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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.

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

  1. 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

  2. How many such murders took place? One murder and a Law was introduced? And Laws cannot be made retroactive. So, this Law cannot be used against that murderer.

    Despite a protest by millions, Carrie Lam refused to back down. That was the start of this revolution, not the murder case. She has to resign. If Theresa May can step down, why is she still sitting up there?

  3. Fight for freedom, fight for democracy. And remember that GOOGLE wants to help the Chinese government in it's goal to destroy freedom for the right price~

  4. this is their Fate. and its only a Warning to them.
    When you opress people,. you get your own Taste of Hate.
    have you thougt there is no Higher one who help the Opressed ones?

  5. 历史不会说香港人没有低头,因为中国的教材不会写进去。History will not say that Hong Kong people have not bowed to power, because Chinese educational textbooks will be not included

  6. 2 months after uploading the video the protest keeps on. Please update your protest by adding food teams in front lines, you all looks slim.

  7. Hong kong is rank No.3 in terms of freedom by The Human Freedom Index, ahead of the UK (8th), the US (17th) and Japan (31). It is also rank No.1 in the world in terms of economic freedom. Perhaps they enjoy too much freedom, to the point that they think they are above the rule of law.

  8. A lot happened since this video released. The bill already withdrawn and the protest still escalate to riot. It's clear now that it's no longer just about the bill.

  9. На первых секундах видео услышал "Ганьба". Казалось бы при чём тут…)

  10. Hong Kong fell? ? ? Hong Kong is China's territory. Has Hong Kong been invaded by other countries? I only know that Hong Kong was once forced to lend to the United Kingdom. It was colonized.

  11. In fact, the intention of Hong Kong's withdrawal of capital, business can not be done, too disgusting, feeling that the United States conspiracy, otherwise how many protests are engaged in their own small abacus.

  12. 即繫中國嘅法例唔繫好靠得住

    im from hong kong n im sad like this is kinda ruining hong kong but i think they r right but they detroyed stuffs instead of just 'peacefully walking/protesting'

    its both right n wrong i think idk

  13. Democracy = manipulate the majority. No politician will make your life better. How can you expect equality when you're not doing equal stuff in your community? Why are people so afraid to decide for their own? Why do you need people to tell you how to live your life?

  14. I'm Korean. i realiy want to hong kong's DOK RIP, It's korean… mean independence(그게 얼미나 소중한 가치인지 한국인들은 잘 알고있습니다. 우리의 지도자는 당연히 우리손으로뽑아야죠!!!!!)

  15. Imho, I think the core issue of the whole protest is fear of the younger generation for their future jobs, culture and houses. Especially after the extradition bill was officially retracted, you can see that most of the protesters now are very young people, who are probably students. Due to the rise of China economy, huge hot money and lots of Chinese tourists have continuously come into HK and caused lots of changes and complaints inside the society. Unfortunately, no matter how long the protest can last, I don't see how those good old days back in the 80s and 90s can come back.

  16. Do you think it's truly a over 1 million people march? No way a few streets a couple kilometers long can house that many people

  17. Carrie Lam must response to our five demand
    We will use all the power to protects the democracy of Hong Kong
    May god protect our homeland, Hong Kong

  18. First of all, actually in China there isn't many people speaking out about the government, not because they are afraid, but because there isn't anything to complain about. Re-make this documentary when you have actually been to China. China has definitely done horrendous things over the years but if you go to different cities including the poorer ones, the people there are pretty peaceful. With more western influence, it is actually a lot more relaxed now. There is good technology everywhere, cheap things and is socially a great place.

  19. No matter how hard you protest, China's iron fist will eventually slam down on Hong Kong sooner or later. Having China taking over 20 years earlier isn't that bad. So what is happening right now is that these HK protestors are protesting a lot and angering the government. Then when they lose control and activate Tiananman Massacre 2.0 button, everyone is going to blame and put the spotlight on China. Can we just have some peace plz.

  20. Number of Hk protesters –
    *16.6.2019 -Sunday
    Protest organizers claim: 2 million
    Authority I.T calculation: 33.8 thousand
    *18.8.2019 -Sunday (Vox says on 22.8.2019 was incorrect)
    Protest organizers claim: 1.7 million
    Authority I.T calculation: 12.8 thousand

  21. 没有中国,香港只不过是英国统治下的三等公民,被殖民者,简称洋奴,被统治99年大部分人骨子里就有奴性,崇洋媚外,自视甚高,当然不是全部

  22. If the same kind of anarchy happened in the US (or any other country for that matter) the police would simply sit back and have a drink while they let the protesters set fire to their police station, damage public property, and create public havoc without taking any action whatsoever, such as using tear gas or beating rioters right? And not a single person was beat up by the police and arrested during any of the Occupy demonstrations around the world either (where demonstrators were much less violent compared to those in Hong Kong right now).

  23. Bruh 🤦‍♀️ I wonder what it's like to have actual politicians and people that hold sway actually, actively protesting 🤔

  24. Democracy needs people to respect each other. It is not the freedom to do your own selfish will. I hate to see some people they talk democracy but they don’t care others feel.

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