Watch | Hong Kong protests explained

The protests that have been on in Hong Kong in full swing since in mid-June were sparked by widespread opposition to a now-shelved extradition bill which would have allowed extradition to mainland China.

These protests have brought into focus the "one country, two systems" deal under which Hong Kong is governed. When Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997 by Britain, both sides agreed that the city would remain a semi autonomous region under the Basic Law, its mini-Constitution, for 50 years. The Basic Law provides people in Hong Kong more political freedoms than their counterparts in mainland China.

There is a relatively free press, an unregulated Internet and a less-controlled judiciary in Hong Kong. But Beijing has increasingly tried to exert its influence on the city in recent years, raising concerns of the city’s pro-democracy groups.

They say the extradition bill would empower the city government to send critics of Beijing to the mainland where the criminal justice system is tightly controlled by the establishment.

The extradition-bill was first proposed by the government of Hong Kong on February 2019.

On June 9, about one million people marched to the government headquarters in protest.

On June 15, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam issued a reversal of the bill, indefinitely delaying it.

However, the protests have continued, with activists facing off with the police on the streets.

Printable version | May 8, 2021 3:00:02 PM |

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