Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained


The people of Hong Kong are out in the streets. Hundreds of thousands are demonstrating against
a deeply unpopular bill. But this is about a whole lot more than a bill. It’s about the status of Hong Kong
and the power China has over it. It’s a fight to preserve the freedoms people
have here. And it all started with a murder. On February 8, 2018, a young couple, Chan
Tong Kai and Poon Hiu-Wing, went from their home in Hong Kong to Taiwan for a vacation. They stayed at the Purple Garden Hotel in
Taipei for nine days. But on February 17th only one of them returned
to Hong Kong. There, one month later, Chan confessed to
murdering his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. But there was a problem. Hong Kong authorities couldn’t charge him
for murder, because he did it in Taiwan. And they couldn’t send him back to Taiwan
to be charged, because Hong Kong and Taiwan don’t have
an extradition agreement. So in 2019, Hong Kong’s government proposed
one: it would let them transfer suspects to Taiwan so they could be tried for their crimes. But the same bill would also allow extradition
to mainland China. Where there’s no fair trial, there’s no humane punishment, and there’s completely no separation
of powers. And that’s what sparked these protests. China and Hong Kong are two very different
places with a very complex political relationship. And the extradition bill threatens to give
China more power over Hong Kong. See, Hong Kong is technically a part of China. But it operates as a semi-autonomous region. It all began in the late 1800s, when China
lost a series of wars to Britain and ended up ceding Hong Kong for a period of 99 years. Hong Kong remained a British colony until
1997, when Britain gave it back to China, under a special agreement. It was called “One Country, Two Systems.” It made Hong Kong a part of China, but it
also said that Hong Kong would retain “a high degree of autonomy,” as well as democratic
freedoms like the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, of assembly. And that made Hong Kong very different from
mainland China, which is authoritarian: Citizens there don’t have the same freedoms. Its legal system is often used to arrest,
punish, and silence people who speak out against the state. But according to the agreement, One Country,
Two Systems wouldn’t last forever. In 2047, Hong Kong is expected to fully become
a part of China. The problem is, China isn’t waiting
for the deal to expire. Under the rule of Chinese leader Xi Jinping,
pro-democracy leaders have already been arrested in Hong Kong. And mysterious abductions of booksellers have
created a threat to free speech. But Hong Kong has been pushing back. In 2003, half a million Hongkongers successfully
fought legislation that would have punished speaking out against China. And in 2014, tens of thousands of protesters occupied the city for weeks to protest China’s influence over Hong Kong’s elections. Now, Hong Kongers are fighting the extradition
bill, because the bill is widely seen as the next
step in China’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy. The sheer size of these protests shows you
just how much opposition there is to this bill. But if Hong Kong’s legislature votes on
the bill, it’ll probably pass. And that’s because of the unique nature
of Hong Kong’s democracy. For starters, Hong Kong’s people don’t
vote for their leader. The Chief Executive is selected by
a small committee and approved by China. And even though they’re the head of the
government, they don’t make the laws. That happens here. Like many democracies, Hong Kong has a legislature,
with democratically elected representatives. It’s called the Legislative Council, or
LegCo, and it has 70 seats. Within this system, Hong Kong has many political
parties, but they are mostly either pro-democracy or pro-China. In every election, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy
and anti-establishment parties have won the popular vote. But they occupy less than half of the seats
in the LegCo. This is because when Hong Kongers vote, they’re
only voting for these 40 of the 70 seats. The other 30 are chosen by the various business communities of Hong Kong. For example, one seat belongs to the finance
industry. One seat belongs to the medical industry. One belongs to the insurance industry. And so on. Many of these 30 seats are voted on by
corporations. And because big business has an incentive
to be friendly with China, those seats are dominated by pro-China political parties. When Hong Kong was handed over to China in
1997, Hong Kong and China made an agreement that eventually, all members of the council
would be elected by the people. But that never happened. And ever since the handoff, pro-China parties
have controlled the LegCo, despite having never won more than 50 percent of the popular
vote. The way it’s structured, they want to make
sure that the executive branch can have easy control over it. And that would serve Beijing very well indeed. Within this unique structure, the extradition
bill has created new tensions and fueled anger among pro-democracy politicians. And it’s driven hundreds of thousands of
Hong Kongers into the streets. While this isn’t Hong Kong’s first protest
against China’s influence, it is the biggest. And many say this time is different, because of the people involved. Professionals like lawyers and politicians are participating. Our legal sector staged their biggest ever protest parade. But it’s young people who are at the forefront,
since they have the most to lose. They are the first generation born under One
Country Two Systems. And in 28 years when that arrangement ends,
they’ll be Hong Kong’s professional class. I won’t be around anymore. It’s their future. It’s their Hong Kong. They have every
right to fight it. The protests have convinced Hong Kong’s
government to suspend the bill. But that’s not enough. Many want the bill withdrawn completely. That’s because these protests are also part
of a larger fight. To push back against China’s encroachment
now, not just when time’s up. 2047 is on its way. But it’s not here yet. And until then, Hongkongers still have a voice. History will tell whether we succeed, but even if we failed, history would say they did put up a fight and they didn’t just take things lying down. And that’s what we’re trying to do too.

