Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

The people of Hong Kong are out in the streets. Hundreds of thousands are demonstrating against
a deeply unpopular bill. But this is about a whole lot more than a bill. It’s about the status of Hong Kong
and the power China has over it. It’s a fight to preserve the freedoms people
have here. And it all started with a murder. On February 8, 2018, a young couple, Chan
Tong Kai and Poon Hiu-Wing, went from their home in Hong Kong to Taiwan for a vacation. They stayed at the Purple Garden Hotel in
Taipei for nine days. But on February 17th only one of them returned
to Hong Kong. There, one month later, Chan confessed to
murdering his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. But there was a problem. Hong Kong authorities couldn’t charge him
for murder, because he did it in Taiwan. And they couldn’t send him back to Taiwan
to be charged, because Hong Kong and Taiwan don’t have
an extradition agreement. So in 2019, Hong Kong’s government proposed
one: it would let them transfer suspects to Taiwan so they could be tried for their crimes. But the same bill would also allow extradition
to mainland China. Where there’s no fair trial, there’s no humane punishment, and there’s completely no separation
of powers. And that’s what sparked these protests. China and Hong Kong are two very different
places with a very complex political relationship. And the extradition bill threatens to give
China more power over Hong Kong. See, Hong Kong is technically a part of China. But it operates as a semi-autonomous region. It all began in the late 1800s, when China
lost a series of wars to Britain and ended up ceding Hong Kong for a period of 99 years. Hong Kong remained a British colony until
1997, when Britain gave it back to China, under a special agreement. It was called “One Country, Two Systems.” It made Hong Kong a part of China, but it
also said that Hong Kong would retain “a high degree of autonomy,” as well as democratic
freedoms like the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, of assembly. And that made Hong Kong very different from
mainland China, which is authoritarian: Citizens there don’t have the same freedoms. Its legal system is often used to arrest,
punish, and silence people who speak out against the state. But according to the agreement, One Country,
Two Systems wouldn’t last forever. In 2047, Hong Kong is expected to fully become
a part of China. The problem is, China isn’t waiting
for the deal to expire. Under the rule of Chinese leader Xi Jinping,
pro-democracy leaders have already been arrested in Hong Kong. And mysterious abductions of booksellers have
created a threat to free speech. But Hong Kong has been pushing back. In 2003, half a million Hongkongers successfully
fought legislation that would have punished speaking out against China. And in 2014, tens of thousands of protesters occupied the city for weeks to protest China’s influence over Hong Kong’s elections. Now, Hong Kongers are fighting the extradition
bill, because the bill is widely seen as the next
step in China’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy. The sheer size of these protests shows you
just how much opposition there is to this bill. But if Hong Kong’s legislature votes on
the bill, it’ll probably pass. And that’s because of the unique nature
of Hong Kong’s democracy. For starters, Hong Kong’s people don’t
vote for their leader. The Chief Executive is selected by
a small committee and approved by China. And even though they’re the head of the
government, they don’t make the laws. That happens here. Like many democracies, Hong Kong has a legislature,
with democratically elected representatives. It’s called the Legislative Council, or
LegCo, and it has 70 seats. Within this system, Hong Kong has many political
parties, but they are mostly either pro-democracy or pro-China. In every election, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy
and anti-establishment parties have won the popular vote. But they occupy less than half of the seats
in the LegCo. This is because when Hong Kongers vote, they’re
only voting for these 40 of the 70 seats. The other 30 are chosen by the various business communities of Hong Kong. For example, one seat belongs to the finance
industry. One seat belongs to the medical industry. One belongs to the insurance industry. And so on. Many of these 30 seats are voted on by
corporations. And because big business has an incentive
to be friendly with China, those seats are dominated by pro-China political parties. When Hong Kong was handed over to China in
1997, Hong Kong and China made an agreement that eventually, all members of the council
would be elected by the people. But that never happened. And ever since the handoff, pro-China parties
have controlled the LegCo, despite having never won more than 50 percent of the popular
vote. The way it’s structured, they want to make
sure that the executive branch can have easy control over it. And that would serve Beijing very well indeed. Within this unique structure, the extradition
bill has created new tensions and fueled anger among pro-democracy politicians. And it’s driven hundreds of thousands of
Hong Kongers into the streets. While this isn’t Hong Kong’s first protest
against China’s influence, it is the biggest. And many say this time is different, because of the people involved. Professionals like lawyers and politicians are participating. Our legal sector staged their biggest ever protest parade. But it’s young people who are at the forefront,
since they have the most to lose. They are the first generation born under One
Country Two Systems. And in 28 years when that arrangement ends,
they’ll be Hong Kong’s professional class. I won’t be around anymore. It’s their future. It’s their Hong Kong. They have every
right to fight it. The protests have convinced Hong Kong’s
government to suspend the bill. But that’s not enough. Many want the bill withdrawn completely. That’s because these protests are also part
of a larger fight. To push back against China’s encroachment
now, not just when time’s up. 2047 is on its way. But it’s not here yet. And until then, Hongkongers still have a voice. History will tell whether we succeed, but even if we failed, history would say they did put up a fight and they didn’t just take things lying down. And that’s what we’re trying to do too.

