The Nature Of Protests In Hong Kong

By Christiaan van Huyssteen (@cvh23)


Under the one country two systems doctrine, Hong Kong is technically a part of China, but it has a fairly autonomous local government, and a separate economy.

The central Chinese government is now interfering with the local Hong Kong election process, as candidates for the top office in HK, (that of Chief Executive) will need to be approved by a committee in Beijing (presumably to screen the loyalty of candidates to Beijing).

HK Basic Law: Article 45.

“The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People’s Government.

The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.”


HK has the 7th highest GDP per capita in the world. South Africa’s economy is only 1,8 times larger than HK’s, despite SA having 6 times as many people, and Hong Kong having virtually no resources – apart from human capital. What strikes you in Hong Kong is the cleanliness and efficiency of everything, and also the sense of safety.

What is also intriguing is the manner in which this protest has taken place.


From Time:

Democratic legislators have called for the impeachment of Hong Kong’s top leader, after police used tear gas on pro-democracy demonstrators late on Sunday and protest numbers swelled into the tens of thousands during the turbulent night…

“The ball is now in the government’s hand,” she said. “The people have spoken, and we will work with them to try to secure democracy.”

Lau also praised pro-democracy demonstrators for their restraint in protests that — though massive — have retained a characteristically Hong Kong sense of order, even after Hong Kong police used 87 canisters of tear gas on protesters on Sunday, according to the South China Morning Post.

“Not a single window has been broken. I challenge you to go around the world and to find such huge demonstrations where there is no looting, there is no rioting,” said Lau.

“This I something we should be very proud of here in Hong Kong,” she said.


It is claimed that throughout this mass protest, there has been no violence, and no damage to property. There is no reason to dispute this claim. The Hong Kong people are protesting over an idealistic matter – the right to free and fair elections.

In South Africa, people don’t protest over democracy, or things like economic ideology. Protests and strikes in SA are a scene of violence and undirected anger over the most basic of things. People would be protesting about education or service delivery by burning down a university building, or a government office. Recent protests in Cape Town involved the barbaric behaviour of looting shops, breaking car windows and flinging excrement.

Instead of striving to improve conditions themselves, or to question and scrutinise the system we live under through discussion or by voting, people resort to animal like behaviour.

Every country gets the government it deserves, as the government is a reflection of the people.

Why can people in HK protest in a civilised manner and sort out their grievances like adults, but South Africans can’t?

Are South Africans inherently destructive and immoral?

Are Hong Kong people just better?


Follow us: @DiagonalViews



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s