Unrest in Hong Kong

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Unrest in Hong Kong

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Starting in June of 2019, demonstrators in Hong Kong, China, have been protesting a bill passed by the local government that would have enabled extradition (deporting a person accused or convicted of a crime) to mainland China. According to CNBC news, Hong Kongers have marched again this past Sunday, chanting, “Five demands, not one less.” Though the city’s protests approach their six-month milestone, protestors have been locked in a stalemate, or impasse, with the local government since early June. More than two million people have joined together to march in protest of the new bill. While Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam has since retracted the bill, completing one of the five demands, people claim the move was “too little, too late.” 

Now it seems that what started as a protest against a bill has turned into a broader anti-government march that has people pushing for more democracy in Hong Kong. Because Lam’s administration dealt with the protests and police conduct poorly, the anti-government opposition escalated further. This largely leaderless movement has become marked by greater violence and more forceful police tactics. According to Chinese government figures, police have arrested 4,319 people, and 2,600 people have sought medical treatment between early June and late November. Hostility grows each day, especially when events such as a police officer shooting a twenty-one-year-old demonstrator, a student falling from a parking lot near a protest site, and protestors setting a man on fire occur. 

Along with the constant brutality and violence from both sides, these protests are adding even more pressure to Hong Kong’s already troubled economy which is in danger due to the US-China trade war. As far as the movement goes, it is now a waiting game and no one knows what will happen next.