Media & Internet

Joshua Wong

Student Activist | China

For inspiring a political awakening in Hong Kong’s streets — and anti-Western paranoia in its government.

The first time this Hong Kong teenager faced down mainland China — in 2012, when Hong Kong authorities sought to implement “Patriotic Education” in the semi-autonomous city — he won. Beijing blinked, and the move was tabled. But this time around, the now 18-year-old Joshua Wong, and the thousands of students he has mobilized to protest Beijing’s plan to vet candidates in Hong Kong elections, have faced an unyielding China. The protests have not achieved their aim of truly democratic elections, but they have transfixed Western media, leading officials in both Hong Kong and China’s governments to decry Western "meddling" in the former colony’s affairs.