Challenging Beijing's Mandate of Heaven

Taiwan's Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement

Ming-sho Ho
Book Cover

PB: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1707-7
Publication: Jan 19

HC: $104.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1706-0
Publication: Jan 19

Ebook: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1708-4
Publication: Jan 19

288 pages
6 x 9
5 tables, 6 figs., 2 maps

Analyzing the dynamics of two recent nonviolent, student-led protests in light of China’s growth and power


In 2014, the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan grabbed international attention as citizen protesters demanded the Taiwan government withdraw its free-trade agreement with China. In that same year, in Hong Kong, the Umbrella Movement sustained 79 days of demonstrations, protests that demanded genuine universal suffrage in electing Hong Kong’s chief executive. It too, became an international incident before it collapsed. Both of these student-led movements featured large-scale and intense participation and had deep and far-reaching consequences. But how did two massive and disruptive protests take place in culturally conservative societies? And how did the two “occupy”-style protests against Chinese influences on local politics arrive at such strikingly divergent results?

Challenging Beijing’s Mandate of Heaven aims to make sense of the origins, processes, and outcomes of these eventful protests in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Ming-sho Ho compares the dynamics of the two movements, from the existing networks of activists that preceded protest, to the perceived threats that ignited the movements, to the government strategies with which they contended, and to the nature of their coordination. Moreover, he contextualizes these protests in a period of global prominence for student, occupy, and anti-globalization protests and situates them within social movement studies.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
A Note on Romanization
List of Abbreviations

1. A Tale of Two Societies
2. China’s Impacts
3. Movement Networks
4. Opportunities, Threat, and Standoff in Taiwan
5. Opportunities, Threat, and Standoff in Hong Kong
6. Improvisation
7. The Morning After

Appendix 1. In-depth Interviews
Appendix 2. Methodology of Protest Event Analysis

About the Author(s)

Ming-sho Ho is a Professor of Sociology at National Taiwan University. He is the author of Working Class Formation in Taiwan: Fractured Solidarity in State-Owned Enterprises, 1945–2012.