Real democracy in Hong Kong

From Manager, October 10, 2019
Joshua Wong: See, Thanathorn… real democracy will be like this.
Caption: Learn the democracy from Mr. Wong

[Refers to a photo that showed Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn with Hong Kong democratic activist Joshua Wong.

At an Economist magazine forum, Thanathorn was quoted as saying he was inspired by Hong Kong democracy movement to form the Future Forward Party.

The photo infuriated the Chinese government with the Chinese Embassy in Thailand warning Thai politicians not to intervene in China’s internal politics. The Thai army chief also accused Thanathorn and Wong of conspiring together while seeming to compare the violence in Hong Kong with the Red Shirt rioting in Bangkok in the past and warning the nation against a return to that sort of political agitation.

This cartoonist is warning that Thanathorn’s movement risks a return to the violence of the past.

Beyond this, the continuing rioting in Hong Kong and doubts about the end game of the protests there fits into a traditional Chinese government way of framing democracy. Past fighting in the Taiwanese parliament as well as the current protests in Hong Kong are used to frame democracy as akin to chaos. This fits with Thai beliefs about protest being a shameful last resort because it shows the disunity of society.

Thus, it should not be surprising that some Thais might feel more skeptical about the efficacy of the Hong Kong protests and tend to follow Chinese government lines that it is mindless lawbreaking.

For another viewpoint see Which pair destroys the country?]

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