Joshua Wong

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Joshua Wong
黃之鋒
Joshua Wong Chi-fung, 2017 (cropped).jpg
Joshua Wong on bail on 24 October 2017.
Secretary-General of Demosistō
Assumed office
10 April 2016
DeputyAgnes Chow
Kwok Hei-yiu
Chan Kok-hin
LeaderNathan Law
Ivan Lam
Preceded byOffice established
Personal details
Born
Wong Chi-fung

(1996-10-13) 13 October 1996 (age 22)
British Hong Kong
CitizenshipHong Kong
NationalityChinese
Political partyDemosistō
ResidenceHong Kong
EducationOpen University of Hong Kong
Alma materUnited Christian College (Kowloon East)
OccupationStudent
Political activist
Politician
Known forOutspoken advocacy for democratic reform in Hong Kong
Websitewongchifung.wordpress.com
Joshua Wong
Joshua Wong Chi-fung.jpg
Wong Chi-fung in July 2012
Traditional Chinese黃之鋒
Simplified Chinese黃之鋒

Joshua Wong Chi-fung (Chinese: 黃之鋒; Sidney Lau: Wong4 Ji1 Fung1, born 13 October 1996)[1] is a Hong Kong student activist and politician who serves as secretary-general of pro-democracy party Demosistō. Wong was previously convenor and founder of the Hong Kong student activist group Scholarism.[1][2] Internationally known for his prominent role during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, his major influence on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement resulted in his inclusion in TIME magazine's Most Influential Teens of 2014 and nomination for its Person of the Year 2014,[3] recognition by Fortune magazine as one of the world's greatest leaders in 2015,[4][5] and, in 2017, plans for nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In August 2017, Wong and two other pro-democracy activists were convicted and jailed for their roles in the occupation of Civic Square at the incipient stage of the Occupy Central protests in 2014 and, in January 2018, Wong was convicted and jailed again for failing to comply with a court order for clearance of the Mong Kok protest site later the same year.

Early life[edit]

Joshua Wong was born in British Hong Kong on 13 October 1996, and was diagnosed with dyslexia in early childhood.[6][7] The son of middle-class couple Grace and Roger Wong,[8] Wong was raised as a Protestant Christian in the Lutheran tradition.[9][10] His social awareness stems from his father, a retired IT professional,[11] who often took him as a child to visit the underprivileged.[12][13]

Wong studied at the United Christian College (Kowloon East),[14] a private Christian middle school in Kowloon, and developed organisational and speaking skills through involvement in church groups.[15]

Emergence as activist[edit]

The 2010 anti-high speed rail protests were the first political protests in which Wong took part.[16]

On 29 May 2011, Wong and schoolmate Ivan Lam Long-yin established Scholarism, a student activist group.[17] The group began with simple means of protest, such as the distribution of leaflets against the newly-announced moral and national education (MNE).[15][18] In time, however, Wong's group grew in both size and influence, and in 2012 managed to organise a political rally attended by over 100,000 people.[15] Wong received widespread attention as the group's convenor.[19]

Role in 2014 Hong Kong protests[edit]

Wong giving an interview on 28 October 2014, during the Hong Kong protests.

In June 2014, Scholarism drafted a plan to reform Hong Kong's electoral system to push for universal suffrage, under one country, two systems. His group strongly advocated for the inclusion of civic nomination in the 2017 Hong Kong Chief Executive Election.[16] Wong as a student leader started a class boycott among Hong Kong's students to send a pro-democracy message to Beijing.[20]

On 27 September 2014, Wong was one of the 78 people arrested by the police during a massive pro-democracy protest,[21] after hundreds of students occupied Civic Square in front of the Central Government Complex as a sign of protest against Beijing's decision on the 2014 Hong Kong electoral reform.[22][20] Unlike fellow protestors, only in response to a court order obtained by writ of habeas corpus was Wong released by police, after 46 hours in custody.[23][24]

During the protests, Wong stated: "Among all the people in Hong Kong, there is only one person who can decide whether the current movement will last and he is [Chief Executive of the region] Leung. If Leung can accept our demands ... (the) movement will naturally come to an end."[25] On 25 September 2014 the state-owned Wen Wei Po published an article which claimed that "US forces" had worked to cultivate Wong as a "political superstar".[26][27] Wong in turn denied every detail in the report through a statement that he subsequently posted online.[27] Wong also said that he was mentioned by name in mainland China's Blue Paper on National Security, which identified internal threats to the stability of Communist Party rule; quoting a line in V for Vendetta, he in turn said that "People should not be afraid of their government, the government should be afraid of their people."[20]

