Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

The people of Hong Kong are protesting in record-breaking numbers.

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Hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers have taken to the streets to protest a controversial extradition bill that could send Hong Kong residents to mainland China to be tried in court. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, says the bill is meant to prevent Hong Kong from becoming a safe haven for fugitives. But its opponents fear that Hong Kong would be exposed to China’s flawed judicial system, which would lead to further erasure of the city’s judicial independence.

At first Lam was determined to move forward with the bill. But after a series of massive protests, she announced she would “indefinitely suspend” the bill. But protesters aren’t accepting the suspension, and have started demanding its complete withdrawal. They’ve also begun calling for Lam’s resignation.

But this rise in tensions is about a lot more than a bill. To understand why this bill hits a nerve with Hongkongers, it’s important to understand Hong Kong’s relationship with China – and exactly how the bill would tip the scales in China’s favor.

Watch this video to understand the news coming out of Hong Kong and the history that led up to this moment. 

For more context on Hong Kong’s history with China, you can watch one of our Vox Borders Hong Kong episodes here:

And for even more context on Hong Kong’s history with Britain you can watch another one of our Vox Borders Hong Kong episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StW7oGSR_Mg

If you want to get real nerdy you can read Hong Kong’s Basic Law (their mini Constitution) here:
https://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basiclawtext/index.html

You can also read the Sino-British Joint Declaration that defined Hong Kong when the British handed it back to China in 1997 here: http://www.gov.cn/english/2007-06/14/content_649468.htm

And the extradition law introduced in Hong Kong that has sparked massive protests here:
https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr18-19/english/hc/papers/hc20190412ls-65-e.pdf

Here is a piece reported by the New York Times on the latest from Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s leader:

Here are some additional resources regarding Hong Kong’s democracy and political make-up:
https://sites.duke.edu/corporations/2018/01/29/the-mirror-colonial-britain-and-chinas-rationale-for-hong-kongs-functional-constituency/
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/democracy-hong-kong
https://books.google.com/books?id=ZDubDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA202&lpg=PA202&dq=Reunification,+Patriotism,+and+Political+Disorder:+From+1997+to+2017+%22underground+front%22&source=bl&ots=vn4zdV2FSi&sig=ACfU3U2yyYBTZ0hFfWC6y9oYS4YzxY6UDg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjVgcDv5eziAhXQg-AKHV4EB9sQ6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

And finally, you can also find our latest articles covering the most recent developments here:
https://www.vox.com/2019/6/18/18683582/hong-kong-extradition-bill-protests-china
https://www.vox.com/world/2019/6/16/18680897/huge-hong-kong-protests-continue-after-the-government-postpones-controversial-billhttps://www.vox.com/2019/6/11/18661007/hong-kong-protest-2019-china-extradition
https://www.vox.com/world/2019/6/9/18658650/hong-kong-protest-march-china-extradition-bill-2019

Thanks for watching! And let us know what you think of this video in the comments!

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73 Responses

  1. Vox says:

    If you want to dive further into Hong Kong check out our five episodes of Vox Borders Hong Kong here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StW7oGSR_Mg&list=PLJ8cMiYb3G5cEIWi56dV_caS1M0i9Kgmb

    And if you want to help us make even more videos like this, the best way to do that is to become a Video Lab member! If you’re interested in supporting our work, just follow this link to learn more: http://bit.ly/vox-video-membership

    • Pluto Moon says:

      @Alan Au no Europeans are no longer allowed according to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Called ALL ” *a basket of deplorable* : ” that is code for kill them all! Except her and her LGBTQP ers. However Latin cocaine and heroin and meth producers , middle Eastern, South Asia , China and Asians, Africans, and native Americans are permissible.

    • lent says:

      @Josef Stalin I’m still waiting for my food

  2. RedShadow says:

    2:28 its so weird to see a Chinese person in such a uniform

    • