What’s happening in Hong Kong?


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Fahad Aloufi, Staff Writer

All over social media are news of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. These protests have grown quite violent and even made waves here in America when the NBA got involved. A tweet by the Houston Rockets general manager in support of the protests has led China to ban Rocket’s games from being streamed in China. 

With all the recent updates regarding the protests, it can be hard to keep track of what’s going on. Here, you found your complete guide to the situation in Hong Kong. 

First, A Short History Lesson: 

It is extremely important to first consider the history of Hong Kong. Originally a British colony, it now operates as a separate government with its own rules and constitution, separate from China. It is very open to the outside world and has an extremely modern metropolis. All of these things make Hong Kong a major tourist attraction. However, by 2047, China is set to reign supreme over the city-state. China would then impose its strict rules and censorship laws. 

How It First Started: 

It all started in February of this year when the Hong Kong local government introduced a bill that would allow people accused of crimes in other countries to be sent there for persecution. Immediately, the citizens of Hong Kong realized the harmful consequences that this policy would reap. China could make phony charges at people in Hong Kong, making them face the flawed Chinese legal system where civil liberties don’t exist and a one-party state is in control. You could see how this would allow China a greater influence on people in Hong Kong. It also undermines civil liberties. As a result, elderly men and women along with students protested this legislation in June. 

When It All Changed: 

On June 12, the police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the protesters, many of whom were peaceful. This only added flame to the fire. The protesters demanded an investigation into the police force, which was then ignored. This constituted a monumental shift in the protests. Instead of protesting the extradition bill, which now the government has withdrawn, citizens of Hong Kong are demanding more civil liberties and autonomy from China. 

When They Turn Violent: 

Finding that the current way of protesting is not yielding any results, protesters turned to more violent means. Some protesters have been recorded stabbing police officers and detonating bombs. The police officers are not saints as well as there have been incidents where they randomly fired shots into crowds of protesters.

It will be interesting to see where these demonstrations and protests lead to. Will the demonstrators prevail? Or will China ignore its 2047 pledge and incorporate Hong Kong into its sphere of influence. Either way, history will be made with severe implications for the future.