Comments (100)

  1. UPDATE 8/22/19: Last weekend saw the largest peaceful march in Hong Kong since the start of the protests. Organizers say roughly 1.7 million people marched on the streets of Hong Kong.

    Vox's daily podcast, Today, Explained, breaks down the situation and its most recent developments:

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  2. This guy killed his pregnant wife. He is a murderer. Every criminal in HK should be subject to China’s law and court judgement. The extradition law should have been in place from the beginning. HK should not have special rights compared to mainland. They should not protect criminal. This never happened in UK or US. Period

  3. I'm gonna write names on the deathnote.

  4. Good luck Hong Kong revolutinaries

  5. Hard to believe that the high degree of autonomy and the right of assembly will allow for such violence. Two months have past, I did not see those rioters are pursuing the so called freedom and democracy. They are just using violence, shouting and complaining that they cannot be as rich as others.

  6. Porque Hong Kong não se separa totalmente da China comunista e vira país independente?

  7. 日本語字幕つけてほしいです。。。

  8. Thank you for this, I honestly don't know what's happening there. Now, I understood.


  10. That is not real. They are lead by US and UK. Just will to hit China.

  11. Very different than when blacks protest.

  12. For those who’s supporting the protestors, you guys should really go watch more videos from both protestors & polices. They are actually out of control and what they are doing right now, is not peaceful.

  13. so they want to be english? i dont get it.

  14. Amazing HK, stay away from China

  15. Don't back down Hong Kong we stand with you!

  16. Soak it in liberals, this is what you all want america to be like if you vote democratic..

  17. So did the killer get away with murder?

  18. People power keep up the fight against the elite and corporations that run the world well done i am with you hong Kong as the yellow vest movement in France!!! We are the many they are the few!!!

  19. It's an ocean of people! It was a bad idea to give Hong Kong back to China

  20. Go Hong kong..stand up 👏👏👏 your rights

  21. Why is this video nothing

  22. Why are they using English signs ???
    The speak Chinese !
    Could it be that some Ngo organisation is pulling some strings…hmmm like the CIA !?

  23. That fault Donald trump did

  24. All ISIS has to do is get a few people on rooftops and open fire. Or fill a dump truck with explosives, drive through hundreds to the center of the protest and detonate it.

  25. 2047 is gonna be lit

  26. Only if that dude didn’t murder his girlfriend

  27. It's funny how the majority of negative comments are those who are from main land China and the rest are the rest of the world…

  28. It's funny how the MAJORITY of NEGATIVE comments are from main land Chinese supporters and the POSITIVE comments is from the rest of the entire world…

  29. 香港是西方反华的间谍中心,

  30. Never had i ever heard about that murder which egnited the protests..

  31. Being a Chinese and hearing both sides, it is so frustrating to see things are interpreted so differently from either side to support its own agenda. SAD!

  32. Matthew 24. Nation (ethnos) against nation (ethnos), kingdom (government) against kingdom (government). The black Hebrew messiah told the black Hebrew Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, leaders who were not a part of the Catholic church what would be happening inside tribal communities. The black Messiah is always right. Bet on Black. He is coming with a sword upon all people (including black israel). None will escape justice, judgements, and the wicked shall be removed from the earth. It is the meek (law keepers) who inherit the earth.
    Shalum Family!

