By E. Wichmann
Hong Kong has always been a controversial area due to how it has been handed from superpower to superpower. In the late 19th Century, following the second Opium wars between Britain and China, the city of Hong Kong was gifted to the British for a period of 99 years. In 1997, Britain gifted the city back to China however with a few conditions: Hong Kong would be “a country with two nationalities” with free elections and freedom of speech. This was controversial because of how the Communist Party ruling over China did not enforce this even in its own country. Ever since 1997, mainland China has been trying to take control over Hong Kong by attempting to implement political and educational reforms and have always been met by protest by the people of Hong Kong.
These rallies have, in some instances, gathered around 2 million protests to the streets of Hong Kong in order to support democracy and freedom. The latest protests in Hong Kong have initiated over a proposed extradition bill which, if China declared that a citizen committed a crime in Hong Kong soil, would enable him or her to be extradited to mainland China and prosecuted there. Unfortunately, the language in the bill can be considered extremely vague and was a source of massive outrage because of how China could extradite anyone. However, the protests in Hong Kong have also been a cry for freedom, freedom from the claws of power that China has over Hong Kong.
One of the main causes for concern with these protests is the potential use of Chinese force and the People’s Liberation Army as a means to suppress this attempt at reform. The superpower has done this in the past in the Tiananmen square incident in which a student protest was met with force from the Chinese army.
Thankfully for the people of Hong Kong, this extradition bill has been removed by the government of Hong Kong. However, protests are expected to continue and during the weekend of the 28th of September, protests are expected to occur in the city, too.