Journalists: Thank you for your interest in covering Hong Kong’s struggle for freedom. As Beijing denies Hong Kong people’s political rights and breaches the international agreement it signed on 30 years ago before the eyes of the world, the Hong Kong political reform issue has also become an international issue. But no matter what Beijing says, Hong Kong is ready for full democracy. Regional and international politics aside, we think that the many courageous stories of pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong deserve a voice, as the freedom struggle in Hong Kong is also part of the global struggle.
IDEAS TO PITCH
- Two rounds of CCP campaign of threats, intimidation, harassment
First round was during anti-Occupy, such as smears on Jimmy Lai, Albert Cheng & House News. The second round was in the lead-up to NPCSC decision, such as ICAC raid, Macau arrests, PLA tanks crossing border & in streets. So far, international media has covered all these stories as discrete and separate but not reported on the pattern. Human Rights Watch’s press release, one of the few literature that studies the pattern of Beijing’s political suppression, may be a good starting point. Given what’s come before, what can we expect once OC starts?
- Pro-democracy groups showing greater unity than ever before
On Aug 31 evening, 6 major groups in the pan-democracy camp assembled at Tamar Park to announce unified response to NPCSC decision. Never before have pro-dems been so united. What’s made it work this time? Will it fall apart? What has Beijing already tried to do to split them? Why hasn’t it worked? What will Beijing do now?
- What are the chances of police using violence?
HK police are known to be relatively restrained, demonstrated some restraint at July 2 sit-in, but at same time arrested July 1 organizers. How will they react to OC? Will tear gas or water cannon or pepper spray be used? Will police be under pressure from HK gov or CCP to act in certain ways? Will aggressive actions by police provoke more people to sympathize w OC?
- Underground CCP patronage networks in Hong Kong
So far, there’s only been one report on the CCP underground network in Hong Kong. The CCP patronage network runs deep in Hong Kong society and accounts for events such as the anti-Occupy rally in August, 2014. What does the web of patron-client relationships look like? What role did the network play in pushing for the electoral reform decision NPC handed down on Aug 31? How is Hong Kong’s current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying positioned in the network?
- Deep-seated socioeconomic issues underlying the political tension
Hong Kong has the world’s highest Gini coefficient. The symbiotic relationships between tycoons and Hong Kong government, money laundering, corruption, an unsustainable economic model, severe housing issues and the lack of social mobility for young people are among the many deep-seated issues underlying the political tension between Hong Kong and China, the Hong Kong government and society, across generations and socioeconomic sectors. These issues will continue to be at the forefront of local politics that will have long-term impact on China-Hong Kong relations as well as regional politics.
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