The giant alien robot smackdown in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” isn’t the only fight raging in Hong Kong this summer. The southern Chinese territory has been consumed by a real-life political battle royale. Massive crowds have taken to the streets to demonstrate. Cops arrested more than 500 people at a sit-in and pepper sprayed others trying to smash through the doors of the legislature. Inside the chamber, one lawmaker even hurled a glass toward Hong Kong’s chief executive, the city’s (widely disliked) top leader. High schoolers interrupt their graduation ceremonies with tuneful protests of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from “Les Miserables.” Bosses of big banks and accounting firms face off against their own employees, taking out dueling political ads in newspapers.
“Politics in Hong Kong has become far more intense than ever before,” says Sonny Lo, co-director of the Center for Governance and Citizenship at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. “And there’s more political troubles ahead this year, definitely.”
The issues are myriad: people mad about sky-high housing prices, a growing rich-poor gap, controversial development plans and an influx of mainland visitors. Many of the smaller battles have been subsumed into a larger drama concerning how Hong Kongers pick their leaders, and how responsive those leaders are to citizens’ needs.
The territory is now tussling over a fundamental question: What will the rules be for elections in 2017?
Full Article: Politics reaching a boiling point in Hong Kong – LA Times.