Frustration of surviving pricey Hong Kong stirs protest anger

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Frustration of surviving pricey Hong Kong stirs protest anger

Laundry clings to the windows of a dilapidated building on Kweilin Street in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 4. Sham Shui Po, with the high population rate of migrants from mainland China, has long been left behind in Hong Kong's land development. Economic, cultural polarization due to a cultural gap and communication barrier between Hong-Kong residents and the migrants has been dividing the citizens there. One of the poorest districts, Sham Shui Po mirrors the city's social gap between rich and poor that is one of the world's worst. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A man carries a box on Shek Kip Mei Street in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 4. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
Native Hong Kong resident William Lun, 22, majoring in economy, an aspiring lawyer, who lives with his father and brother, poses for a picture in his 6.5 square meter bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. 'I think it's everybody's dream to get a house. It is a Chinese mentality that you have to have a house. It marks a stage in your life when you finally get settled. I want to buy a house in Hong Kong but it's mission impossible,' Lun said. 'Hong Kong should have its own identity along with Chinese identity. Hong Kong is very special; I was born in Hong Kong. I love this place. I cried in the past two weeks many times. Simply seeing what's been happening, my friends getting shot, teargassed,' he added. 'It's sad to see the government being indifferent. They seem to be not listening to the youngsters, they seem to be not caring enough. Two million came out and they are saying, 'Oh, we hear you. But we are still going to press on'.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Eunice Wai, 30, a primary school teacher, who lives with her parents and a brother, poses for a picture in her 7.4 sq metre bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 25, 2019. Wai explained how Hong Kong people felt stifled by Beijing: 'They control people more and give us less freedom.' But she said other problems made life increasingly difficult, in particular what she said was an unfair housing policy that only seemed to make the rich richer. 'Housing is one of the most important ones. We have so little room in Hong Kong and people find it hard to buy a flat. The property companies control the market.' Reuters
Laundry hangs out to dry in a residential apartment complex in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Roy Lam, 23, who works in HR, and lives with his mother and four sisters, poses for a picture in his 7 sq metre bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 30, 2019. 'We rather lose standing up than lose sitting down,' Lam said. He added young people were determined to stand up for what they deserved but it was hard to stay positive. 'We do also sometimes think 'let's just give up, let's just move to some place else'.' Reuters
A general view shows pipes on the outside wall of a residential apartment block in Hong Kong, China, June 29, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Zaleena Ho, 22, film studies graduate, who lives with her parents, poses for a picture in her 7 sq meter bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 29, 2019. 'It's getting worse politically. Most of us are trying our best to maintain what we've earned. I have a US passport. I can just leave but I have hope that we can change something. If things turn really bad, I'll run away. But we are still here fighting,' Ho said. Reuters
Laundry hangs out to dry in a residential apartment complex in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Sonic Lee, 29, a musician and composer, who lives with his mother, poses for a picture in his 6 sq meter bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China June 28, 2019. 'For me, the Umbrella Revolution is like telling a story, it's Marvel [comic]. It's not going to happen in Hong Kong. There are no superheroes. Nothing will happen in one big movement. I don't believe it anymore. If anything will change in Hong Kong it will be many small people doing many small things and you add them together,' Lee said. 'Yes, I'm afraid about books that I cannot read or works we cannot write or songs we cannot sing. At the same time, it makes art and music more powerful. Especially Rock'n Roll music. If I use music to talk about what is happening and what we need to fight for, then music will become important in this city.' Reuters
Bin liners are stuck in the letterboxes of apartments of a residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Ruby Leung, 22, a law student, who lives with her mother and domestic helper, poses for a picture in her 7 sq meter bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 29, 2019. They promised to have a one country, two systems for 50 years, so people panic about what will happen in 50 years. Will they continue this, or will they just assimilate us into part of China, like a district in Shenzhen? That's very scary,' Leung said. 'There was a hope that we could get universal suffrage. But then the situation got worse. Not only do we not have universal suffrage, but the Chinese government is even more influential in politics.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 26, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident John Wai, 26, an engineer, who lives with his parents and a sister, poses for a picture in his 7 sq meter bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 25, 2019. 'What makes me angry is that the government allows mainland people to buy those very limited resources of land. The property agencies drive the prices so high that we cannot afford them,' Wai said. Two years into his career after graduating from a top Hong Kong university, he feels he doesn't get what he deserves. He puts money aside, pays back his parents and pays his student loan. This doesn't leave him with enough money to get his own apartment. 'I'm really considering emigrating. To Singapore or Thailand. The reason is that I'm disappointed about the future of Hong Kong. I can see the Chinese government further suspending our rights.