  33. There is a nothing wrong with the extradition law. It was originally proposed because a Hong Kong man murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan and fled the crime scene and escaped back to HK. There is no extradition law among HK, Mainland China and Taiwan. So the legislation body of HK decided to set up this law and got the support of the HK executive branch. That was the origin of the "outrage" because some parties spin it into Mainland China trying to grab anybody at will using this law. It is totally false. The crime must be mutually recognized to be allowed for extradition. And political crimes are excluded from the extradition law. So there is really no reason to believe that is a incursion from Mainland China. But that does not matter. The HK people are so freaked out that they went to the street to protest. And yes that is within their rights. AND THE HK GOVERNMENT AGREED TO WITHDRAW THE LAW!

    BUT THE PROBLEM IS, some parties and political manipulators tool the opportunity to changed the protest into completely different things. They turned violent and to support their violent protests, spin up five demands that they know the HK executive branch can not accept. In fact, one of their demand is for direct election which is beyond the power of the HK government. So you see, it is not about protest and resolution. It is all about taking over a platform and run with it with violent and agenda.

    So people need to understand what is really going on because siding with the protesters, by default. Please be mindful how the protests in Syria, Ukraine, and many other regions in the world fell into turmoil under the Color Revolution. It is seems more and more likely HK is under the same magical spell. So people of HK, if you do not want to become the next Syria, the next Ukraine, you need to come out and tell those protesters that LAWLESSNESS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  34. 到外面会有组织拿几十支AK扫射了

  35. Better dead than red we are with you Hong Kong 🇭🇰🇺🇸🇪🇺 when/if this bill goes through take down your oppressors

  36. Well bad luck for Hong Kong. That’s was gonna happen if not now then in 2047. What they gonna do then after 47 when Hong Kong Will be a proper province of China.

  37. Since when did Anti-China become a common thing for media
    3:00 If you have ever gone to China and tried to understand the Chinese government, it is nothing like what Vox has said

  38. Vox media you are a American media, what do you know about china

  39. I live in HK And have participated in the protests only ten and sad…😭

  40. I'm worried just because of tiananmen square

  41. Protests could turn Hong Kong into Ukraine – Europe's poorest country (with nothing but "freedom")

  42. You didn't mention what the British did in Hong Kong

  43. 一派胡言,十斤大米让你掺了八斤沙子

  44. Be the US Hong Kong wants us to be.

  45. So what happened to the murderer boyfriend???????

  46. You people live in Hongkong of China have to know:  Things always is that  you want more, but get less.

  47. Trust me, living in Hong Kong during this is TERRIBLE! During the night only certain places have transportation.

  48. There is a question: If this law has been passed, the Chinese government would have right to arrest anyone. So why there has been someone arrestted years ago?

  49. surprisingly something accurate from vox. Something i agree with.

  50. China and India should work together closely . Both are ancient civilisation and are targeted by jealous Western idealogies . China should join India in getting rid of Terrorist of all hues in Pakistan ,Afghanistan and other regions of comman interest for both countries .When President Xi visits later this year both countries should thrash out the border issues through "Mutual Understanding and Mutual Respect ". Else outsiders will be sitting in the borders of China within 2 or 3 years.

  51. HK police must do the same what the BRITISH government have done in India.
    HK police must TAKE HK protestors to PRISON – ISLAND in
    India's prison island of bay of bengal SEA , just like what
    the indian BRITISH government have done in India in 1935.

  52. HK police must do the same what the BRITISH government have done in India.
    HK police must TAKE HK protestors to PRISON – ISLAND in
    India's prison island of bay of bengal SEA , just like what
    the indian BRITISH government have done in India in 1935.

  53. HK police must do the same what the BRITISH government have done in India.
    HK police must TAKE HK protestors to PRISON – ISLAND in
    India's prison island of bay of bengal SEA , just like what
    the indian BRITISH government have done in India in 1935.

  54. 🙋Hi sir, i am a subscriber of u r channel .Plz explain and make one video BALOCHISTAN history , thousands of citizens missing…,development and border problems….👍

  55. It’s always Britain, in India created J&K, in China , Hong Kong

  56. This disease was brought by Britain witches..they shouldn't have brought Hong Kong under China.

  57. Riots have finished off HongKong . Sad. Young people don't need worry about the property price anymore. Everything will worth much less soon.

  58. Who says it was not a government operation to provide a reason for new laws? If a man murders someone you LOCK HIM UP, no matter where the murder happened. If he murdered her on the North pole or on the moon… all Hong Kong government had to do is put him in prison.

    This whole extradition to Taiwan(!) law is a JOKE. Taiwan…😁😂🤣

  59. The Yankees are funding all these riots, therefore this situation will not end until the Yankees are satisfied…

  60. Hong Kong protests, another art piece of America, the Arab Spring in the East

  61. first time i see lots of people against china


  63. What a disgrace these protesters are. They want to be able to murder in other countries and to get away with it. China can end this mess in 1 hour. Take back what's yours China. The world supports you.

  64. democracy hongkonng is very sensative funny

  65. We support Hong Kong Free Hong Kong china shame on Hong Kong is autonomous country one country two system Hong Kong wake 👆 up u n o wake 👆 up. Free Hong Kong free Tibet save Hong Kong save Tibet Red china hai hai Red china no interfere Hongkong is Hong Kong Tibet is tibet not a part of China China go Home red china go back Dorjee Gyaltsen Lithang Tibetan

  66. I just can see the view with opponents,but cancan't hear any reason,why are you just talk about the concept no any realistic argument to support.And why are you all interview just about opponents?and they just parade?why the other tourists video included the opponents beaten other one,I want to know who's they beaten?and all HongKong is opposing the things?If not,I hope can hear the consenter idea.Two people quarrel only listen to one person's words will make us easy to fool.

  67. I bet they wish they had the 2nd amendment right now

  68. I wonder is Hong Kong Mee dish created in Hong Kong or south east Asia

  69. Fight for freedom!Save with HK!

  70. see the big issue i feel is that if you killed a person, no matter where you are, you are a murderer. could have solved everything just then and there. bless the people of hong kong

  71. I.was next to a protest just now but I left

  72. But I feel the purpose of the current parade has changed.

  73. cow speaks………….

  74. Hongkongers……..foolish, ignorant and arrogant………destroying their own city………SUPPORT HK POLICE

  75. This is the first time ever I watch vox's video to finish and like it

  76. Pity the protestors. They will lose. The only HK people who can make China think twice are the rich who can threaten to uproot. Unfortunately they are pro-Beijing. This battle will just be a waste of time and destroy HK as a commercial hub.

  77. It's been too long that China has their corrupt Government. It must be overthrown.

  78. Am curious why did he murder his girlfriend?

  79. What I can say after watching this video clip is it totally twist the truth. Never trust public media over youtube is the only truth. That's why Chinese government doesn't allow this kind of internet media to access into China. Good choice!

  80. 颠倒黑白我只服YouTube

  81. Kasmiri should protest like this for their freedom ..

  82. 胡言乱语!不了解中国大陆的法律就因为无知而反对,真是愚蠢!我们有言论自由!大家在大陆生活都很幸福!西方媒体只会选择不好的报道,让很多人不能了解真正的中国大陆

  83. The state should follow the people's will

  84. Hong Kong is inspiring

  85. Молодцы гонконовцы боритесь против этой системы.китай больная грязная политика .

  86. Not really for the murdering , it's just a excuse. Taiwan goveronment ask HK for the murder case many times.

  87. Oh Vox I thought you liked authoritarianism. It's what you're promoting here in the USA.

  88. 支持港警👍👍👍

  89. The fight to keep communism and socialism away. This video isn't showing the love for America, our republic, and our President.

  90. Murder suspect needs to be tried….

  91. The man who murdered his pregnant girlfriend should be executed for murdering two people. Hong Kong should be independent from China. People in Hong Kong do not want to be ruled by China, a country that limits freedoms and limits democracy. Let Hong Kong be a independent and democratic nation.

  92. another "revolution" financed and orginized by americans and british.

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