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
  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:

    👉 Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3pXx5SXzXwJxnf4A5pWN2A

    👉 Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://applepodcasts.com/todayexplained

    👉 Listen on Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/today-explained/e/63398553

  2. Hong Kong fell? ? ? Hong Kong is China's territory. Has Hong Kong been invaded by other countries? I only know that Hong Kong was once forced to lend to the United Kingdom. It was colonized.

  3. In fact, the intention of Hong Kong's withdrawal of capital, business can not be done, too disgusting, feeling that the United States conspiracy, otherwise how many protests are engaged in their own small abacus.

  4. 即繫中國嘅法例唔繫好靠得住

    hello:)
    im from hong kong n im sad like this is kinda ruining hong kong but i think they r right but they detroyed stuffs instead of just 'peacefully walking/protesting'

    its both right n wrong i think idk

  5. Democracy = manipulate the majority. No politician will make your life better. How can you expect equality when you're not doing equal stuff in your community? Why are people so afraid to decide for their own? Why do you need people to tell you how to live your life?

  6. I'm Korean. i realiy want to hong kong's DOK RIP, It's korean… mean independence(그게 얼미나 소중한 가치인지 한국인들은 잘 알고있습니다. 우리의 지도자는 당연히 우리손으로뽑아야죠!!!!!)

  7. Imho, I think the core issue of the whole protest is fear of the younger generation for their future jobs, culture and houses. Especially after the extradition bill was officially retracted, you can see that most of the protesters now are very young people, who are probably students. Due to the rise of China economy, huge hot money and lots of Chinese tourists have continuously come into HK and caused lots of changes and complaints inside the society. Unfortunately, no matter how long the protest can last, I don't see how those good old days back in the 80s and 90s can come back.

  8. Do you think it's truly a over 1 million people march? No way a few streets a couple kilometers long can house that many people

  9. Carrie Lam must response to our five demand
    We will use all the power to protects the democracy of Hong Kong
    May god protect our homeland, Hong Kong

  10. First of all, actually in China there isn't many people speaking out about the government, not because they are afraid, but because there isn't anything to complain about. Re-make this documentary when you have actually been to China. China has definitely done horrendous things over the years but if you go to different cities including the poorer ones, the people there are pretty peaceful. With more western influence, it is actually a lot more relaxed now. There is good technology everywhere, cheap things and is socially a great place.

  11. No matter how hard you protest, China's iron fist will eventually slam down on Hong Kong sooner or later. Having China taking over 20 years earlier isn't that bad. So what is happening right now is that these HK protestors are protesting a lot and angering the government. Then when they lose control and activate Tiananman Massacre 2.0 button, everyone is going to blame and put the spotlight on China. Can we just have some peace plz.

  12. Number of Hk protesters –
    *16.6.2019 -Sunday
    Protest organizers claim: 2 million
    Authority I.T calculation: 33.8 thousand
    *18.8.2019 -Sunday (Vox says on 22.8.2019 was incorrect)
    Protest organizers claim: 1.7 million
    Authority I.T calculation: 12.8 thousand

  13. 没有中国,香港只不过是英国统治下的三等公民,被殖民者,简称洋奴,被统治99年大部分人骨子里就有奴性,崇洋媚外,自视甚高,当然不是全部

  14. If the same kind of anarchy happened in the US (or any other country for that matter) the police would simply sit back and have a drink while they let the protesters set fire to their police station, damage public property, and create public havoc without taking any action whatsoever, such as using tear gas or beating rioters right? And not a single person was beat up by the police and arrested during any of the Occupy demonstrations around the world either (where demonstrators were much less violent compared to those in Hong Kong right now).

  15. Bruh 🤦‍♀️ I wonder what it's like to have actual politicians and people that hold sway actually, actively protesting 🤔

  16. Democracy needs people to respect each other. It is not the freedom to do your own selfish will. I hate to see some people they talk democracy but they don’t care others feel.

  17. this protester does nothing good at all but causing damage to business, building, street, and on. you get the point. they claim that they are a non-violent protester, I don't see that. soon or later police will end up shooting someone if this continue on. many thanks to the police for keeping the city and good people safe there.

  18. Remember the days when Japan and Hong Kong used to import amazing things to the United States, lots of these items are amazing quality and very collectible vintage items from furniture, lighting, tools and toys to name a few. China has crippled Hong Kong and Japan as being competition against them, and now China wants to take over Hong Kong and take islands and sea boundaries from Japan, they must be stopped.

  19. That man should face three charges : one for causing this revolt in HK, two charges for murder. It seems to be a premeditated murder to get rid of his pregnant girlfriend, probably he does not want to be burden to take care of them financially. He is really a very scheming and evil man that must be punished!

  20. This are draw back of colonialism divide and rule on any aspect for instance race ,religion, ideology, etc. If in future country become strong we can always catch at week sport

  21. I initially supported these protests, It has now become out of control and the objectives have been lost. Vandalism of infrustructure, security cameras, cctv cameras, train stations, ticket machines, buildings, fires and violence and assaults against random people without trial. This is no longer a fight for democracy its Anarchy its a decent to some dystopian nightmare. Try living without electricity and water and regular food supply chains. The exit of corporations and business and tourists will only increase the unemployment rate. Without the rule of law then all is lost. Dog eat dog. Time to get tough with some of these protesters.

  22. The idea of democracy comes with responsibility, vandalism and violence are not the acts of rational people. There is nothing peaceful about smashing up train stations and all has been lost once you commit violence against random people you think may be Chinese.
    That is the act of scumbags. The Chinese government may be violent towards the people but when you sink to that level then you are no better than them.
    The protesters have lost my support.

  23. Why did you not mentioned any brutal behaviour that Youngers did in this "protest" period?
    Is this part of your "FREEDOM" talking things?
    VOX?

  24. In your video, I can not see the word "equality" because I did not see any other aspects of the event.

    The thugs who claim to protect Hong Kong, have done a terrible influence to the police, the people, and society. Also some media chose to be blinded.

    And the people who speak out in the video are chosen by you with some kind of need, right?

    If this is what your channel claims as "freedom", then I think you are just another form of despotism.

    Use the banner of "freedom" to pollutes the world, this way of freedom is the most terrible and the most ignorant.

    Western media feel that the Chinese people's heads have been covered with a red rag by the government.
    Have you ever thought that you are blindfolding the people of the Western world with another black rag?

    I yearn for freedom.
    But I do believe that freedom must be based on equality and not to hurt anyone. 
    Which declaration of freedom asides any of these two conditions, is to hold human beings as hostage with their unknown will.

  25. I'm no one to give my opinion when I'm not part of this but I truly believe cities shouldn't become independent from their countries just because they have different ways of being. The idea of globalisation was to become closer, not to be more separate. They can protest if they want but not get separated from the country. It'd be an error.

  26. This is why America has the second amendment, a government can’t dictate its people if the people can protect themselves

  27. We believe we have God given rights. I would believe you deserve to be free. Keep stand together and stick together. There are more of you than them.

  28. Hi @Vox, please publish another video that demonstrates the current insights such as how they continue destroying their own home for demonstration like how a kid does self hurting just because he wants a toy.

  29. Guys, that murderer did not cause a revolution. The revolution will happen sooner or later, he just reduced the time for it to happen.

  30. 1st HK is part of China, unity is strength, division weakens a country. 2nd democracy will not help HK to solve social problems immediately, only shift power to manipulative politicians whom always stoke fears (from China), look at USA and Taiwan now. Who benefits? definitely not the people. Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice shame on me.

  31. Wish the west was this united😔

    Then again we don’t have an autocratic dictator trying to trial us for their personal agenda…

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