Comments

  1. Post
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    Vox

    UPDATE 8/22/19: Last weekend saw the largest peaceful march in Hong Kong since the start of the protests. Organizers say roughly 1.7 million people marched on the streets of Hong Kong.

    Vox's daily podcast, Today, Explained, breaks down the situation and its most recent developments:

    👉 Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3pXx5SXzXwJxnf4A5pWN2A

    👉 Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://applepodcasts.com/todayexplained

    👉 Listen on Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/today-explained/e/63398553

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    Jeyaram Sathees

    China have to let go ,,, appreciate the Hong Kong people,,, also in Srilanka they dont let Tamil people live in peace,, always some problems because they have the government, our taxes used against us by military, no data is visible of the uses of tax for the Tamil people, and if there is a violence caused by them the police won’t take actions because they are all Sinhalese no Tamils…slowly but steadily they are
    taking our land as government lands and making Sinhala settlements,,,,,

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    Hades Hades

    Yes Hong Kong!!!!! You are winners!!!!! Actually you need independence from China because your culture is completely different

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    Brazilian American Patriotic Soldier

    White people infiltrated and built systems for people around the World…Now they have those freedoms they'd rather not give them up…it's actually Bad for everyone…China could take over the world with that population…🙏

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    chrissio McKenzo

    You go guys my Chinese brothers & sisters you're all so brave wish I was there with you lord bless you from🇬🇧🇬🇧we love what you're doing making a stand for you're rights & you're just beliefs keep going it l👀ks amazing on TV strong ppl dont mess with Chinese ppl🇬🇧🇨🇳🇬🇧🇨🇳🇬🇧🇨🇳🇬🇧🇨🇳🇬🇧

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    Jimmy Joe

    Dear Hong Kong. Use your 2nd amendment rights to fight for your freedom. Oh yeah….. you dont have one. Sorry guys. Best wishes for ya Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

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    Ichbindich Das

    if hong kong losses, goodbye to china from rest of the world.. get ready for sanctions and everything possible…. if hong kong wins respect for China and its people…

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    littlestone333

    I respect their effort and courage.. but what are they gonna do when 2047 come? the only hope to me is only if China itself becomes more democratic and free, but i doubt it will ….hope the new generation will…but they r so brain washed……

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    Bass Red

    Hong Kong still lose.. In 20 years they still have to agree to something created by men they dont even know. Like a random person saying in 20 minutes cut off your foot..

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    OBServe Garage

    In 2047, this is all a moot point. I fail to see the reason for the protest. These people aren’t gonna stop something that will occur eventually in just 28 years. Someone help me understand this.

