Hong Kong’s older protesters awed, humbled by zeal of youth

Hong Kong's older protesters awed, humbled by zeal of youth
Protestors shout slogans in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. Protesters and police clashed in Hong Kong for a second straight day on Sunday, throwing the city's business and shopping belt into chaos and sparking fears of more ugly scenes leading up to China's National Day this week. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

HONG KONG (AP) — The zeal and determination of young protesters in Hong Kong are prompting deep soul-searching among older residents of the Chinese territory wracked by unrest.

With fired-up young people in the city pulling out all the stops to spoil China’s celebrations this week to mark 70 years of Communist Party rule, older generations in the former British colony that reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 are asking: When we were their age, did we do enough to push for the full democracy that youngsters are now demanding?

Often, they answer with a sheepish “No.”

Support, even if just from the sidelines, that older citizens of Hong Kong are displaying for the tens of thousands of young demonstrators is making an already complex problem for Hong Kong’s leaders more intractable.