reading “Hong Kong in flames”
In another article in this blog I tied vandalism committed by radicals in the protest movement to an escalating spiral of violent behavior which primarily has been driven by the Hong Kong police force. But there’s a lot more to this story. Personally, I cannot support neither violence nor destruction of property. Nevertheless, in orderContinue reading “The preamble to the 2019 Hong Kong protests”
The complete set of blog posts, in Norwegian, is available from https://hongkongsettfranorge.org/
Why Hong Kong?
From a historic perspective the time a nation can enjoy as a superpower is limited. The rise of a nation as a superpower can be recognized in terms of an economy that reaches far beyond its borders, supported by a dominating military power. Great Britain lost its century-long role as the world’s leading superpower after World War I, when the United States overtook this dominance from GB. However, the US is easily recognized as being born from the British empire, so this transition did not overturn world order. Presently we recognize China as an aspiring new superpower. China’s economy is already the world’s largest when measured in purchasing power parity. And even though China’s militarty power still falls a bit short of that of the US, thus not meeting the main criterion of a superpower, China is already a major military power in the world, with rising capabilities each year.
The rise of a superpower in the world today will potentially, if not inevitably, have a momentous global impact. It is in this context that I, as a citizen of a western democracy, follow the developments in Hong Kong at a distance, as a source of information relevant for the future of the west. Ideas and civil rights that permeate society in Hong Hong are similar to the way of life in the west: when Hong Kong was returned to the Peoples Republic of China in 1997 its citizens were promised 50 years of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and association, freedom to form and join trade unions (Basic Law, article 27), an independent judiciary (article 2), and an initially limited suffrage (which unfortunately has not evolved as set out in Basic Law articles 45 and 68). At the time of writing (October 2019) there are multiple reasons for grave concerns. Other topics like climate change will change our world, and that issue receives befitting attention. However, a change in the global power structures will definitely shape the future of the world in the coming decades. Nevertheless, in most (if not all) countries in the western hemisphere (including Norway), the near-inevitability of a China as a superpower is given a level of attention which falls far short of what is needed for us to prepare for our future.
My intention with this blog is to write a collection of short essays in which I aim to shed light on the present, changing, situation in Hong Kong (and to some degree the response around the world). My aim is to provide a source of information that can hopefully be useful for those who become more interested in the situation in Hong Kong, which is evolving dramatically nearly on a daily basis. My interest in this topic is substantial, yet I have never visited Hong Kong. When the Norwegian version of this introductory text was written, it was without personal contact with any Hong Kong nationals (though this changed soon thereafter). My sources are primarily online media such as Hong Kong Free Press, selected articles from the internet edition of the South China Morning Post newspaper, a number of twitter accounts out of Hong Kong, and other online sources (international press, and a favorite: Wikipedia).
The illustration on the top of the front page displays the Lennon wall flag which is created by the Chinese exiled artist Badiucao. Badiucao, who presently resides in Australia, has written about the inspiration and ideas for the flag here. Follow Badiucao on twitter: @badiucao.
The Norwegian version of this text was posted on Hongkong sett fra Norge on 9 October 2019.
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