Hong Kong’s Umbrella movement has completely shifted out of the public eye. Beijing and Hong Kong authorities will likely view this as a victory, while the West and the East Asian region know that steam does not vanish merely because it escapes the pot.
America’s Republican party seems that they haven’t learned from Taiwan’s failing KMT-Nationalists. The recent bait-and-switch involving two tea party Republicans plucked the ceiling off of corporate campaign donation limits. This means that the GOP knows they need the tea party vote, but hope to use corporate dollars to overcome the people.
The problem is that the KMT’s corptocracy failed on November 29 at Taiwan’s local elections. Now, the highest leader the KMT can find to lead their stock-holding political party is the mayor of New Taipei—comparable to if Republican’s had to turn to a Chicago suburb’s mayor for an RNC leader during the W. years, rather than the President being the leader as is normally the case. Although it’s that bad in Taiwan, “establishment” Republicans in Washington don’t seem to have learned from Taiwan: no amount of corporate money can ever defeat the people. Hong Kong, now fully cleared of Umbrella sites, leaves the world with even bigger lessons.
The Sunflower and Umbrella movements differed on many levels: Sunflower students must serve in Taiwan’s military, which is the basis for any democracy claims, unlike Hong Kong students; the Sunflower’s quit while they were ahead, after only 21 days; Sunflowers only occupied government buildings and streets primarily used by government, not main travel roads for civilians.
These differences did not mean that either group was right or wrong, only that the end of the Umbrella movement was foreseeable, just as you read it here first at the Prelude series. It is likely that most of the public and the governments will underestimate the long-term effects of the Umbrella movement, however. Beijing is under the microscope and now has a reputation as having overcome a call to democracy.
- Rising democracy burns brightly in Taiwan (crikey.com.au)
- Beijing Drains The Energy Out Of Hong Kong’s Protests (chinabystander.wordpress.com)
- Police clear final HK protest site (bbc.co.uk)
- Prelude to Conflict: Asia, December 1 (chinadailymail.com)