Young People and the Future of Hong Kong


AsiaX with Ben Bland

More than one million people have taken to the streets of Hong Kong over the last three months in a protest movement sparked by a contentious bill, which would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China. Although the bill has since been withdrawn, the demonstrations have continued, driven by a mix of grievances including anger at the police crackdown on the protesters and Beijing’s growing pressure on Hong Kong’s autonomy. Many young Hong Kongers feel that their identity and way of life are threatened by the assertiveness of the Chinese government. Questions on the future of the “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement abound.

As part of the Asia Society Policy Institute's AsiaX speaker series, the Lowy Institute’s Ben Bland will discuss how and why young people have taken a leading role in the most dramatic pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong since the Umbrella Movement of 2014. He will argue that Beijing’s actions have both threatened and reinforced the sense of unique Hong Kong identity that many young people hold dear, and make his own predictions of the future of the protest movement.

AsiaX is a speaker series and networking event for emerging Asia policy professionals and young executives. It aims to bring fresh ideas from up-and-coming Asian innovators and experts to the Washington D.C. policy debate. These private events bring together young leaders from across the government, business, and policy communities to discuss trends and issues that are re-shaping Asia and the U.S. role in the region.

This event will take place at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery located at 1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, a three min walk from Smithsonian Station on Blue, Orange, and Silver lines

This is a private invitation-only event for young professionals emerging leaders. For more information, please contact Grant Bennett at


Ben Bland

Ben Bland is a research fellow and the director of the Southeast Asia Project at the Lowy Institute, Australia’s leading international think-tank. Previously, Bland was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times based in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Vietnam. His first book, Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow, was described as a “David versus Goliath tale” by the Sydney Morning Herald and commended by the Times Literary Supplement for its “lively prose” and “illuminating” comparisons. Bland is a regular contributor to a wide range of media organizations including The Atlantic, Bloomberg, CNN, Foreign Policy, Reuters and the Washington Post. 

Anubhav Gupta Bio

Anubhav Gupta, associate director with the Asia Society Policy Institute, will serve as moderator at this event.

Event Details

Wed 09 Oct 2019
6 - 8 p.m.

Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries
1050 Independence Avenue SW
Sackler Gallery, level B1

This is a private invitation-only event for emerging professionals. For more information, please contact
Add to Calendar 20191009T220000 20191010T000000 UTC Asia Society: Young People and the Future of Hong Kong Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries 1050 Independence Avenue SW Sackler Gallery, level B1