The Milk Tea Alliance started in April 2020 to defend a famous Thai actor who was attacked online by Chinese social media users for his unwitting support for Hong Kong through his tweet. The fandom of the actor, who come from all over Southeast and East Asia, soon realized that there is another tie that binds them together – their pro-democracy stance and seemingly anti-China sentiment. From thereon, the hashtag #MilkTeaAlliance kept coming up whenever there are challenges to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, among others.
The Alliance has no identifiable leaders, which is in line with the objective of avoiding persecution of the authorities. It is loosely organized, primarily online, and composed of young, social media- savvy users who share tips on how to reduce online footprint and how to arrange and disperse street rallies rapidly.
The fluidity of Milk Tea Alliance is considered both as a strength and a weakness. Can the Alliance really make a contribution to bringing political change in Southeast and East Asia using its current strategies?
Speaker: Dr. Roger Huang, Lecturer at Macquarie University Moderated by: Marites Vituug