Ho-Fung Hung is a Henry M. & Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy at the Sociology Department and School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of the award-winning book The China Boom: Why China Will Not Rule the World and Protest with Chinese Characteristics: Demonstrations, Riots, and Petitions in the Mid-Qing Dynasty, both published by Columbia University Press.
In Episode 92 of Hidden Forces, Demetri speaks with East Asian affairs expert Ho-Fung Hung about the upcoming US-China trade talks taking place at this weekend’s G20 summit, as Xi-Jinping grapples with the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Ho-Fung is the Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University, as well as the author of two books on China, including the award-winning “Protests with Chinese Characteristics,” published in 2011.  On June 16th, 2019, an estimated 2 million people took to the streets of Hong Kong to protest the handling of a proposed extradition bill by the Hong Kong government and its Chief Executive Carrie Lam. This followed two massive demonstrations against the extradition bill earlier in the month, including one where police used pepper spray and tear gas against protesters. The controversial bill would allow Hong Kong to extradite to the mainland those accused of crimes under the People’s Republic of China’s Communist Party-led legal system. While Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has suspended the bill, she has refused to withdraw it.  In this episode, we discuss what the protests mean for the future of Hong Kong and what they say about Hong Kong’s relationship with mainland China. This includes an exploration of Hong Kong history going back to the Opium Wars and the signing of the Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) in 1842, which ceded the Hong Kong island with surrounding smaller islands, to the United Kingdom in perpetuity.  Hong Kong activists have raised more than HK$5 million ($640,606) in a crowdfunding campaign to take out newspaper ads in a bid to get this controversial extradition bill on the agenda at the G20 summit. We discuss the details of the extradition amendment, but also consider prior offenses by the Hong Kong government that led to similar uprisings. The Umbrella Movement of 2014 is perhaps the most recent, but Ho-Fung and Demetri also discuss the 2003 protests that were then inspired by similar concerns over Basic Law Article 23 that threatened to roll back important civil liberties like freedom of speech.  In addition to the recent Hong Kong protests, Demetri and Ho-Fung Hung spend the duration of the overtime in a conversation about the RMB-USD peg, China’s debilitating debt problem, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the China industrial lobby. Ho-Fung provides a path for how China may manage to avoid an all-out economic collapse after decades of uninterrupted growth and massive credit expansion. This part of the conversation, along with the transcript and rundown to today’s episode can be accessed through our Patreon page at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces. Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at hiddenforces.io/subscribe Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod
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Creator Details

Episode Count
1
Podcast Count
1
Total Airtime
36 minutes, 47 seconds