he Chinese Univerity of Hong Kong has announced the immediate termination of its academic semester after its campus was turned into a battleground on Tuesday.
Located out in the hills of the New Territories, the CUHK campus is isolated by Hong Kong standards and self-contained. Following an insane Monday in Hong Kong, student protesters began barricading ways into the campus early on Tuesday morning.
This led to a tense standoff throughout the day which was broken in the afternoon as police fired tear gas onto the campus. As night fell, a dramatic conflict played out on a footbridge over a highway with protesters pushing forward under a hail of tear gas and rubber bullets rounds while throwing petrol bombs at police.
War zone battle in Chinese University of Hong Kong now. pic.twitter.com/29oT7wutzt
— EYEPRESS NEWS AGENCY (@eyepressnews) November 12, 2019
The conflict continued into the early morning hours of Wednesday with the university’s vice-chancellor failing to broker a ceasefire and getting teargassed for his efforts. Protesters insisted that police back off while police maintained that they were trying to gain control of the bridge so that protesters could not shower the highway below with debris.
In what feels like the calm before the storm, hundreds of student protesters remain on campus and have been using an eerily quiet Wednesday to ready themselves for another fight with police. The CUHK campus has been compared to a “fortress besieged.” Students have even been seen practicing their Molotov cocktail aim out on the sports field.
Hong Kong protesters are attempting to turn around their reputation for poor aiming by practising throwing Molotov cocktails on CUHK's Sir Philip Haddon-Cave Sports Field (thank you to @raulgaab for pointing it out). pic.twitter.com/tyst3pGdbc
— Jennifer Creery 紀寳瑩 (@creery_j) November 13, 2019
Amid this preparation, CUHK announced that the current semester had been terminated over safety concerns. It had been scheduled to end on November 30 with exams following in December.
The university said that its next term will commence on January 6, 2020.
Several other Hong Kong universities have now followed suit with Hong Kong Baptist University suspending classes for the next two weeks and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology also calling off the current semester and possibly switching over to online classes.
Either way, it appears that Hong Kong’s university students will now have a lot of free time on their hands.