Third-year IBCoM student Wouter witnessed the situation turn into a violent confrontation, as the police fired vast quantities of tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters who responded by throwing Molotov cocktails at the police. Despite the chaos, Wouter himself hasn’t been injured: “I still feel quite safe in my dorm on the campus, and the campus is actually very big, so the point where the confrontation was taking place is actually quite far away from me,” he told EM on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, after events had escalated on campus the previous night, the Chinese University of Hong Kong announced that the rest of the semester would be cancelled. “The situation is still a bit unclear right now but it is likely that there will at least be no more physical classes for the rest of the semester,” Wouter told EM over the phone. He is not sure what this will mean for the remainder of his exchange in Hong Kong which was supposed to last the whole semester. At the moment, all of the exits from the campus are barricaded but it is possible to get past them as a student. The public transport is in chaos and taxis don’t drive to the campus anymore, which means that it is more difficult to get to the city.
Due to the drastic increase in the unrest on campus, some of Wouter’s exchange friends were already packing their bags to leave. “It is quite a surreal situation, you know,” he ponders. “Just a couple of days ago everything was pretty normal and now suddenly I’m saying goodbye to my friends who are leaving.” Wouter himself has also been offered the option to leave CUHK by the International Office at Erasmus University, but he is still waiting for further information about the fate of his studies at his exchange university.