Several leading news organizations–including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN, The Guardian, and Time Magazine–have solicited IEMS’ David Zweig for his commentary on the recent Hong Kong democracy protests. Below are some of his opinions on the prospects of the Hong Kong democracy movement and the handling of said movement by the Chinese Central Government in Beijing.
“My own sense is that they [(i.e. the Mainland Chinese government)] don’t quite get it,” said David Zweig, a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “Each time that they’ve really pushed hard, that’s when they get a strong reaction. If they would just be more confident, and show some faith in the people of Hong Kong, things might go better.”
“David Zweig, director of the Center on China’s Transnational Relations at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said Mr. Xi’s comments “clearly feed into the view that this movement is a challenge to the law rather than a request for political reform.””
Full article: China Backs CY Leung’s Handling of Hong Kong Protests
“[The leader of the student-led sect of the Hong Kong Democracy movement] Joshua Wong has highlighted the students’ intense interest in long-term democratisation in Hong Kong, and sent a message to Beijing that if Beijing doesn’t move forward on this issue they can expect future disruptions,” said David Zweig, professor of political science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.”
“…It remains unclear how long the protests can maintain support and continue to draw the numbers that have so far clogged main arteries. The crowds are getting smaller during the daytime when most of the protesters go home to shower and refresh.
If the students “drag this on for a really long time, they’re going to start losing some of their support,” David Zweig, a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said as he stood at the main protest site.”
In response to a query from ScienceInsider [regarding the affect of the Hong Kong democracy protests on the continued operation of normal class schedules], the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) issued a statement saying the school “values freedom of speech, academic freedom and also rule of law.” But teaching and operations will go on normally, the statement reads.
“The boycott will not be too disruptive, though with some good mobilization, the student leaders may be able to get lots of students to join,” says David Zweig, a social scientist at HKUST. He adds, “Most academics will simply tape their classes and ask the students to watch them. That is what I plan to do.”
Full article: Hong Kong academics support looming student strike
“It is interesting how quickly they have backed down,” said David Zweig, professor of political science at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. “If this was a game of chicken, the mainland said: ‘We’ll drive straight through this’ and Occupy Central has pulled aside and said: ‘We aren’t willing to destroy Hong Kong.’”
“I see [the more open, yet still closed to the public nomination system on offer] as a concession. I see that as a position that allows for a democrat to get through to the election,” says David Zweig, a professor of social science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “General public nomination — it’s not going to happen. It can’t comply with the Basic Law.”
“David Zweig, professor of social science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the white paper was the latest catalyst for the political awakening in Hong Kong’s youth. “The younger generation, people under 30, have become very active,” he said. “They’re worried about their economic futures. Those people only really know life under China and they don’t necessarily–even though I don’t agree with them–see things going in a positive direction. Integration is happening and that worries them.” Zweig said plans for a mandatory national education program in 2012 — denounced by critics as an attempt to indoctrinate the city’s young with Chinese nationalism — “really got the students going. Though the plans were later shelved, fears about “brainwashing” galvanized the student movement, and since then they have been growing in influence,” Zweig said.”
Full article: Messy protest shows rising HK fears about China
“The radical [pro-democracy] choice is loud, and potentially destabilizing,” says David Zweig, a professor of social science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “China feels its sovereignty has been infringed upon. But it has all the authority it wants — there’s nothing to stop it. It’s their territory, and they know that.”
Full article: In Hong Kong, Tens of Thousands March for Democracy
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