Unresolved questions about Hong Kong’s political future, long hidden beneath the surface of the territory’s bustling commercial activity, burst to the forefront in 2014 in response to proposed electoral reforms. Since then the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong has developed into a significant challenge to Beijing’s vision for the former British colony. The Umbrella Movement, the 2015 “Fishball Revolution,” and the recent LegCo oath-taking controversy, which have drawn a lot of media attention, mark the entry of a new generation of political actors, more idealistic and committed to the realization of full electoral democracy than their elders; they also reflect popular resentment long in the making. Since the territory’s reversion to China almost 20 years ago (in 1997), economic inequality has grown, community-police relations have deteriorated, and some worry that they are losing control of their own cultural and political destiny. An expert on China’s relations with its neighbors, Richard Bush is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and is director of its Center for East Asia Policy Studies. In his new book, Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan, Dr. Bush examines both the immediate and long term causes of Hong Kong’s demonstrations, and analyzes the emergence of a pro-democracy movement galvanized by millennials’ activism. He explores the options available to Hong Kong and China, as well as what they must do to ensure both economic competitiveness and good governance. On December 7, 2016, Dr. Bush discussed his book, the Hong Kong protests, and their implications for U.S policy with the National Committee in New York City.

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