What is the issue?
- The latest protests came after Beijing, in August, rejected people's demand to freely elect city's next leader in 2017.
- During the reunification, it was agreed that the people of Hong Kong would elect their own head democratically in 2017.
- But in August 2014, Beijing backstepped, saying the elected chief executive would have to be approved by a Beijing-loyal committee.
- Beijing's insistence on using a committee to screen candidates have compelled people to join the protests.
- Now, the protesters are trying to pressurize China for giving Hong Kong a full universal suffrage.
- While, China is refusing to do so.
- This has led to widespread protest and clashes by the pro-democracy supporters.
Hong Kong united with China in 1997
- Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when the UK handed it back to China.
- During this, a deal was struck promising "a high degree of autonomy" to Hong Kong under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems."
- This system is supposed to remain in place until 2047.
The political situation of Hong Kong
- At present, Hong Kong is home to 7 million people.
- It has its own legal and financial system.
- Unlike other Chinese cities, it enjoys civil liberties such as an independent judiciary, freedom of the press and the right to protest.
- Hong Kong's leader, known as the chief executive, is elected by a 1,200-strong committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.
What is China's stand on the ongoing issue?
- In a policy document, Beijing in June, said that Hong Kong does not enjoy "full autonomy".
- It said the residents are "confused or lopsided in their understanding" of "One Country, Two Systems."
- Beijing has also blamed the pro-democracy opposition in Hong Kong on interference by Britain and the United States.
What is Occupy Central?
- In January last year, a Hong Kong University professor called for an act of "civil disobedience" if the plan for universal suffrage does not go ahead as promised.
- This started the movement known as Occupy Central with Love and Peace.
- In this movement, residents of Hong Kong were urged to participate in peaceful protests to fight for the granting of full democracy.