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Fung Cheng, 25, a graphic designer, who lives in a flat with his parents and brother, poses for a picture in his five square metre bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China June 27, 2019. Cheng vented his frustration at a system that he believes has robbed him of the chance to ever have his own home. He said Hong Kong's Beijing-backed governor Carrie Lam, who was chosen as leader in 2017 in a vote by an electoral college approved by Beijing, just didn't listen to the people. 'It's the system's problem ... they don't need a vote to be the government, there is no democracy,' he said. Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Michael Ho, 24, a graduate of Government and International Studies at HKBU, who lives with his parents, posing for a picture in his bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 26, 2019 and residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Ho inherited his sister's room, took down the wall separating them and now has a double room measuring 11 sq meters. He said the protests were about unjust circumstances that prevent them from living their dreams. 'It's just hopeless for young people to grow, to develop their career because of the pricing problem.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Ruka Tong, 21, a student, poses for a picture in her bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China June 28, 2019. Tong shares her 11 sq meter room with two of her sisters. Their Parents live in the same apartment. Until last year, the family of five lived in a 28 sq meter room. 'You see me always at work to earn more money to buy a flat. I work seven days a week in five jobs. One office job and four jobs giving tutorial classes. Just 2-3 hours resting time. I need to earn more money to save for academia and for my family,' Tong said. 'There are so many pressures in Hong Kong, price pressure, academic pressure.. I don't want the future generation to face this problem.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
A general view of apartment blocks in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A general view of apartment blocks in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A basketball court on Wan Chai Road in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, July 4. Wan Chai, having the highest average earnings among the city's 18 districts, is concentrated with commercial, residential and governmental entities. Investors from mainland China have overheated the property market here, widening the gap between rich and poor by the most in recent years. The city's Gini index from last year had already surpassed 0.5 ― the limit after which social unrest such as a riot can happen. Between 0 and 1, the city had recorded 0.539 last year. The divided society has pushed people, especially the young generations, to considering emigration. According to a survey by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong released in March 2018, 51 percent of Hong-Kong residents aged 18-30 had considered emigration. The city government's extradition bill proposition has pushed those wary citizens to the edge, making them fear their liberty is at stake. Korea Times photo Choi Won-suk
A general view of apartment blocks in Yau Ma Tei , Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A general view of apartment blocks in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
Laundry clings to the windows of a dilapidated building on Kweilin Street in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 4. Sham Shui Po, with the high population rate of migrants from mainland China, has long been left behind in Hong Kong's land development. Economic, cultural polarization due to a cultural gap and communication barrier between Hong-Kong residents and the migrants has been dividing the citizens there. One of the poorest districts, Sham Shui Po mirrors the city's social gap between rich and poor that is one of the world's worst. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A man carries a box on Shek Kip Mei Street in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 4. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
Native Hong Kong resident William Lun, 22, majoring in economy, an aspiring lawyer, who lives with his father and brother, poses for a picture in his 6.5 square meter bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. 'I think it's everybody's dream to get a house. It is a Chinese mentality that you have to have a house. It marks a stage in your life when you finally get settled. I want to buy a house in Hong Kong but it's mission impossible,' Lun said. 'Hong Kong should have its own identity along with Chinese identity. Hong Kong is very special; I was born in Hong Kong. I love this place. I cried in the past two weeks many times. Simply seeing what's been happening, my friends getting shot, teargassed,' he added. 'It's sad to see the government being indifferent. They seem to be not listening to the youngsters, they seem to be not caring enough. Two million came out and they are saying, 'Oh, we hear you. But we are still going to press on'.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Eunice Wai, 30, a primary school teacher, who lives with her parents and a brother, poses for a picture in her 7.4 sq metre bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 25, 2019. Wai explained how Hong Kong people felt stifled by Beijing: 'They control people more and give us less freedom.' But she said other problems made life increasingly difficult, in particular what she said was an unfair housing policy that only seemed to make the rich richer. 'Housing is one of the most important ones. We have so little room in Hong Kong and people find it hard to buy a flat. The property companies control the market.' Reuters
Laundry hangs out to dry in a residential apartment complex in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Roy Lam, 23, who works in HR, and lives with his mother and four sisters, poses for a picture in his 7 sq metre bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 30, 2019. 'We rather lose standing up than lose sitting down,' Lam said. He added young people were determined to stand up for what they deserved but it was hard to stay positive. 'We do also sometimes think 'let's just give up, let's just move to some place else'.' Reuters
A general view shows pipes on the outside wall of a residential apartment block in Hong Kong, China, June 29, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Zaleena Ho, 22, film studies graduate, who lives with her parents, poses for a picture in her 7 sq meter bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 29, 2019. 'It's getting worse politically. Most of us are trying our best to maintain what we've earned. I have a US passport. I can just leave but I have hope that we can change something. If things turn really bad, I'll run away. But we are still here fighting,' Ho said. Reuters
