Hong Kong protests an example of backlash against neoliberalism

The violent pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong is now into its fifth month. While the perceived failings of the "one country, two systems" political model are the primary target of the mass demonstrations, the Special Administrative Region's flawed economic ideology has largely escaped attention as the other factor driving dissatisfaction.

The timing of this popular uprising should not be seen in isolation or as coincidental to the national populism wave in the West. In fact, the same "invisible hand" that led to Brexit and the shock presidential victory of Mr Donald Trump in the United States is at play in Hong Kong.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2019, with the headline 'HK protests an example of backlash against neoliberalism'. Print Edition | Subscribe