Hong Kong Protests - explained

Hong Kong is a former British colony in the south east of china. On July 1st of 1997, after 156 years of British colonial rule, the region was officially handed back over to the people’s republic of China. 


Contrary to mainland china, Hong Kong, through the British influence, had a free market economy, and hence developed into a successful and important center of commerce, trade and finance. 


To secure the democratic, market-based system and the economic success of Hong Kong, while at the same time enabling the affiliation to the socialist China, the region was pronounced a special administrative region. Today Hong Kong has its own laws, customs and a proprietary currency, and is rather independent of mainland china. This principle is also known as “One Country, Two Systems”.


But for some time now pictures of angry protesters in Hong Kong have been on the news. What happened? 


The Cause of the protests was the draft for a bill that was supposed to enable extradition of alleged criminals to the people’s republic of China.  Millions of people took to the streets to protest the bill.  The peaceful protests began to turn, when police started to crack down on the protesters and the Chinese central government in Beijing threatened the use of the military.  Ever since there has been an open conflict. 


The protesters fear that Hong Kong would be swallowed by the authoritarian Chinese judicial and political system, and that they would lose their independence and liberality - with all the relative consequences. 


And this fear is not without merit, because even if, with the handover of Hong Kong to China, the duration of the special administrative region was set to 50 years, China seems to have been trying for some time now to move up the re-integration.

  And there is no solution in sight currently, because it is considered highly unlikely, that either the democracy movement in Hong Kong or the Government in Beijing are going to back down anytime soon.