What is happening in Hong Kong? Main reason behind protests
New Delhi, Aug 15: Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have intensified in the last 10 days or so. Initially, the protest was against a bill which would have allowed extradition to China from Hong Kong. Hong Kong has its own legal system and enjoys a considerable amount of autonomy compared to mainland China. China is communist and the way of life in Hong Kong is capitalist as the island was under the British rule for a long time.
What started as a agitation against a bill, has now taken shape of a pro-democracy movement. People can be seen carrying placards with messages demanding more democratic freedom, fair elections and also some 'anti-China' slogans. Many in Hong Kong feel that China is slowly curbing the island city's autonomy and imposing its laws.
The protests in Hong Kong, which have now intensified into a pro-democracy movement, initially began in June in response to a proposed extradition bill. The bill would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China. The protests intensified after a Chinese official said "terrorism" was emerging in the city.
The proposed extradition bill has now been suspended, but the protests have evolved into a mass political unrest. Hong Kong was under British rule for a long time and is significantly different from other Chinese cities. Hong Kong was handed over to China by the British in 1997 after 99 year lease ended. Hong Kong enjoys a special status under the principal "one country, two systems" which China and Britain agreed to just a few years before the island city came under Beijing's rule. Other than foreign and defence affairs, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy.
Hong Kong has its own legal system and borders, and rights. People of Hong Kong want more autonomy to choose their leader or the chief executive. Hong Kong has a Legislative Council but all the 70 members of this lawmaking body are not elected by the people.
The chief executive is elected by a 1,200-member election committee. People of Hong Kong are demanding democracy as most seats of the Legislative Council that are not directly elected allegedly have pro-China lawmakers.