Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric
A Peer Reviewed Journal of Current Event Analysis

Current Issue: Volume 5, Issue 3/4

Updated November 11, 2015


Edward Snowden in Hong Kong: Transnationalism and the Local Deployment of Human Rights Tropes
Shui-yin Sharon Yam & Ling Yang

In 2013, Edward Snowden briefly sought refuge in Hong Kong after leaking classified information from the NSA. Linking Snowden’s act with their own local demands for democracy and civic rights, Hongkongers took to the street in support of Snowden and to condemn oppressive state governments—including mainland China. Snowden’s pres-ence, in other words, allowed Hongkongers to not only represent themselves as defenders of transnational of human rights, but also afforded them the legitimacy to argue against China’s oppressive policies that damage local politi-cal interests. This article analyzes protest signs and slogans from Hong Kong, and juxtaposes those artifacts with responses from the Chinese state government. Keywords: China, Citizenship, Edward Snowden, Hong Kong, Human Rights, Protest.