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International Seminar Series: “Hong Kong’s Civil Society Uprising: ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in the Context of US-China Relations”

Wednesday, October 2nd 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Description

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China has experienced an unprecedented civil society uprising during the summer, 2019. Peaceful protests of one million, then two million citizens have been followed by confrontations with the police and disruptions to transport and to normal civic and commercial life. The initial protests were ignited by a proposed extradition law, now postponed, allowing for Hong Kong citizens and expatriates in Hong Kong to be given over to the Mainland, PRC judicial system. In the following weeks, the protests sought further reforms and demands, including Hong Kong government resignations, an investigation into the entire affair, including police abuse, and a return to a consideration of political reform in Hong Kong. This presentation will review these developments and the context of Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” framework within China, and examine the civil society uprising as a unique and evolving form of social movement practice. Special focus will be placed on the post-Occupy and current forms of civil society protest and their implications for Hong Kong’s relationship with the central Chinese authorities.

Mr. Mark L. Sheldon is a Lecturer in the International Asian Studies Program, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also Senior Fellow at the Hong Kong-America Center, a consortium of the eight institutions of higher education in Hong Kong which serves as the Fulbright Commission. Mr. Sheldon received his BA in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University and pursued his graduate education in Chinese Studies and International Relations at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and the East-West Center. For many years, he was the Director of the Yale-China Association Hong Kong Office, based at New Asia College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Previously in his career, he worked at the Church Center for the United Nations, as Director of Academic Links of CUHK, and founding director of the China Program of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. He has served on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan University and New Asia College, CUHK. His forty year teaching career includes courses on Chinese and Hong Kong politics, Chinese foreign policy, comparative education in Asia, and philanthropy in Chinese societies. He continues to teach at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in the Spring term each year whilst also serving as a Roving Ambassador for the Yale-China Association.

The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.

Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.

International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The Fall 2019 series will focus on understanding contemporary China.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


209 N. School Street
Normal, IL
Bowling and Billiards Center Activity Room
(309) 438-2555