A new wave of anti-mainland protests has emerged in Hong Kong since 2012. The purpose of this paper is threefold: to delineate its unique characteristics; to trace its historical origins; and to speculate on the political implications of this new wave of anti-mainland protests.
A historical approach has been adopted to trace the origins of the anti-mainland protests. Since this new wave of anti-mainland protests only began in 2012, this paper is based mostly on documentary analysis of mass media reports.
This paper finds that this new wave of anti-mainland protests has been characterized by its targeting of mainland tourists/immigrants, its militancy, its concentration in the New Territories, its constituent membership of people from society’s grassroots, its dependence on e-mobilization and its poor image in Hong Kong’s mass media. In addition, this paper has identified the complex interplay between the influx of tourists/immigrants, the increase of social inequality, the emergence of a localist discourse, the formation of localist organizations and the setbacks to the democracy movement that are the underlying socio-political factors that have sparked this new wave of anti-mainland protests.
Anti-mainland protests have profound implications for Hong Kong politics since they deepen socio-political polarization, have transformed the mode of protesting in Hong Kong society and threaten the prospects for the national reunification of Greater China.
This paper may be one of the first academic papers to examine the anti-mainland protests. Instead of taking a pro-Beijing or anti-mainland approach, this paper takes a neutral position and offers an objective analysis of the anti-mainland protests.
This paper has been supported by a Research Grants Council General Research Fund, 2016-2017, entitled “Anti-Mainland Protests in Hong Kong: A Social Movement Analysis.”
So, A. (2017), "A new wave of anti-mainland protests since 2012: Characteristics, socio-political origins, and political implications", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 333-342. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-10-2015-0054Download as .RIS
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