Protesters in Hong Kong

The conflict between protesters and the Hong Kong government has escalated over the week. Many protesting students have been imprisoned at a university. Photo: Studio Incendo (CC BY 2.0)

Current debate

Shaking scenes in Hong Kong worry debaters

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on since March, and this week the conflict between the protesters and the government has escalated. In Sweden, a number of debaters have expressed their concern about the increasingly uncontrolled situation. At the same time, the debate about the Swedish development agency Sida has continued on the opinion pages.

In Svenska Dagbladet, the lead writer Catarina Kärkkäinen highlights the escalating violence in Hong Kong. She mentions, among other things, the death of a demonstrating student as a result of a police operation. Kärkkäinen also questions the mild measures of the outside world, which above all deal with silent diplomacy.

"Trade has taken precedence over human rights, and tacit diplomacy over sanctions. But do we have a limit? ” she wonders.

Dagens Nyheter's editorial staff also draws attention to the violence in Hong Kong and believes that the escalated violence in the protests is primarily based on the police force's radical methods of creating order. At the same time, DN emphasizes that the outside world has limited opportunities to influence.

"The EU and the US are calling for restraint. The Western world's room for maneuver is limited ", writes DN's editorial board.

The development assistance authority Sida is still on the agenda when the effectiveness of development assistance is debated. The editorial staff of Expressen highlights an example from Afghanistan where they believe that the Taliban benefit financially from Swedish aid. Expressen believes that this is largely due to the fact that Sida has too much money to handle and that they therefore grant grants for risky projects. "It is high time to abolish the one percent target," writes Expressen's editorial staff.

In an article in Omvärlden, two representatives from the Act of the Church of Sweden instead say that Sida's targeted cash support has poor accuracy. When they are limited to targeting the very poorest, many are left out - unfortunately often also the poorest, the debaters write. At the same time, the authors emphasize the importance of Sida's support for social security systems in the fight against poverty, but that there should be broader and more general contributions.

"Social security, or welfare as it is often called in Sweden, is one of the necessary building blocks for reducing poverty and inequality," write representatives of the Church of Sweden Act.


A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles about Sweden's role in the world:

Hong Kong

“What do we do when it's quiet in Hong Kong?
Catarina Kärkkäinen, Svenska Dagbladet

"Peaceful solution in Hong Kong demands communist retreat"
Editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

Criticism of Swedish development assistance

"Taliban money shows that Sida must have better control"
The editorial staff, Expressen

"Sida's social support misses the most vulnerable"
Erik Lysén and Gunnel Axelsson Nycander, Omvärlden

International health

"The world's antibiotic problem is our problem"
Stefan Swartling Peterson, Svt Opinion

"Swedish model for midwives can reduce maternal mortality"
Ole Petter Ottersen et al., Göteborgs-Posten


"Entrepreneurs important in stopping climate change"
Mia Rolf, Southern Sweden

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