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    paul reufrir

    Hope these young people will feel the shame once they reach their middle ages, the demonstrations really has no point but to destabilize a good working government.

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    海洋资产评估

    those protesters are conducting crimes under the umbrella of democracy!!!那些暴民抗议者在民主的保护伞下犯罪!!!!

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    axelfoley20

    Sounds to me like the boyfriend killing his girlfriend is a bunch of bs that China is making up to get this bill passed.

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    Agressive_ Fluff

    What the fuxk is Europe doing having a tea party? Their ancestors wrote the fuxkin rights for Hong Kong they still have a big say so in this.
    (As far as i understand)

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    beautiful4everr 55

    So China can apply rules only when it's convenient and beneficial to them but Hong Kong's rights have been violated for much too long.

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    Joselito Fandino

    They dont trust the chinese government. But that Does not matter, china owns hongkong, not them. The british readily gave them up, wonder why?

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    坦克

    中国不是你们这些魑魅魍魉可以搞乱的,真理不是你们这些蛮邦夷族可以歪曲的,认识中国字不,敢留着评论吗?你们了解中国吗?夏虫不可以语于冰

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    rockhard

    china will stomp them down eventually
    and then fully integrate them into the hive
    AND THEN HONG KONG WILL EAT CHINA FROM THE INSIDE OUT
    AND COMPLETELY TAKE OVER
    AND CHINA WILL FINALLY GET WITH THE GROWN UP WORLD

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    wonderfulwowhaa lalak

    those young men in hk, do not study neither go out for work, just spend their parent's money, and revenge the kids of the police, and someone called it , justify? exc m?

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    Stan Chow

    Remember Hongkong is part of China.And China support HK to pass the economic crisis. Support the resources. This video just interview the guy who agree to protest.But you overlook the protest is attack police,break the infrastructure, break the public system. It is true?Beautiful Scene? I am Chinese. I'm proud of my country. It's Chinese business,don't touch the line.

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    Multi-fandom Kpop Trash

    Even though I don’t want China to take control, I don’t support the violent protesters or the unreasonable police that isn’t actually protecting the people of Hong Kong.

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    K Yeung

    Before the protests, less than 20 percent of the Hong Kong people acknowledged they are chinese eventhough there is 50k poor mainlanders immigrating to Hong Kong every year. 90 percent of these new comets are on welfare. After the protest started, less than 1 percent under 30 years old acknowledge as Chinese but only Hong Kongers. The people in Hong Kong now absolutely hate the mainlanders with actions and slogans. The mainlanders push and scream, squat everywhere in downtown and are constant reminders how a poor country can never develop any decency until its citizens are affluent enough to have any etiquette.

  46. Post
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    Quinn Lee

    What a well-put together summary of the situation and its causes! A heartfelt thanks from me for such an informative watch

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    Joseph Pina

    People of hong Kong stood up for there rights 🧡💜💙🖤 God bless. China and Russia will be pushed back 😈🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

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    Gacha_alex_wolf

    They always say 光復香港 時代革命 And it‘s really annoying I’m still young Plus I am still primary school

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    Z. Rathore

    Firstday on August 6, after India broke the Contract That bonded

    Kashmir with India, there were 3 deaths in Buch Pora Area of
    Srinagar and more than 3 dozens were injured. People of Jammu and
    Kashmir are demandin Freedom from Indian Occupation. IT is a clear
    Occupation now. Why Occupation, Because India broke/terminated the
    Contract "namely Article 370" that was made by Kashmir Government.
    IT was terminated unilaterally by the Indian Government. Now we

    are Officially Free from Indian accession and are clearly under

    Forced Occupation n. Indian forces are abusing People day and

    night are Disable by pellet guns. People of Kashmir are requesting

    Chian to interfere and Protect the Borders of Jammu and KAshmir

    form India and Pakistan. We people of Kashmir will make some

    Contract with China for some decades they will take care of our

    defense and economy, China will do the development and they will

    be paid accordingly. Indian Government is a terrorist Government.

