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The Daily Tar Heel

Asian Students Association stand with Hong Kong

From left to right, Sam Lin, Kathleen Cheng, Christie Leung, Tim Kang, and Kiko Wong stand together to support Hong Kong, sponsored by the Asian Students Association at UNC. Christie and Kiko are students from Hong Kong studying at UNC through the GLOBE program, Sam and Tim are students at UNC and members of the Asian Students Association, and Kathleen graduated from UNC with the Class of 2014.
From left to right, Sam Lin, Kathleen Cheng, Christie Leung, Tim Kang, and Kiko Wong stand together to support Hong Kong, sponsored by the Asian Students Association at UNC. Christie and Kiko are students from Hong Kong studying at UNC through the GLOBE program, Sam and Tim are students at UNC and members of the Asian Students Association, and Kathleen graduated from UNC with the Class of 2014.

The protests, nicknamed the Umbrella Revolution, earned their name because protesters had to shield themselves from onslaughts of tear gas and pepper spray.

Kiko Wong, an exchange student from Hong Kong, has a personal connection with the protests.

“Most of my friends are going on the street,” Wong said. “My sister is on the street.”

“All my friends are just being attacked all day, and I can do nothing,” he said.

Students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong are leading the occupation, protesting the Chinese government’s recent encroachment on Hong Kong’s promised 50 years of political autonomy, an infringement which began when the government announced in August that it would pre-select candidates for the upcoming election.

The Asian Students Association wanted to raise awareness and educate students about the protest.

“We all noticed that other schools around the nation have been doing these sort of demonstrations, so we thought it would be good for UNC to have some sort of voice, especially in the Asian community,” said Tim Kang, public relations chairman for the group.

Kang said many students who visited the table in the Pit were unaware of the protests.

“A lot of people that we approached didn’t even know this was happening, and it’s something that is going to impact Hong Kong in the future,” Kang said.

Asian Students Association president Jasmin Huang said the group also wanted to present both sides of the issue.

The conflict is mostly between the people of Hong Kong — who have grown accustomed to 17 years of democracy — and the Chinese government. However, Huang said it is not that simple.

“It’s a very complicated issue, and it’s not just an issue of whether or not Hong Kong will get its democracy,” Huang said.

She said she sees parallels between the Umbrella Revolution and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and she hopes for a brighter resolution for the current protests.

The instability is causing tension between mainland citizens and the Hong Kong people, Kang said.

“Hong Kong’s fate is really up in the air, and mainland people in China are scared because Hong Kong is like family to them,” he said.

Wong said he is eager to spread this message through campus.

“We must take the initiative if we are going to influence the system in China,” Wong said.

“We cannot lose our character and our identity as a Hong Kong people.”

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