- At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese control after a century and a half of British colonial rule. The handover was meant to establish a “one country, two systems” relationship between China and Hong Kong that would last until 2047, with Hong Kong existing as a special administrative region. This declaration stipulated that Hong Kong would become a part of China, but that the “current social and economic systems” and “life-style” in Hong Kong would remain the same for 50 years.
In this “one country, two systems” arrangement, Hong Kong would continue operating in a capitalist economy, and residents would continue to have rights to speech, press, assembly and religious belief, among others. But since the handover, Hong Kong residents have accused Beijing of overstepping its authority. The Umbrella Movement was a series of protests in 2014 that called for more transparent elections for the city’s chief executive. In early 2016, Hong Kong booksellers disappeared and later showed up in police custody in China.
In 2019, protests broke out over a proposed bill that many Hong Kong residents felt would violate the “one country, two systems” arrangement by allowing extradition to mainland China. The bill would allow local authorities to detain and extradite fugitive offenders who are wanted in territories that Hong Kong does not have extradition agreements with, including mainland China and Taiwan. The bill's critics argued that it could lead to what some have described as legalised kidnapping. At the time, some younger protesters expressed concern about what life will be like in Hong Kong when the expiration date for this arrangement passes in 2047.
📽Source: The History Channel ...
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