Hong Kong students unite behind pro-democracy protesters

first_imgZixin Xiang, meanwhile, commented, “I am sad at the confrontational situation in Hong Kong, but I am glad to see the buzz of civil discourse and participation. People are starting to care more, to think more and to be more willing to make sacrifices for what they believe in.”Oxford-Hong Kong students have also been discussing what implications the current demonstrations will have on Hong Kong’s identity. In a blog for the Oxford-based Blavatnik School of Government, Public Policy graduate Alexander Chan wrote, “much of Hong Kong’s identity in the past has always been defined by ‘what we are not’, rather than ‘what we are.’”He continued, “The irony is that as the current protests continue, there has yet to be a common voice and song that we can all sing to. And this reflects another deeper paradox -that as much as we do not want to be told what to do, perhaps we also do not know what we really want.”A number of the students participated in the solidarity protest which took place in Trafalgar Square on the 1st October, but there are no plans for future protests as of yet.Chan has been writing analysis of the situation for Chinese newspapers based in Hong Kong, and is currently organising an Oxford-based discussion event comparing the student movements to take place within the next two weeks. A group of Oxford students from Hong Kong have released a video in which they sing the protest song ‘Who Has Yet to Speak’ in different locations around Oxford and in Hong Kong.The video has been made as an act of solidarity with the current pro-democracy protesters in their home city. The song, sung to the tune of ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’ from the musical Les Miserables, has been one of the most frequently used pro-democratic anthems of the recent demonstrations.The video shows the students solemnly aligned, and in some frames dressed all in black. DPhil student Bolton Chau, one of the students who took part, said, “The key messages of the Chinese lyrics is to encourage Hong Kong people – who have long been thought to have little interest in politics – to show more concern about the electoral reform and to voice out their desire of democracy. For the same reason, we have a group of Oxford students and graduates recording the song both in Oxford and Hong Kong.“We want to show our support to the ongoing peaceful and civilized protest on in Hong Kong.”The recent demonstrations began with student protests, but have expanded to include a cross-section of Hong Kong society. They come in the wake of the Chinese government’s announcement that a special electoral committee will have to approve all candidates running for the region’s 2017 election, which critics say will only allow for a pro-Beijing slate.The current political situation has been much discussed amongst the Oxford-Hong Kong students’ community, with varying opinions on different sides. Despite the image recent Hong Kong graduates and current students at Oxford, as opposed to what the Western media describe, are quite diverse.“While some polarised views are manifested in the support of civil disobedience, most of us share the common hope for practical democracy, the balance of idealism and pragmatism, and our leaders’ emphasis on social well-being amid political deadlock. I deeply appreciate the dedication and fervour of my Oxford friends who wholeheartedly step up to advocate for the core values.”last_img read more