The Takshashila Institution hosted Prof Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s Professor, History, School of Humanities, University of California, on 25 June 2020. The event featured a conversation between him and Manoj Kewalramani, Fellow- China Studies Programme, on Hong Kong’s Future.
Prof Wasserstrom provided a brief outline of the history of protests in Hong Kong since 2003 and elaborated on the reasons for the current protests, which, according to him, could be traced back to 2014 since President Xi Jinping’s rise. “Since 2012, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has tried to bring patriarchal education for the schools in Hong Kong, and it got pushed back by the local population. The Occupy Central movement, which later became the Umbrella movement, originated from this and was an effort to bring democracy in Hong Kong,” explains Wasserstrom.
The PRC, since then has aimed to tighten the screws in Hong Kong, he adds.
“There was a similar one country two systems principle offered to Tibet when it became a part of the PRC in the 1950s. But over time, Beijing has established tighter control over the plateau. Similar things are happening in HK now,” says Prof Wasserstrom.
On the newly introduced national security law, he claims that it would have a devastating impact on the universities in the region.
His latest book, Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink, released in February 2020 and discusses the story of the biggest challenge to China’s authoritarianism in 30 years.
The Takshashila Institution is an independent and non-partisan think tank and school of public policy. Takshashila offers 12-week certificate courses in Public Policy, Technology and Policy, and Defence and Foreign Affairs and a 48-week postgraduate programme in Public Policy.