358 staff at universities in Hong Kong have now signed a petition in support of the student strike which is taking place this week. This may seem like a low number, given that the total number of academics and administrators would be somewhere in the many thousands, but given the white terror tactics and repercussions these staff will experience, it is a very healthy number. What is telling is that the number comprises only 61 administrators, while nearly 300 academics have signed thus far. I would hazard a guess that the large majority of those 300 or so academics are on ‘old terms’, i.e. continuous appointments. Of course, the post-colonial, Beijing-appointed government knew exactly what the long-term goals were, when the academic appointments system was so drastically changed in the early 2000s.
Sadly, I fear that all of this will come to nothing. So long as there is one-party rule in China, Beijing will never relinquish the right to appoint Hong Kong rulers. Even more sadly, the 358 signatories are in for a rough time.