The results of September’s legislative council election saw a redrawing of Hong Kong’s political landscape. Six young non-establishment lawmakers who don’t belong to the pan-democratic camp was said to usher in an era of post-Umbrella Movement politics. Many media organisations and commentators referred to them as “localists”. But what does localism mean? In our November 2016 issue, Varsity explores the idea that there is more than one answer to the question and looks at how Hong Kong’s localisms evolved. Please read our stories below:
They’ve been dubbed “localists” but the label doesn’t adequately describe the different political stances of the six young non-establishment activists elected to the legislative council in September and the groups they represent. Varsity talks to some of the new lawmakers, their allies and scholars to see how they differ.
The popular perception of localists today is that they advocate a separate Hong Kong identity and have an antagonistic attitude towards mainland China and Mainlanders. Yet just a decade ago, localism emerged as a movement to cherish and strengthen local identity while embracing inclusivity and universal values. We speak to some of the core members of that movement.
There’s no doubt that localism is popular with Hong Kong’s younger generation. Our survey of more than 500 young people shows that more than two-thirds of respondents said they support localist groups.