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Resisting Chinese Influence: Social Movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Kaeding, MP (2015) Resisting Chinese Influence: Social Movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan CURRENT HISTORY, 114 (773). pp. 210-216.

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Last year will be remembered as a year of protests in the Chinese-speaking world. They ranged from frequently occurring smaller incidents in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and rare protests in Singapore and Macao to large-scale movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Early in 2014, the world was surprised by the occupation of Taiwan’s national legislature by the March 18 Movement, later dubbed the Sunflower Movement. In the fall, the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong made history and captured international attention by occupying sections of the city for weeks. Both were revolts against the growing influence of Beijing. While specific conditions vary among these societies, the protest movements that blossomed in 2014 clearly have some things in common, including shared inspirations. The Sunflower and Umbrella Movements stand out for their duration, strategies, and impact on democratization in the region. It is therefore crucial to analyze the reasons for their emergence, and to examine the extent of collaboration between them, before exploring their implications. An analysis of the movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong reveals that they are essentially about the reaffirmation of a distinct local identity. This identity is articulated by the younger generation and subscribed to by large sections of both societies. It stands in direct opposition to the Chinese identity that the PRC government has promoted and employed in an attempt to bind Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan to mainland China. Although the form and scale of the movements were surprising, they were a culmination of years of expanding civil society activities and increasing protests. This trend is linked to three factors: the rising importance of the post-1980s generation, the consequences of globalization (intensified by the global financial crisis), and concerns about the effects of socioeconomic integration with mainland China. The protest movements also must be understood in the context of political developments since the early 2000s in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Sociology
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Kaeding, MP
Date : 1 September 2015
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2015 Current History Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, Government & Law
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Full text not available from this repository.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 Jan 2017 18:25
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 19:03

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