The Long March

Using a specific issue as pretext for a general protest is a classic Chinese political tactic. The Cultural Revolution got its ominous kick start in a bad review of a play about a reformist Ming-dynasty official. The 1989 protests that culminated with the Tiananmen massacre began with what was ostensibly a memorial gathering for disgraced Chinese Communist Party General-Secretary Hu Yaobang. And in Hong Kong it is now irrefutably clear that last week's half-a-million-man march against proposed antisubversion laws, as well as this week's planned rally at the city's Legislative Council (Legco) offices, have transcended that catalyzing issue and even the...

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