Minor travel disruptions are expected in Hong Kong due to recent protests. A proposed bill that was to allow suspected criminals to be extradited to mainland China was met with opposition in June 2019. The extradition bill has since been tabled but demonstrations continue and have escalated to destroying barricades and plastering graffiti on the walls of the Legislative Council Building. The purpose of these protests has grown to include treatment of protestors by police, how officials are elected, and more.
Lee Ridley, Sr. Intelligence Manager for WorldAware, spoke with The Washington Post regarding travel in Hong Kong. He said the sentiment in the city, held largely by young people, is that the government is "eroding freedoms." Though demonstrations are likely to continue in the near future, risks to business operations and travel are low. Lee provided The Washington Post with a few tips that travelers can take if in Hong Kong.
- Read local news in the morning
- Use notifications provided by an employer or travel agency
- Avoid likely protest venues
- If unable to avoid a protest path, go inside and avoid government buildings
Ridley said commonly visited tourist sites have not been at the center of any protests, but some have occurred near areas travelers may go. For example, the Golden Bauhinia Square attraction was closed during a protest march through roads in the Wan Chai district. Ridley stated, “Protests that have turned violent have primarily taken place at the Legislative Council, Central Government Complex and nearby roads in the Admiralty neighborhood. These sites are near several international hotel brands and popular shopping centers on Hong Kong Island.”
In summary, travelers should avoid demonstrations and be aware of their surroundings. While unlikely these protests will affect travel plans, it is important to keep an eye out for alerts and travel advisories. Read the full article.
About Lee Ridley
Prior to joining WorldAware, Lee worked as a Program Manager and Research Assistant in the Asia Division of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He coordinated and managed a range of projects on U.S. relations in East Asia including alliance management with Japan and South Korea, U.S.-China coordination on DPRK (North Korea) contingency planning, and China-Taiwan cross-Strait dialogue. Lee has also served as a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow within the Aspen Strategy Group of the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. Read his full bio for more information.