Laundry hangs out to dry in a residential apartment complex in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Sonic Lee, 29, a musician and composer, who lives with his mother, poses for a picture in his 6 sq meter bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China June 28, 2019. 'For me, the Umbrella Revolution is like telling a story, it's Marvel [comic]. It's not going to happen in Hong Kong. There are no superheroes. Nothing will happen in one big movement. I don't believe it anymore. If anything will change in Hong Kong it will be many small people doing many small things and you add them together,' Lee said. 'Yes, I'm afraid about books that I cannot read or works we cannot write or songs we cannot sing. At the same time, it makes art and music more powerful. Especially Rock'n Roll music. If I use music to talk about what is happening and what we need to fight for, then music will become important in this city.' Reuters
Bin liners are stuck in the letterboxes of apartments of a residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Ruby Leung, 22, a law student, who lives with her mother and domestic helper, poses for a picture in her 7 sq meter bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 29, 2019. They promised to have a one country, two systems for 50 years, so people panic about what will happen in 50 years. Will they continue this, or will they just assimilate us into part of China, like a district in Shenzhen? That's very scary,' Leung said. 'There was a hope that we could get universal suffrage. But then the situation got worse. Not only do we not have universal suffrage, but the Chinese government is even more influential in politics.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 26, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident John Wai, 26, an engineer, who lives with his parents and a sister, poses for a picture in his 7 sq meter bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 25, 2019. 'What makes me angry is that the government allows mainland people to buy those very limited resources of land. The property agencies drive the prices so high that we cannot afford them,' Wai said. Two years into his career after graduating from a top Hong Kong university, he feels he doesn't get what he deserves. He puts money aside, pays back his parents and pays his student loan. This doesn't leave him with enough money to get his own apartment. 'I'm really considering emigrating. To Singapore or Thailand. The reason is that I'm disappointed about the future of Hong Kong. I can see the Chinese government further suspending our rights.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Fung Cheng, 25, a graphic designer, who lives in a flat with his parents and brother, poses for a picture in his five square metre bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China June 27, 2019. Cheng vented his frustration at a system that he believes has robbed him of the chance to ever have his own home. He said Hong Kong's Beijing-backed governor Carrie Lam, who was chosen as leader in 2017 in a vote by an electoral college approved by Beijing, just didn't listen to the people. 'It's the system's problem ... they don't need a vote to be the government, there is no democracy,' he said. Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Michael Ho, 24, a graduate of Government and International Studies at HKBU, who lives with his parents, posing for a picture in his bedroom of his family's apartment in Hong Kong, China, June 26, 2019 and residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Ho inherited his sister's room, took down the wall separating them and now has a double room measuring 11 sq meters. He said the protests were about unjust circumstances that prevent them from living their dreams. 'It's just hopeless for young people to grow, to develop their career because of the pricing problem.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 27, 2019. Reuters
Native Hong Kong resident Ruka Tong, 21, a student, poses for a picture in her bedroom of her family's apartment in Hong Kong, China June 28, 2019. Tong shares her 11 sq meter room with two of her sisters. Their Parents live in the same apartment. Until last year, the family of five lived in a 28 sq meter room. 'You see me always at work to earn more money to buy a flat. I work seven days a week in five jobs. One office job and four jobs giving tutorial classes. Just 2-3 hours resting time. I need to earn more money to save for academia and for my family,' Tong said. 'There are so many pressures in Hong Kong, price pressure, academic pressure.. I don't want the future generation to face this problem.' Reuters
A general view shows residential apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, June 28, 2019. Reuters
A general view of apartment blocks in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A general view of apartment blocks in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A basketball court on Wan Chai Road in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, July 4. Wan Chai, having the highest average earnings among the city's 18 districts, is concentrated with commercial, residential and governmental entities. Investors from mainland China have overheated the property market here, widening the gap between rich and poor by the most in recent years. The city's Gini index from last year had already surpassed 0.5 ― the limit after which social unrest such as a riot can happen. Between 0 and 1, the city had recorded 0.539 last year. The divided society has pushed people, especially the young generations, to considering emigration. According to a survey by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong released in March 2018, 51 percent of Hong-Kong residents aged 18-30 had considered emigration. The city government's extradition bill proposition has pushed those wary citizens to the edge, making them fear their liberty is at stake. Korea Times photo Choi Won-suk
A general view of apartment blocks in Yau Ma Tei , Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
A general view of apartment blocks in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, July 5. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
Choi Won-suk wschoi@koreatimes.co.kr


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