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.

100 thoughts on “Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

  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. Wait I don't understand one thing, Hong Kong DOESN'T want the bill to pass? But doesn't that mean the killer will just roam free? So basically Hong Kong ia supporting a killer?

  3. 유튜브에 홍콩 시위 쳐보면 80%가 홍콩 시위대 욕하고있다.,,, 근데 보면 거의 중국인임 ㅅㅂ 그거에 일반 사람들이 선동됨,. 미칠 노릇임,., 홍콩 화이팅!

  4. A state is built by the people who live in the particular territory .. so the people should be given the right to choose which is appropriate for them .. if they protest then it should be taken seriously by the govt. n the govt should take action for this ( welfare for the citizens ) .

  5. There should be a video on this every week as there are lot of changes happening which are lesser known to the public

  6. The most powerful people in a country is not the president, the prime minister or some other high ranking official.
    It’s the people, and it always, always will be this way.

  7. Look I’m not the most politically informed here so bare with me & explain to me, if Hong Kong citizens don’t vote for their elected officials then just how democratic are they?

  8. 1:52 she said China has no separation of power, no humane punishment. This kind of ignorance is causing the riots, this is what protesters in Hong Kong believes. I for one who is from the mainland will tell you, if you don't do anything illegal, there is no punishment. There are still millions of individuals who are thriving is the "inhumane" society in mainland China. There is no way China can be where it is in the world without individual freedom and human rights! Grow up and learn to fit in you society!

  9. A few more information for the beginning, the Taiwan government tried to deal with the Hong Kong government for the killer, but hk gov just refused to cooperate with them. Then, the hk gov eventually started making up this bill and everything began.

  10. Will you update on the us human rights and democracy act for Hong Kong ??? I really like how this video explained the situation and breaks it down. Hope it updates on recent events like this bill. To understand more in depth of this bill and what would happen if it was passed.

  11. The extradition law just means that murderers and other delinquents can not take refuge in Hong Kong. It is the same law that exists among MOST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. Look, after the problems with the invation of Irak, USA has learned a new way of desestabilizing and destroying countries in defense of the interests of its corporations and its olygarchy. The model was successful to a certain extent in Ukraine, and now the USA and Western intelligence services are applying it in China. Obviously helped by the desinformartion and manipulation of mass media. These protests do not have nothing to do with freedom but yes with the war USA corporations have declared to their Chinese competitors.

  12. "History will tell weather we succeed. Even if we fail, history will say we did put up a fight and that they didn't just take things lying down…"
    Sorry lady, but the winner writes the history and the history, as told by the Chinese government has a history of not including reality.

  13. I want the bill to pass so the people in Hong Kong 🇭🇰 can start a resistance and collapse China so there will be no more p2w

  14. actually, each country have their own way to rule their people. no matter what the way is, the most important thing is whether the people get happiness. the people in mainland can have a happy life under Beijing's policy, even better than HK people, why can't HK people. It's not a problem about whether the time is 2047. if you can't see this in a positive attitude. you will have to accept it in 2047, as sad as present.

  15. Come on, the bill is no longer the issue, why still trashing your own city! These so called protesters are destroying HK!

  16. I am a 8th Grade World History and i am currently teaching about the events leading up to this moment to my kids; with the intention of having a few debates

  17. We’re witnessing literal history that’s going to be in history books later on in the future, that our children will learn about.

  18. Well we know where LeBron James and the NBA stands on this. I support Free Hong Kong, but I'm afraid that spineless US corporations will only sell them out. Protest NBA every day from now on to keep this in the news. The world should be listening to these protesters.

  19. Hong Kong: Oh 13 colonies, teach me the ways
    13 colonies: No, I don’t think I will
    Also 13 colonies: Anyways so I start blasting

  20. I really wanted to learn about this issue but since Vox makes so much garbage I cannot trust anything they say.

  21. 反反蒙面法,反对警察暴力执法,支持民主自由。支持香港独立。支持英格兰独立。

  22. China has violated the contract therefore there are no more terms free Hong Kong and Tibet, reconsider member Tiwan

  23. But what is the plan on allowing their people to take trips to do murders and return with no legal way to put them in prison?

  24. In America let’s stop the racial and ethnic disparities, let’s stop police brutality, let’s stop gentrification, let’s stop the inequality in education far before we look east.

  25. WWIII could be right around the corner. I can see China and the US warring as soon as we decide to intervene in Hong Kong. Pay attention to what is going on because this is going to be very important history.

  26. i hope that sun tzu is still alive to support this protest on hong kong and i hope he'll ashamed ji xingpi from what his doing.

  27. Fiquei extremamente triste a notícia mais recente sobre a censura da blizzard ao campeão de headstone, mas desejo muito sorte é força a hong Kong:D

  28. Of course you can extradite suspects to countries you have no extradition treaties with, extradition can be done on a case by case basis. You just won't have a standard set of extradition policies that both sides adhere to. Extradition on a case by case basis is the reason for Julian Assange's weird journey across the world. As one government caves and offers to extradite him, he has had to move to other countries to stay free. If no treaty meant no extradition, then he could have stayed in any country with no Extradition treaty with the US forever.

  29. I take no sides on this matter but it's interesting because it's like having strict parents. Once you've tasted freedom, of course, you won't want to go back. But at the same time, they're still your parents…

  30. Basically China is that Person on Twitter that doesn’t know got to take a joke, And Blocks you.

    Companies does anything to please the Chinese government. As it will restrict them. And that mean no money. And companies only care about that, After all, how will you pay Your thousands of employees and run the buildings and the employees Tools?

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