Wong was charged on 27 November 2014 with obstructing a bailiff clearing one of Hong Kong's three protest areas. His lawyer described the charge as politically motivated.[3][28] He was banned from a large part of Mong Kok, one of the protestor-occupied sites, as one of the bail conditions.[29] Wong claimed that police beat him and tried to injure his groin as he was arrested, and taunted and swore at him while he was in custody.[30]

After Wong's appearance at Kowloon City Magistrates' Court on 27 November 2014, he was pelted with eggs by two assailants.[31] They were arrested and each fined $3,000 in August 2015, sentences which, on application for review by the prosection, were subsequently enhanced to two weeks' imprisonment.[32][33]

On 2 December 2014, Wong and two other students began an indefinite hunger strike to demand renewed talks with the Hong Kong government. He decided to end the hunger strike after four days on medical advice.[34]

Aftermath of the Occupy protests[edit]

Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow on 23 September 2014. They wear red blindfolds to symbolize students figuratively blinded by China's political power.

Wong was arrested and held for three hours on Friday, 16 January 2015, for his alleged involvement in offences of calling for, inciting and participating in an unauthorized assembly.[35]

The same month, an article appeared in the Pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po alleging that Wong had met with the US consul-general in Hong Kong Stephen M. Young during the latter's visit in 2011. It suggested that Wong had links with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, which had supposedly offered him military training by the US Army. Wong responded that the claims were pure fiction and "more like jokes."[36]

Wong was denied entry into Malaysia at Penang International Airport, on 26 May 2015, on the basis that he was considered "a threat to Malaysia's ties with China", largely due to his supposed "anti-China" stance in participating in the 2014 Hong Kong protests.[37]

On 28 June 2015, two days before a protest in favour of democracy, Wong and his girlfriend were attacked by an unknown man after watching a film in Mong Kok. The assault sent the two to hospital. Wong sustained injuries to his nose and eyes.[38] No one was arrested.[39][40][41][42]

On 19 August 2015, Wong was formally charged by the Hong Kong Department of Justice with inciting other people to join an unlawful assembly and also joining an unlawful assembly, alongside Alex Chow, the former leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students.[43][44]

Hong Kong film director Wong Jing endorsed Wong, writing a tribute article to him for his efforts to defend students' rights.[45]

While traveling to Taiwan for a political seminar, "pro-China" protesters attempted to assault Wong at the arrival hall of Taoyuan's Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, necessitating police protection. It was later found that local gangsters were involved.[46][47]

Demosistō[edit]

In April 2016, Wong founded a new political party, Demosistō, with other Scholarism leaders including Agnes Chow, Oscar Lai and Umbrella activists, the original student activist group Scholarism having been disbanded. The party advocates for a referendum to be held to determine Hong Kong's sovereignty after 2047, when the One Country, Two Systems principle as enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law expires. As the founding secretary-general of the party, Wong also planned to contest the 2016 Legislative Council election.[48] Wong was still only 19 and being below the statutory minimum age of 21 for candidacy, he filed an application (ultimately unsuccessful) for judicial review of the election law, in October 2015.[49] After his decision to found his own political party, Wong became a focus of criticism, especially on social networks.[50]

Detention in Thailand[edit]

Joshua Wong was detained on arrival in Thailand on 5 October 2016. He had been invited to speak about his Umbrella Movement experience at an event marking the 40th anniversary of the Thammasat University massacre, hosted by Chulalongkorn University.[51]

A Thai student activist who invited Wong, Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, said that Thai authorities had received a request from the Chinese government earlier regarding Wong's visit. His own request to see Wong was denied.[52]

After nearly 12 hours' detention, Wong was deported to Hong Kong.[51] Wong claimed that, upon detention, the authorities would say no more than that he had been blacklisted but, just prior to deportation, they had informed him that his deportation was pursuant to Sections 19, 22 and 54 of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522.[53][54]

Hong Kong Legislator Claudia Mo called the incident "despicable" and stated: "If this becomes a precedent it means it could happen to you or me at any time if somehow Beijing thinks you are a dangerous, unwelcome person".[55] Jason Y. Ng, a Hong Kong journalist and author, stated that Wong's detention showed "how ready Beijing is to flex its diplomatic muscles and [how it] expects neighbouring governments to play ball".[51]

