Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Leader Edith Leung: 'It Is A Warning to the World that China Is Growing'

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Manage episode 249358051 series 1020446
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Edith Leung is among the millions of women that have led the protests in Hong Kong, of which a third of the protesters are women. Edith is also a member of the incoming class of recently elected pro-democracy politicians. Sitting in a cafe in Central over a pot of jasmine tea, Dylan Ratigan interviews Edith. The newly elected district representative sees change perpetuating and sustaining the two-systems-one-country protocol in Hong Kong, which is seen as at risk. "It is a warning to the world that China is growing,” says Edith, who’s friend lost her right eye in a protest earlier this year. “An autocratic country like China, a Communist Party, being so large, being such a populated country, growing up. It is a threat to the world." It’s overly simplistic for us to see Hong Kong as a frontline in the culture war between Chinese interests and Western interests. Of course, Hong Kong is the door to China and the rest of the world. It is easy to explain away Hong Kong’s protests as just issue between the Cantonese of Hong Kong and the Mandarin of China. But there’s a lot we have in common. Protestors are voicing the global issues around consolidation of centralized power – like we have in America, or the centralized power in places like Madrid at the expense of Catalonia, or similar issues that we are seeing in India, in La Paz, in Beirut and around the world. What we are seeing in Hong Kong is just one of more than a dozen locations around the world. Whether it is in Barcelona, Beirut, La Paz or Paris where people are stepping into the street, sometimes with violence, frequently with non-violence. So, what needs to evolve? The young people I spoke to in Hong Kong have changed the culture of protest since 2014. They now to try to move towards solutions with clear requests, based around a culture of non-violence and learning from past missteps. “We had a failure after the Umbrella movement and we know why we failed, because we had separation of camps, so many different factions. At the end of the day, it turned out we got nothing” said Leung. She says that she doesn’t want history to repeat itself. “We have solidarity and we have to go together and achieve all the things. We have failed in the past, so we cannot fail again. We think this is the last chance to fight for real freedom and real justice."

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