Regeringen i Hongkong har trukket sig fra de forhandlinger med demonstranterne, som man ellers var blevet enige om tidligere på ugen. Men det betyder langt fra, at protesten er forbi. Tværtimod.
Hvis man spørger Kinas Kommunistparti, så er protesten i Hongkong ved at tabe flyvehøjde, og det er kun forvirrede studenter og et mindretal af indbyggerne, der er utilfredse. Men som altid er virkeligheden ofte langt fra partiets propaganda.
Her har Deutsche Welle interview med advokat og kommentator Rebecca Liao om, hvorvidt den brede opbakning til demonstranterne er ved at forsvinde:
DW: Are there any indications that support for the protests may have started to dwindle?
Rebecca Liao: The protests have died down significantly, but there are no indications that this is due to a lack of support. We’ve come to the end of the National Day holiday. People are going back to work and school. The protestors are tired from the effort of the last week.
While one would hope that violent clashes with pro-Beijing protestors and mercenary thugs would not scare some protesters away, it’s hard to imagine otherwise. Enough protesters have cleared out to allow the city, and government officials in particular, to get back to business, but we will have to see if this is just a temporary retreat. Many students have already said they intend to return to the streets after the school day is over.
It is hard to say what the majority of Hong Kongers believe as they remain silent. What we’ve come to see, however, is that regardless of political persuasion, Hong Kongers are practical.
Det samme billede får man, hvis man taler med indbyggere i Hongkong og eksperter. For lokalregeringen og Kinas Kommunistparti har ikke forstået, hvor alvorlig den sociale utilfredshed er blandt især de fattige og middelklassen i Hongkong, og hvorfor de kræver demokrati.
Kommunistpartiet og dets tilhængere forsøger blot at affærdige protesten med, at den er “ulovlig”. Men der er bred enighed blandt eksperter om, at demonstrationerne har ændret det politiske landskab i Hongkong.
Henne på Foreign Policy har de spurgt tre eksperter om, hvad der nu kommer til at ske. Her et uddrag fra George Chen, der er Yale World Fellow:
By all means, we are now seeing the protest movement becoming a very long-term political struggle in Hong Kong. I’m not talking about two months or three months. You may see fewer protesters blocking the roads by the end of the year but the Occupy Central movement means a new era for Hong Kong — we will see more on-and-off protests, of a large or small scale, around the city, and for different causes.
It is unfortunate to see Hong Kong becoming a less happy and more divided society. It’s even more unfortunate to see that the governments in Beijing and Hong Kong perhaps haven’t really realized what Occupy Central means for Hong Kong. Simply labeling it an “unlawful” event won’t be helpful at all to end the crisis. Lack of mutual trust and understanding on both sides, for the government and protesters, confirm that the 2014 protest is going to be a protest movement for years – if not decades — to come for Hong Kong. The turning point was the firing of tear gas by the police. People won’t easily forget that moment and we can’t just go back to remove that slide from the history.
Lektor Allen R. Carlson fra Cornell University skriver på National Interest, at der også er tvivl om i regeringen i Hongkong og Beijing, hvordan man skal svare på protesterne:
Is it possible that those in power have now become such skilled operatives that they can game out such a complex and unfolding set of variables? It is relatively safe to assume this is not the case. On the contrary, the abrupt policy reversals, shifts and inconsistencies in policy making are more the result of divisions and differences within the halls of power over in both Hong Kong and Beijing over how to handle the protests. Such infighting is then producing not a brilliant manipulation of the protest movement, but instead an incredibly confounding approach to the situation on the ground. In other words, policy is more a case of going left then right, forward then back, zigzagging to and fro, than it is one of an intricate, well-thought-out play. It more resembles the actions of the fabled keystone cops than those of thoughtful strategists.
Hongkngs og Beijings famlende politik og blanke afvisning af demonstranterne og borgernes kritik har også formået at gøre en helt ny generation af hongkongere politisk interesserede. Og partiet har malet sig op i et hjørne, hvor det også kan få globale konsekvenser for dem, som Kerry Brown fra University of Sydney skriver på Asian Currents:
For a place with such high per capita GDP and a world-class, modern economy, Hong Kong has proved tough to rule. Perhaps this would be solved by giving its citizens more direct choice in who runs their city, so that they might feel, at least, like stakeholders with some vested interest in seeing their leaders succeed. If leadership failure continues after 2017, Beijing will have to think again.
Beijing will also pay a geopolitical price for the Hong Kong settlement it sanctioned. `One country, two systems’ has been lauded as the deal that will finally solve the Taiwan issue—though its hollowness will make the few Taiwanese who thought this could be used towards them change their mind. Economic relations across the Taiwan Strait might be good now, but deep down there is distrust. President Xi Jinping’s proposal in September to apply the ‘one country, two systems’ rubric to Taiwan was rejected by his opposite number on the island, President Ma Ying-jeou. There is no way the `one country, two systems’ solution is politically saleable in Taiwan now in view of the lack of safeguards it has delivered in Hong Kong.
And finally, the settlement has managed to politicise a generation of young in Hong Kong. The impact of this is hard to predict. The age of innocence is over. Hong Kongese evidently feel their leaders are incapable of protecting and promoting their interests. They will be harder to convince in the future.