Wong eventually spoke with a Thai audience from Hong Kong via Skype.[56]

CAN Singapore Incident[edit]

On 23 December 2016, Singapore Police Force investigated organisers of a Community Action Network Singapore event in which Joshua Wong had participated from Hong Kong via Skype, for Wong's failure to hold an employment visa and police permit to participate as a foreigner in a domestic talk, notwithstanding his not even being present.[57][58]

Imprisonment[edit]

Wong, along with two other prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy student leaders Nathan Law and Alex Chow, were jailed for six to eight months on 17 August 2017 for unlawful assembly (Wong and Law) and incitement to assemble unlawfully (Chow) at Civic Square, at the Central Government Complex in the Tamar site, during a protest that triggered the 79-day Occupy sit-ins of 2014. The sentences halted their political careers, as they would be barred from running for public office for five years.[59]

On the third anniversary of the 2014 protests, 28 September 2017, Wong started the first of a series of columns for the Guardian, written from the Pik Uk Correctional Institution, where he says that despite a dull and dry life there, he remains proud of his commitment to the movement.[60]

On 13 October 2017, Wong was convicted with 19 others of contempt of court for obstructing execution of the court's order for clearance of part of the Occupy Central protest zone in Mong Kok in October 2014. The order had been obtained by a public minibus association.[61]

On 14 November 2017, Wong, together with Ivan Lam, commenced an application for judicial review in the High Court challenging the constitutionality of the provision in the Legislative Council Ordinance preventing persons sentenced to terms of imprisonment exceeding three months from standing for office for five years from the date of conviction.[62]

On 18 January 2018, Wong was sentenced by Mr Justice Andrew H C Chan of the High Court to three months' imprisonment in respect of his October 2017 conviction for contempt of court. Nineteen other protestors convicted in respect of the same incident all received prison terms, though the terms were suspended for all but Wong and fellow protestor Raphael Wong. As part of his reasoning, Chan expressed the view that, by November 2014, the protests had become pointless and their only effect was to impact the lives of "ordinary citizens" of the region.[63]

Nobel Peace Prize nomination[edit]

On 1 February 2018, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers, led by Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Chair US Senator Marco Rubio and co-chair US Representative Chris Smith announced they had nominated[64] Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow and the entire Umbrella Movement for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, for "their peaceful efforts to bring political reform and protect the autonomy and freedoms guaranteed Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration".[65]

Publications[edit]

Awards[edit]

  • 2017 Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, a documentary film about Joshua Wong
  • 2015 Fortune – World's 50 Greatest Leaders (10th place)
  • 2014 Lessons in Dissent, a documentary film featuring Wong and fellow activist Ma Jai
  • 2014 TIME Cover (Asia Edition)
  • 2014 TIME – The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014
  • 2014 Foreign Policy – 100 Leading Global Thinkers
  • 2014 TIME – Person of the Year 2014 (Reader's Poll – 3rd place)
  • 2014 YAHOO Top Ten Search Ranking – No.1 (Hong Kong)
  • AFP 10 Most influential people 2014
  • The Times – Young Person of the year 2014

