Defeat for Hong Kong protesters? One year on, pulse and purpose changes

Opposition holds on to ambitious target of ‘35-plus’ seats, but braces itself for new obstacles.

Protesters and police continue to clash over a bill that was withdrawn.

In this second instalment, we look at the new police chief’s strategy and its impact on the unrest amid growing international interest and comparisons to actions of US officers now under the spotlight.

As the bleak year of 2020 plays out under the spectre of a pandemic, it remains to be seen where the movement will head with a new normal.

John Lee accuses foreign forces of fanning the flames of protest and suggests anti-government movement is running out of funding sources.

New group will have intelligence gathering, investigation and training capabilities, city security chief John Lee says in exclusive interview.

Few had read between the lines when Beijing signalled last October it had run out of patience over the national security law.

Rupert Dover, who was making tactical calls for officers around Lung Wui Road that day, stands by his decision to use canisters of the irritant. Police needed to get to a government minister trapped in car beneath an underpass and the option was the safest given the circumstances, he says.

Constable was sent to protect district’s town hall on National Day when he was hit with corrosive liquid that dissolved skin and muscle. He spent nearly two months in hospital and will feel physical pain for the rest of his life, but says he harbours no anger towards his attacker.

Hong Kong police made 8,981 arrests between June 9, 2019, and May 29, 2020, in connection with the protests.

Jack Chan left Hong Kong when police started looking for him over his involvement in a serious offence during the protests.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Post, Rupert Dover explains his thoughts and feelings during many of the most pivotal moments of the demonstrations.

Cannix Yau, Kanis Leung, Denise Tsang

Pessimists say Hong Kong’s best days are over, but others predict city will bounce back.

Hongkongers are now accustomed to seeing fights between police and protesters; mess and mayhem and clouds of tear gas. Psychology professor says ‘people are habituated to violence’, while activist says ‘city needs more people with kind hearts and critical minds’.

Staff’s involvement in anti-government protests saw the airline paying ‘a painful price’, and showed how much it relied on the mainland market.

For years, the city’s labour movement has been dominated by pro-Beijing voices deeply supportive of the government. But the social unrest lay the groundwork for employees in dozens of industries to organise, some for the first time.

The Chinese leadership once relied on a handful of families to help keep the city stable, but as residents’ anger swelled they blamed them for hoarding land. Although their influence has waned slightly, the moguls remain a pillar of power in Hong Kong.

SCMP's reporting team looks back at Hong Kong’s most wrenching political crisis since its return to Chinese rule in 1997. Anti-extradition bill protests that morphed rapidly into a wider anti-government movement in 2019 left no aspect of the city untouched