State-society conflict radicalization in Hong Kong: The rise of ‘anti-China’ sentiment and radical localism

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Hong Kong has been facing an increasingly strong " Anti-China" sentiment in recent years. More people are worried that existing Mainland-Hong Kong integration actually provides more opportunity for Beijing to exercise political control over Hong Kong, resulting in the loss of local identity. Political parties of the pan-democratic camp, which has been at the forefront of political activism since the 1980s, used to adopt a " Milder" approach to oppose intervention from Beijing. However, with more Hong Kong people, especially localists, becoming sceptical towards this tactic, they have resorted to escalating things into " Radical" protests or even bloody clashes with the authorities. During Chinese Lunar New Year 2016, a few hundred protesters joined the " Mong Kok Riot" and violently pelted police officers with bricks and glass, leading to more than 120 people being injured. The clashes may on the surface have been about hawker management issues, but, in fact, were fuelled by a growing discontent against the Chinese and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region governments. With more protesters prepared to take more radical actions against the authorities, state-society relations in Hong Kong are likely to enter an unprecedented period of tension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-442
Number of pages15
JournalAsian Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Anti-China sentiment
  • Fishball riot
  • Hong Kong
  • Localism
  • Mainlandization
  • Mong kok riot
  • Umbrella movement


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