Skip to main content

View from Hong Kong: Five people who will shape 2014

By Kristie Lu Stout, CNN
updated 10:34 PM EST, Mon December 30, 2013
2014 marks the 25th anniverstary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. How will Hong Kong observe this major anniversary? And how will Beijing respond? 2014 marks the 25th anniverstary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. How will Hong Kong observe this major anniversary? And how will Beijing respond?
HIDE CAPTION
1: Tiananmen protester
2: NSA leaker
3: Xiaomi's Hugo Barra
4: Kim Jong Un
5: Typhoon survivor
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CNN's Kristie Lu Stout takes a look at 5 people who could shape 2014.
  • They include reclusive North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un and Chinese smartphone executive
  • NSA leaker Edward Snowden also makes the list, with potential big revelations in 2014.

Hong Kong (CNN) -- 'Tis the season to publish those year-end predictions.

Forecasting in any form -- from a sideshow psychic to the Magic 8 Ball -- is usually a foolish enterprise. So this is not a crystal ball gaze at the newsmakers that will make the headlines next year.

These are the individuals I will be watching from CNN's Hong Kong newsroom and in the field in 2014.

1. The June 4 protester

Top 10 biggest scandals of 2013
Top 10 crimes and trials of 2013

June 4, 2014 will be the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. In 2013, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents braved a rainstorm to hold a vigil in the city's Victoria Park to honor the victims and express anger at Beijing. Though such protests are banned in mainland China, the vigil is an annual event in Hong Kong, a self-administered region under Chinese sovereignty. Twenty-five years after the crackdown, how many more in Hong Kong will observe this major anniversary? And how will Beijing respond?

2. The NSA leaker

OK, this is a cheat. I'm not closely following Edward Snowden himself. Honestly, I don't care about where he's pushing a shopping cart in Moscow. What I do care about are the yet-to-be-released leaks that will further reveal the size and scope of surveillance efforts by the U.S. National Security Agency. Incredibly, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger says they have published just 1% of the files leaked by Snowden. In the year ahead, I'll be looking out for the revelations yielded by the rest of the damning data dump.

3. Xiaomi's new hire

Hugo Barra made headlines in August when he ditched Google for Xiaomi. The big hire was a big moment for the Chinese smartphone maker, raising expectations that the so-called "Apple of China" would greatly expand its market reach beyond its domestic market. Since then, Xiaomi has announced plans to launch next year in Southeast Asia. With Barra on board, can Xiaomi's inexpensive and highly customized Android smartphones find as much favor abroad as at home?

4. The Marshal

North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un, remains as perplexing as ever. Why did he execute his former trusted mentor and uncle Jang Song Thaek? Why did he release American veteran Merrill Newman? And why the soft spot for former NBA star Dennis Rodman? After a year of puzzling and provocative moves -- including missile and nuclear tests -- The Marshal has forced the world's attention on him, raising concerns of more brinksmanship to come.

5. The typhoon survivor

In the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan, a CNN crew encountered Juvelyn Taniega on the devastated streets of Tacloban -- the capital of the Philippine province of Leyte. She was crouched among the rubble of what was her home, where she last saw her husband and six children alive. In 2014, we must remember the victims of Haiyan because after the emergency relief, comes the long task of recovery and rebuilding. We must remember Juvelyn Taniega and the scores of survivors like her.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT