hong kong protest uprising lebanon
(Image: Flikr/Studio Incendo)

Despite the protests that have raged on Hong Kong's streets for the past nine months, it has become clear that little will change in the city in at least the medium term.

The protests themselves have only caused problems for Hongkongers in very small pockets of the sprawling metropolis of over 7 million people. When I visited two weeks ago, none of the several dozen locals that I spoke to felt they were in any danger, bar being in the wrong place when the wind changed if tear gas had been used nearby.

Australians have a relatively large presence in Hong Kong. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) estimates that that are about 100,000 Australians living in Hong Kong. Some are native born Australians, but the biggest cohort is made up of Chinese- or Hong Kong-Australians who have returned to their home city to work. There are also about 6000 businesses in Hong Kong run by Australians, again the majority of these by Hong Kong-Australians -- and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is one of the biggest and most active in Asia.