In 2014, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement grabbed international headlines, shut down the city’s largest commercial districts, and generated concern about Hong Kong’s political future. Images of city streets awash in yellow, and protesters clashing with police quickly spread around the world, and many observers believed the movement heralded significant changes to Hong Kong’s political structure. Three years after calm was restored, questions remain: what is the political mood on Hong Kong campuses? Are freedoms being gradually eroded? What is the future of One Country-Two Systems under the newly elected Chief Executive Carrie Lam? David Zweig, a long time Hong Kong resident, and a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, has been watching the situation closely, and on May 15, 2017 he shared his insights with the National Committee at an event moderated by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins. Dr. Zweig addressed a variety of issues including political resistance, academic freedom, reverse brain drain, and the current contradictions between the former British colony and Beijing.
David Zweig is chair professor for the Division of Social Science and director at the Center on China’s Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also an adjunct professor at the National University of Defense Technology’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities in Changsha (Hunan), as well as vice-president of the Center on China’s Globalization in Beijing.