‘A Threat to Their Very Identity’

Lawyer and author Antony Dapiran on the root cause behind Hong Kong’s massive, landmark protest on July 1, 2003:

It is notable that it was the Article 23 legislation specifically — and not merely tough economic times or an unpopular government — that prompted the march. The legislation was seen as an attack on Hong Kong Core Values, provoking a strong and visceral reaction from the Hong Kong populace. They were protesting not just against an unpopular piece of legislation or a proposed curtailment of freedoms; they were protesting a threat to their very identity as Hong Kongers.1

Prescient in light of the current protests, not to mention a key factor behind President Tsai Ing-wen’s recent re-election.


  1. Antony Dapiran, City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong (Australia: Penguin Books, 2017), 45.


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