|Joshua Wong, secretary general of Hong Kong's Demosisto Party./ Source: Wikipedia|
By AsiaToday reporter Jina Koh – At the moment, it's hard to predict the future of Hong Kong under the 'one country, two systems' model with the next Chief Executive election scheduled on March 26. Joshua Wong, a 20-year-old secretary-general of political party Demosisto who led the city's Umbrella Revolution against the Chinese government in 2014, said, "It's time for young people to determine their future rather than allowing their older generation determine their future." He was concerned about universal values such as human rights and traditional independence, and asserted that Hong Kong's sovereignty and constitution should be decided by Hong Kong people under the referendum. In a written interview with AsiaToday on Tuesday, Joshua Wong shared his thought about Asia's young generation and Umbrella Revolution.
Why is Hong Kong's right to self-determination and judicial independence important?
According to Sino-British declaration that ensures Hong Kong can implement "One Country, Two Systems" under the framework of 50 years of Deng Xiaoping's policy. So what we worry would be Hong Kong may change to be "One Country, One System" rather than "One Country, Two Systems" after the expiration date of the joint declaration and of the Basic Law. So now it's the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong handover and we're just left for 30 years. What we worry about is universal values, such as human rights traditional independence. And human rights would just be eroded by the Communist Party of China. And it's necessary for Hong Kong people to advocate self-determination. Self-determination means that Hong Kong people should fight for the future. And also the sovereignty and constitution of Hong Kong after 2047 should be the thing that being decided by Hong Kong people under the referendum, and independence of traditionally is the fundamental foundation of Hong Kong core value. If Hong Kong is lack of traditional independence in the future, it will just prove that Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore, and it just exists in the name only.
How do you foresee the future of Hong Kong in 2047 when the 'one country, two systems" ends?
Our prospect of Hong Kong future in 2047 would be just hope for the best and prepare for the worst. And that's also the reason for us to organize a political party Demosisto and to fight for the right of self-determination.
What is the impact of the Umbrella Revolution on the young generation in Asia?
That's why Umbrella Movement in 2014 is just a proof that politics, democratic movement, or social movement are not the things that belong to those mature, or senior politicians and upper class. For young generation after the experience of Umbrella Movement, I think it already proved that students, even students in university lack of professional background or mature experience, but what they encourage is passion and it's ready for them to fight for the future.
Why is the student movement in Asia important?
Umbrella Revolution also proved that youth activism can create miracles. That's why I would say that student movement is extremely important in Asia, no matter facing the decline of democracy or the threat of China in Southeast Asia or South Asia. It's necessary for students reflect burden and with more courage try to stand in the frontline and fight for the future.
What do politics and community mean to young people of this age?
Politics for young people is just a system for advocating. It's time for them to determine their future rather than allowing their older generation determine their future.