Hong Kong's election is approaching. Here's why young adults are worried...Hong Kong's Lost Generation...

As the Chinese territory prepares to select a new leader, young adults are increasingly questioning their future.

HONG KONG — On a recent gray spring day, Joshua Wong took a break from the scrum of interviews he was granting by sheltering in Citic Tower, the downtown office building that overlooks the vast reclamation works taking place along this city's harbor front.

Wong's role as one of the student leaders of the 2014 "Umbrella Movement," sit-in demonstrations that unsuccessfully demanded greater public participation in the election of the city's top public official, has earned him the role of international poster boy for democracy in Hong Kong.

 As this weekend's election approaches for the chief executive, Hong Kong's top government position, news media are interested in Wong's views.

Wong was born just a year before the United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule and theoretically should identify with a greater China more so than his parents and grandparents.
But like so many in his generation who have grown up in Hong Kong, Wong sees himself different from the mainland Chinese, and this burgeoning sense of identity has Beijing rattled.
"We're the generation being blacklisted by China," Wong says, accusing the central government in Beijing of fueling local resentment by punishing the participants of the 2014 protests.

 "Even those who only gave out water … gave out leaflets [during the 2014 pro-democracy protests] were all banned from entering China. So, how can we get a sense of belonging to China?"

The March 26 election for Hong Kong's chief executive is more than a vote on who will lead the territory's government.

The election is placing a focus on Hong Kong's youth and young adults, who increasingly believe their futures are being shortchanged by a system they fear is rigged in favor of mainland Chinese.
His year marks the 20-year anniversary of the British handover and Beijing's promise of preserving the "One country, two systems" model of governance for Hong Kong, where the laws and courts drawn up during the British colonial era remain intact.

This year also was supposed to be the year that Hong Kong voters could directly elect the chief executive, a promise Beijing made in 2007, and then reneged on in 2014 – a move that triggered the Umbrella Movement protests.

"The promise [of democracy] has always been there, the expectation was always there," says Jasper Tsang, founding chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, a political party largely seen to be pro-Beijing.
Hong Kong remains an open society compared to mainland China.

 Freedom of speech is guaranteed, and internet regulation is much looser. As Chinese President Xi Jinping cracks down on dissent, however, many in Hong Kong worry about an erosion of civil liberties in the territory.

culled from USN...

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