The Inexorable Possible Hong Kong Protest Fallout

Kurt Edlund

November 13, 2014

        The future of China, an influential world power, hangs in the balance. China’s influence, close economic ties with western nations, is widely known throughout the United States. As the picture depicts, China and the United States of America operate jointly. However, many people are not aware of the daily struggles - poor education, low wages, and limited opportunities - many Chinese have to endure to survive. The possibility, of improving these hardships, is the impetus for the Hong Kong Protests. The Chinese Communist Party’s lack of action to realize the potential for major improvements in China’s educational system, future economic opportunity and the unquestionable installation of pro-Beijing leaders, in Hong Kong, wills the peaceful protesters to vehemently fight for amelioration in hopes of at least compromising with the CCP.

         The restriction of universal suffrage gives many Hong Kongers the vigor to protest against the Chinese Communist Party. Student activist groups and their leaders are responsible for the organization of many protests. Out of all student protest leaders, one stands out: Joshua Wong. Joshua’s article, in the New York Times, declares that “Beijing claims to be giving [Hong Kongers] one person, one vote, but a plan in which only government-approved candidates can run for election does not equal universal suffrage” (Wong). Beijing’s corrupted version of universal suffrage does not satisfy the Hong Kongers. As shown in the screenshot of CNN broadcast, demonstrators are passionate about procuring universal suffrage. Protesters are informed and believe the CCP officials should grant them a greater role in China’s political scene. They are protesting for democracy. Through first-hand experiences and online sources, protesters are aware of the sophisticated, peaceful, and liberal lifestyle in other countries. They yearn for a similar life in Hong Kong. Angry, upset, and determined, students attribute this lack of political freedom to the substandard quality of Hong Kong’s educational system.

             The protesters are empowered to challenge the undisputed rule of the Chinese Communist Party because they see the freedoms democracy allows people to enjoy in other countries, and desire these same liberties. Orville Schell, an American activist well known for his works regarding China, feels “uplifted by the spectacle of people struggling not only for liberty, [in Hong Kong,] but to become ‘more like us’” (Schell). Protesters yearn for a more liberal government, in order to live a more enlightened life. As the picture of demonstrators shows, real Hong Kongers will not submit to communist oppression. Protesters are asking for utilities that are taken for granted, in many countries. They are not asking for absurd realities. Demonstrators only desire a sophisticated lifestyle throughout Hong Kong’s social services, including education. Currently, China’s educational system is focused solely on the scores that students receive on standardized tests. Yong Zhao, a professor at the University of Oregon, believes that “excessive focus on test scores hinders a real education, which is [not] about [...] forcing [students] to achieve high test scores” (Tatlow). This instinct to earn high test scores is a goal for all young Hong Kongers. Students dedicate every spare second to study for this exam. This blinded preparation restricts children from participating in their families. Disconnected from their children, parents are not compelled to buy consumer goods because their kids do not have the time to enjoy them. This extreme focus on a standardized test is harming family relationships while preventing consumer economic growth.

            The Chinese Communist Party does not support the protesters because the CCP General Secretary, Xi Jinping, is a powerful and determined leader who strongly supports his plan for Chinese success - economic prosperity - and will not change his plan.  based on the beliefs of a group of radical people.  Xi Jinping is a “strong and unyielding leader” who does not alter his vision to please a group of people (Schell). Instead, Mr. Xi “[excludes] compromise as an option” to solve domestic uprisings (Schell). The CCP General Secretary’s aversion to satisfying Chinese citizens worries many Hong Kongers.  BOLD Mr. Xi is basically a dictator.  As shown in the photo of Xi Jinping, he presents himself as a powerful military and political force who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. He does not even listen to people’s woes for economic reform. The screenshot of CNN news coverage depicts this problem. The picture shows Hong Kongers fighting for universal pension, alongside universal suffrage, because improved economic opportunity, in Hong Kong, is equally important to them. Young Hong Kongers face economic hopelessness because “the city’s wealth gap is cavernous” (Wong). After a poor education, students are launched into a city that prevents promotion. This downturn in economic prosperity may be attributed to “China pessimists, who note [...] [that China’s economy is] trying to make the perilous transition away from investment spending and toward consumers” (Irwin). In the past, the CCP has controlled the economy due to its investments. This limited economic plan worked well for the Chinese. However, now, citizens want more economic opportunity. Therefore, the CCP is attempting to make the risky conversion from government venture capital to consumers. This dramatic change affects the cash flow, transference of money, within China and transforms the economic prospects for students.

              The Chinese Communist Party will be forced to compromise with the protesters because the voice of one, Xi Jinping’s opinion, certainly does not speak for everyone. At some point, the CCP’s only option to resolve the Hong Kong Protests will be a compromise. Whether willingly or not, the CCP will come to an understanding, with the protesters, because the Hong Kongers’ courageous and powerful protests profoundly impact individuals throughout China and the world. The protesters’ reasons for revolting resonate with people from across the globe. Millions of people are hypnotized by the news, waiting to see the ramifications of the protests. China’s leaders need to be extremely heedful in resolving the Hong Kong protests because the outcome will not only affect China, but the world’s standpoint of China as well.

                                                       Works Cited

Tatlow, Didi Kirsten. "Q. and A.: Yong Zhao on Education and Authoritarianism in China." Sinosphere Q and A Yong Zhao on Education and Authoritarianism in China Comments. New York Times, 14 Sept. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.

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