What is Really Going on with the Hong Kong Protests?

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What is Really Going on with the Hong Kong Protests?

Emyli Thompson, Reporter

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Since June, the Hong Kong protests against China have been plastered on mainstream media all over the world. It has been going on for months, and it shows no sign of stopping. Although Hong Kong is safe as a whole, residents in the city are worried about where this will lead to as the protests get more and more violent.

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking: “Isn’t Hong Kong a part of China anyway?” The answer is that they are semi-autonomous, which means that they act as an independent nation to some extent. While they are still controlled by China, they have a completely different government with their own laws and civil liberties that China does not provide.

 

What caused these protests was the 2019 Hong Kong-China Extradition Bill. The bill included China proposing to have Hong Kong make some changes to consider requests to deport any criminal suspects, which also includes mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau, which extradition bills have yet to be made for. The treaty excludes commercial offenses, such as tax evasion, as well as political and religious crimes. Requests are made by the chief executive but Hong Kong will always have a final say. The government also promises to only deport fugitives carrying major sentences of at least 7 years. The protests were made after a Hong Kong man allegedly murdered his pregnant girlfriend while on vacation in Taiwan together. The Taiwanese government didn’t propose to deport the man but urged the Hong Kong government to handle the case on their own.

 

The reason why people are against this is that anyone in Hong Kong that is doing any work related to mainland China can be put at risk, including activists, human rights lawyers, journalists, and social workers. According to BBC, “Lam Wing Kee, a Hong Kong bookseller, said he was abducted, detained and charged with “operating a bookstore illegally” in China in 2015 for selling books critical of Chinese leaders.” Many other countries also have concerns about the bill such as the Britain and Canadian government’s concern over the UK and Canadian citizens who live in Hong Kong. Despite the concerns, the Chinese government refutes the views and claims them as attempts to “politicize” the Hong Kong – China agreement.

 

In regards to the protests, they get more and more chaotic every day as we can see. The government has raided the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong and even arrested a 12-year-old boy who was arrested for voicing his support for the protests. However, things might calm down soon with the landslide vote for pro-democracy candidates in the Hong Kong district council elections on November 24th. These fresh new faces were also supportive of the anti-extradition protests, meaning this could be a huge win for Hong Kong and an end to the vigorous and violent protests.

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