    Even Congress party is today terrorized, They even could not

    protest or challenge the Fraud in Elections. Shame on India.

    People of Jammu and Kashmir are demanding UN to interface and

    force the resolution if they capable of doing so.

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    Andrew H

    I don't understand why they bother protesting if by the end (2047), they're gonna be part of China anyway? If they don't like how things are, they should move away. As simple as that. The inevitable is coming.

  61. Post
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    Elaine Jensen

    I live in Utah, and I’m seeing a lot of parallels between our legislature and theirs; church and state aren’t separate here and the legislature’s seats belong mostly to members of the LDS church; whenever a new bill or proposition comes about, the LDS church has to have a say on every little thing. And what they say, their followers will agree and vote for. Even if it goes against the people’s vote. We voted on medical cannabis a year or so back and the legislature overrode the people’s vote to make the proposition become law, so it was law for about the days before the legislature came in and changed it.

  62. Post
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    Sayan Ghosh

    China is a huge super power. No one can stop China. It will with its super might capture all possible land it can. No USA or EU will interfere as they fear China. China will follow no rule. Whatever China does that's the rule. No country has the power to stop China.

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    Tony .DT.Liu

    The examples of Hong Kong and Taiwan have allowed the mainland people to see the superiority of the existing socialist system.

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    JVS 3

    Someone (US?) supplies these rioters with hard hats, gas masks, gloves, goggles, hardware and other riot gear.
    Someone provided supplies

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    Cardina Prout

    One country two systems, everything is a lie,that is why hong kongers have so much fear about China. They say one thing, and does another, is all about dictatorship, is sickening.

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    Li Alan

    Did Britain government ever give you the right to vote ? You just want to be other people’s dogs instead of human beings. Loser is loser , no matter where you are

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    mounika kulkarni

    I'm not surprised Britain has a part in all of this, if you look little south, you'll find India and Pakistan. English men left only after setting up a forever conflict equation!

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    Kenguruh

    Hong Kong has been influenced so much by western ideology and culture under British rule and after that CCP will likely never be able to integrate HK to mainland China's political and social system anymore, despite the expiration of the treaty. Not without serious bloodshed at least, which would definetly provoke serious countermeasures from pretty much all the western nations.

    The smartest thing CCP can do if HK'ers persist is to give them pretty much full autonomy.

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    Randolph Victor Constantine

    Britain STOLE hong kong from china, they don't get to tell china what to do with their own territory after they've returned it…

  91. Post
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    Miko Na

    I just can't stop thinking that… it is possible that someone secretly manipulated that guy into killing his girlfriend in taiwan in order to create such law that benefits china.

  92. Post
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    anonymous newssource

    It's time to start handing out Military grade assault weapons to the Protestors and take Beijing head on. A simple grenade tossed into the police brigade by one of the protestors would do the trick to start the revolution!

  93. Post
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    Anti NWO

    Taiwan and Hong Kong will wind up unifying to resist China's encroachment. This will then require Japan to enter the fray as an ally to both countries and since the U.S. is allies with Japan, well you see the path … .. ..

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    王junlong

    In fact, 90 people do not know why they participated in the parade. They were all bought, 2000 yuan a day, and they were instructed to deliberately create chaos.

  96. Post
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    crystal

    s o many people in the comments don't even know what is going on and are just hating on china and its government
    what is this ignorance

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    smol peach

    hongkong ay parang isarael ,namulat sila sa pamumuhay na demokratiko ,ang mga BATA AY NAMULAT SA MUNDO NG DEMOKRASYA.KAHIT SA BIEJING MAY MALAKING GROPPO NA MATAGAL NA RING MAGKAROON NG DEMOKRASYA.

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    Sewon Hong

    Hong Kong people don't want to be Chinese citizen, but Hong Kong government want it to be a part of China? << Is this it?

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