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The Fifth Estate

Joshua Wong: Unfree Speech  /  Freedom of speech & censorship

Sally Warhaft, left, and Joshua Wong

Joshua Wong was still a teenager when he rose to international prominence as a leader in Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement, protesting increased Chinese Communist Party intervention in the city’s electoral system. 

‘That’s the transformation of Hong Kongers … Before last summer, nobody could imagine more than 2 million people taking to the streets. […] But we did it. Almost one-fourth of the population [stood] up against the regime of Beijing.’

A lot has happened since. Wong has served two prison terms and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He's co-founded a new political party, Demosistō, and written a book, Unfree Speech. All the while, the protest movement in Hong Kong has simmered on, boiling over last year into extraordinary mass protests and brutal police confrontations.

With Sally Warhaft, Wong talks about the evolution of Hong Kong’s democracy movement and the impact of COVID-19. Assembly restrictions enforced due to the pandemic have hampered demonstrations and possibly cleared the path for more authoritarian rule in the city. In mid-April, more than a dozen high-profile pro-democracy activists were arrested.

How does Wong expect these arrests to impact Hong Kong's legislative elections in September? What effect might a weakened United States and an emboldened China have on the One Country, Two Systems principle that grants Hong Kong special autonomy?

Wong reflects on these questions and more. 

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See also   The Fifth Estate: Joshua Wong: Unfree Speech  /  Activism

With Joshua Wong and Sally Warhaft

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