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lai, Alexis (30 July 2012). "'National education' raises furor in Hong Kong". Hong Kong: CNN. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  2. ^ Hsieh, Steven (8 October 2012). "Hong Kong Students Fight for the Integrity of their Education". The Nation. Hong Kong. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Hong Kong Student Leader Joshua Wong Charged With Obstruction". Time. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  4. ^ Yik Fei, Lam . World's Greatest Leaders: 10: Joshua Wong. Fortune.
  5. ^ AFP. H.K.'s Joshua Wong among 'world's greatest leaders': Fortune. 27 March 2015. Daily Mail.
  6. ^ 《黃之鋒:好學生重新定義》 Archived 30 April 2013 at Archive.is, (in Chinese), Ming Pao, 9 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Joshua Wong, the 17-year-old battling Beijing for greater democracy in Hong Kong". The Strait Times. Asia. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  8. ^ BBC News. Asia. 2 October 2014. Profile: Hong Kong student protest leader Joshua Wong. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  9. ^ Moore, Malcolm. 2014. Portrait of Hong Kong's 17-year-old protest leader. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2014.: "He is a strict Christian, and his parents Grace and Roger are Lutherans."
  10. ^ Sagan, Aleksandra. 2 October 2014. "Joshua Wong: Meet the teen mastermind of Hong Kong's 'umbrella revolution". CBC News. Retrieved 10 December 2014.: "They raised him as a Christian – a religion he still identifies with. Wong recalls accompanying his father to visit some of the less fortunate in Hong Kong when he was much younger"
  11. ^ "Jailed Hong Kong activist Wong back in court on 21st birthday". Hong Kong Free Press. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  12. ^ Moyer, Justin. 2014. "The teenage activist wunderkind who was among the first arrested in Hong Kong's Occupy Central". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  13. ^ Leah Marieann Klett. 8 October 2014. ""Joshua Wong, Christian Student Leading Hong Kong Protests Will Continue To Fight For Democracy". Gospel Herald. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  14. ^ Pedroletti, Par. 29, Sept. 2014. Les leaders de la mobilisation citoyenne à Hongkong. Le Monde. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  15. ^ a b c Wong, Joshua (March–April 2015). "Scholarism on the March". New Left Review. London, England. 92.
  16. ^ a b Chan, Yannie (15 May 2014). "Joshua Wong". HK Magazine. Hong Kong. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  17. ^ Lee, Ada (10 September 2012). "Scholarism's Joshua Wong embodies anti-national education body's energy". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  18. ^ 基本資料 (in Chinese). Scholarism.
  19. ^ "Scholarism's Joshua Wong embodies anti-national education body's energy". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  20. ^ a b c Chan, Wilfred; Yuli Yang (25 September 2014). "Echoing Tiananmen, 17-year-old Hong Kong student prepares for democracy battle". Hong Kong: CNN. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  21. ^ Jacobs, Harrison (27 September 2014). "REPORT: Hong Kong's 17-Year-Old 'Extremist' Student Leader Arrested During Massive Democracy Protest". Hong Kong: Business Insider. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  22. ^ Sevastopulo, Demetri (26 September 2014). "Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy student leader". Financial Times. Hong Kong. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Meet the 17-year-old face of Hong Kong's protests". USA Today. 2 October 2014. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015.
  24. ^ Chan, Kelvin (28 September 2014). "Hong Kong police use tear gas on protesters". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  25. ^ Calum MacLeod,"Meet The 17-Year-Old Leading Hong Kong's Protests", USA Today, 2 October 2014
  26. ^ Branigan, Tania (1 Oct 2014). "Joshua Wong: the teenager who is the public face of the Hong Kong protests". The Guardian. The Guardian.
  27. ^ a b Steger, Isabella (Sep 25, 2014). "Pro-Beijing Media Accuses Hong Kong Student Leader of U.S. Government Ties". WSJ. WSJ.
  28. ^ "Hong Kong protesters warned not to return to clash site". BBC. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Joshua Wong banned from Mong Kok areas". RTHK. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  30. ^ Branigan, Tania (28 November 2014). "Hong Kong student leader considering suing police over arrest, says lawyer". The Guardian.
  31. ^ Lau, Chris; Lai, Ying-kit (27 November 2014). "Joshua Wong pelted with eggs outside court after being banned from Mong Kok". South China Morning Post.
  32. ^ Chan, Thomas (19 August 2015). "Pair who threw eggs at Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong in anti-Occupy Central protest fined HK$3,000 each". South China Morning Post.
  33. ^ "Joshua Wong egg attackers get two-week jail terms". Hong Kong Economic Journal. 10 November 2015.
  34. ^ "Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong calls off hunger strike". The Straits Times. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  35. ^ "Hong Kong Student Leader Joshua Wong Questioned Over Pro-Democracy Protests". Time. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  36. ^ Ejinsight. 29 June 2015. Joshua Wong dismisses Xinhua article on alleged CIA links. Hong Kong Economic Journal Company Limited
  37. ^ Ng, Joyce (26 May 2015). "Occupy student leader Joshua Wong 'a threat to Malaysia's ties with China', police chief admits". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  38. ^ Liu, Juliana. 2 August 2015. Joshua Wong: 'We had no clear goals' in Hong Kong protests. BBC News
