Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

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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.

23 thoughts on “Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

  • Vox

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  • feng xiaoying

    go away, Americans. The biggest trouble maker in the world!

  • Jack K. Sharp

    1. 引渡法案本身:美国情报机构玩暗杀玩消失没听说过?如果中共真的要搞死人还在乎这几张法律文件吗?还什么人人自危,普通老百姓遵纪守法,中共管你干嘛,吃饱了撑的?退一步说,如果引渡法真的有问题,你们上街抗议没问题啊,但都说了涉及政治和宗教的不予引渡,而且还要经过法院和特首都同意才会引渡。都不了解一下就跟着上街游行,是不是傻?修改引渡法是完善法律,是对你们自己负责,哪有一个国家地区法律是放着漏洞不补的,今天不修补这个漏洞,难道永远都不修补了吗?你们香港人是非黑白都不分了吗?就这样也配谈民主法治?;
    2. 运动发起人和带头人:天安门64事件听说过吧?当初那些个宣称要第一个牺牲在民主斗争前线的民运带头人你们猜现在在哪?一个个活的好好的,在美国逍遥快活的很,当时还有很多香港人为了他们筹款了几千万,想想何其讽刺啊,这些所谓的民运代表除了在国外造谣抹黑中共还为中国做了什么?相隔30年,两件事何其相像,只不过到目前还没出人命,你们要以史为鉴啊!不要被人卖了还替别人数钱;
    3. 逢中必反:中国这么大个国家就算欺负你控制你这么小个城市能得到什么好处吗?凭什么要一直扶持你们?还不是念在大家同在一片土地上,都是华人,大家过的好才是真的好。而国外顶最多把你们当赚钱的工具而已,甚至是拿来对付中国的武器,你们过得好不好/是死是活跟他们有关系吗??谁是盼你们好 谁是想利用都想不清楚?;
    4. 国外媒体:你们觉得外国媒体真的关心你们民不民主啊,国外主流媒体对中国和中共什么态度你们不知道吗?中国的发展已经威胁到西方的统治地位,人家巴不得你们屋里斗乱成一团,好把中国拖下水,试想中国如果垮了 你们香港能全身而退?普通香港市民能过的更好?很简单的道理,为什么偏偏号召你们在G20之前游行,原因昭然若揭,不就是为了在谈判中给中国添堵吗?那个家长参加游行还很感动说是为了孩子的未来,我都哭笑不得,你们这样闹下去还会有未来。。。 这次声援游行的居然还有你们标榜的自由民主国家加拿大和美国,他们为了利益竞争可以随便拘押华为董事长女儿,就这还有脸来声援民主自由。

  • maya purday

    shows how vested america’s interests are and have been this whole century. the wars in the middle east were supposedly to “protect democracy and freedom” but when there is a legitimate threat to democracy elsewhere there is virtually no response from the american executive/president. is it because of oil, staying on china’s good side, etc? whatever it is it shows america is not the protector of democracy but a self serving nation

  • FavJam

    This is so sad.
    Knowing that by 2047 and maybe even earlier, your life will be ruined

  • xiang xiang

    funny, western knows nothing but you just pretend they know everything and comment on the thing they heard partially from the media which is under the rule of the goverment which is against china!

  • Nick Wey

    A taiwanese is representing Hong Kongers in this video, well, well.

  • Tony STARK

    This big problem started due to man who killed his girlfriend
    And now that man is chilling and watching this fun🔥🔥

  • RFEE Bruno TARANTO Alvim

    Beautiful! Stay strong!

  • Dur Ops


  • P J

    so what happened to the murderer?
    is he a free man walking on the street in HK?

  • stormrs12

    Hope Hong Kong succeeds. True democracy will never exist, but if even a flawed-democrary allows us to put our leaders under scrutiny, then I'd say its worth it.

    Greetings from Thailand (a country also going through a similar phase :D).

  • crawford4140

    if the PRC is an empire then it will fall eventually just like their ex-BFF's the Soviets.

  • 快乐肥仔


  • dawa gyaltsen

    What about Tibet, everybody has forgotten how much the TIBETANS in TiBet are suffering since China invaded Tibet back in the 1950’s .

  • Wee Lee

    China could have marched into HK if England didn't agree to leave at the meeting of 1984 with Deng. China granted HK democracy in good faith but did meant for HK to use that freedom to fight against the nation. So why so much noise again?

  • David K

    tis a good time for businesses on that street

  • chunnu kumar

    This is why… I love my india🇮🇳🇮🇳👳

  • Frank Lin

    Let's all be honest, No one cares about the law itself. They just don't want to be Chinese, or "more Chinese". They are ignoring the fact that the extradition only applies to people who did something which also considers being illegal in Hong Kong as well (Such as murder, rape, money laundry, Not Freedom of speech. )

  • namatamago

    Hopefully this won’t be another Tiananmen Square Massacre.

  • Thomas J.B.

    "When the people fear the government it's tyranny, when the government fears the people it's democracy"

  • 一念向北


  • Top Tanupat

    I wish I could do this in Thailand….

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