White supremacy, nationalism, and surveillance in Hong Kong’s recent political turmoil: A global perspective

Bo Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Different from what happened in Washington ,DC,in January 2021 (but with many similarities), the interesting interplay and unfolded dynamics between white supremacy, nationalism, and radical violence in Hong Kong’s latest political turmoil seeking democracy and independence, and the consequent stronger
state surveillance, deserve more careful examination and reflection than merely the quick roll-out of Hong Kong’s new security law. To a large extent, white supremacy can be taken as a significant underlying reason (or underpinning mentality), among others, motivating Hong Kong’s recent political struggle for
Western-style democracy (and more independence), which for a majority of Hongkongers is superior to China’s totalitarian, communist regime, especially when the two are unfortunately anchored in conflicting racial identities (i.e., Hongkongers vs. Chinese). In addition, the political struggle was also more or less stimulated by the global anti-China campaign and (racial) white supremacy movement that were initiated by Trump and his political followers
in the US. Apparently, there is a lack of academic reflection on the subject.
Thus, different from other papers in this special issue on “Domestic Terrorism, White Supremacy, and State Surveillance,”I discuss the dynamic interplays between white supremacy, (terrorist) violence, and nationalism in Hong Kong’s most recent political struggle since 2019, explaining how this
results in escalating state surveillance. I argue: (a) Hong Kong’s political move
ment for direct election and political independence partially originated in and
is powered by white supremacy and the global anti-China movement initiated by Trump and his political followers; (b) the political movement confronted strong
Chinese nationalism among older generations of Hongkongers and Chinese mainlanders and resulted in blunt racial conflicts and radical, bloody violence; and, thus, (c) this led to a political duel between Hong Kong’s pro-democracy forces (white supremacy believers, most younger generations born after 1997) and
the Chinese nationalists. I argue that the strict implementation of Hong Kong’s new security law, political electoral reforms, and strong surveillance measures by the Chinese government simply mark the beginning of the end of the white supremacy that has existed in Hong Kong for more than a century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-383
Number of pages5
Journalsurveillance and society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021


  • whie sumpremacy
  • Kong Kong
  • Chinese nationalism
  • anti-China moment
  • racial conflict
  • political duel
  • gloabla political surge


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