  39. ^ Ejinsght. 29 June 2015. Scholarism leader Joshua Wong, girlfriend attacked after movie. Hong Kong Economic Journal Company Limited.
  40. ^ Lee, Jeremy. 29 June 2015. Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong and girlfriend injured after being attacked on street. The Strait Times.
  41. ^ Ying-kit, Lai. 29 June 2015. Attack on Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong 'a threat to free speech'. Law & Crime.
  42. ^ Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong in chilling assault, Yahoo News, 28 June 2015.
  43. ^ Master, Farah; Paul Tait (19 August 2015). "Key Hong Kong pro-democracy students charged after Occupy protests". Hong Kong. Reuters. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  44. ^ Wednesday 2 September 2015. Leader of Hong Kong democracy protests Joshua Wong to face trial. The Guardian
  45. ^ SC Yeung. Ejinsight. Why is there a boycott drive against Wong Jing’s latest movie?. Hong Kong Economic Journal Company Limited. Feb. 4, 2016
  46. ^ "Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong under police protection in Taiwan after assault attempt". South China Morning Post. January 8, 2017. Archived from the original on January 12, 2017. Taiwan police ramped up protection for Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung and a few pro-democracy lawmakers after a failed attempt by a pro-China protester to assault him as he arrived in the island state in the early hours [...] About 200 protesters from a pro-China group in Taiwan gathered at the arrival hall of Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport at midnight. They chanted slogans deriding Wong, and Hong Kong legislators Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Edward Yiu Chung-yim – who arrived on the same flight at 12.30am – as "independence scum", saying they were not welcome in Taiwan.
  47. ^ Coonan, Clifford (January 10, 2017). "Hong Kong activist blames pro-Beijing forces after airport assault". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on January 12, 2017. Hong Kong pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong says an assault on him and fellow rights activist Nathan Law at the territory's airport was a co-ordinated attack by pro-Beijing elements angry at his group's calling for more self-determination [...] Mr Wong and Mr Law travelled to Taiwan with fellow lawmakers Edward Yiu and Eddie Chu for talks with Taiwan's pro-independence body, the New Power Party, raising hackles in Beijing. They were greeted by irate pro-China protesters in Taipei as they arrived for the forum.
  48. ^ "Joshua Wong's party named 'Demosisto'". Radio Television Hong Kong. 6 April 2016.
  49. ^ Wong, Alan (18 February 2016). "Hong Kong Students Who Protested Government Now Seek to Take Part in It". New York Times.
  50. ^ South China Morning Post. Jason Y Ng. 'Baptism of fire for Joshua Wong and his nascent political party'. 29 de abril de 2016.
  51. ^ a b c Cheung, Eric; Phillips, Tom; Holmes, Oliver (5 October 2016). "Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong attacks Thailand after being barred 'at China's request'". The Guardian.
  52. ^ Phillips, Tom; Malkin, Bonnie (5 October 2015). "Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong detained in Thailand 'at China's request' – reports". The Guardian.
  53. ^ Cheung, Eric (5 October 2016). "Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong attacks Thailand after being barred 'at China's request'". The Guardian.
  54. ^ "Thai Immigration blacklists Joshua Wong as requested by China". The Nation. Bangkok, Thailand. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  55. ^ Wong, Joshua (7 October 2016). "I'm a pro-democracy activist. Is that why Thailand chose to deport me?". The Guardian.
  56. ^ "Joshua Wong considered 'persona non grata'". The Nation. Bangkok, Thailand. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  57. ^ "Singapore activist 'questioned by police' over hosting public talk with Hong Kong's Joshua Wong without work permit". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  58. ^ "Police investigating Singapore event involving Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  59. ^ Siu, Jasmine (17 August 2017). "Joshua Wong and other jailed Hong Kong student leaders see political careers halted". South China Morning Post.
  60. ^ Wong, Joshua (28 September 2017). "Prison is an inevitable part of Hong Kong's exhausting path to democracy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  61. ^ Cheung, Karen (13 October 2017). "Democracy activists Lester Shum and Joshua Wong among 20 guilty of contempt over Mong Kok Occupy protest". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  62. ^ Cheung, Karen (14 November 2017). "Democracy activists Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam file legal challenge over ban on standing for office". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  63. ^ Cheng, Kris (18 January 2018). "Hong Kong democracy activists Joshua Wong and Raphael Wong jailed over Umbrella Movement site clearance". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  64. ^ Lai, Catherine (1 February 2018). "Group of US lawmakers nominate Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement for Nobel Peace Prize". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  65. ^ "Chairs Release 2017 Annual Report--Announce New Initiatives on Hong Kong & Commemoration of Liu Xiaobo". Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Washington, DC. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New title Convenor of Scholarism
2011–2016
Organisation dissolved
Party political offices
New title Secretary-General of Demosistō
2016–present
Incumbent