China Seminar | 8 January 2015

Same Bed, Different Dreams: The Umbrella Movement as Seen by Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s Sandwich Class

Richard H. Hornik Richard H. Hornik

Although press coverage of the protest movement in Hong Kong has been extensive, it has largely failed to address the underlying motivations of the two most important sides to the conflict: China’s top leadership, as personified by Xi Jinping, and Hong Kong’s middle class. While the outside world has focused on student and activist demands for a more democratic selection of the Territory’s Chief Executive, the support from large sections of the public is based on a sense that Hong Kong’s economic advantages are dwindling because of ineffective leadership by Hong Kong’s top officials. At the same time, China’s leaders are less interested in accommodating Hong Kong’s demands than was the case even a few years ago. A mutually agreeable solution is highly unlikely. Richard Hornik, currently a lecturer in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, is a journalist with over 30 years of global experience. He was executive editor of AsiaWeek, deputy chief of correspondents and news service director of Time in New York, and he served as Time’s bureau chief in Warsaw, Boston, Beijing and Hong Kong. He co-authored Massacre in Beijing: China’s Struggle for Democracy, with Donald Morrison, and has written for Foreign Affairs, Fortune, Smithsonian, The New York Times and Wall St. Journal. He has an M.A. in Russian studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in political science from Brown University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was Journalist-in-Residence at the East-West Center. He was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong in 2012 and will be a Lecturer at UH this semester.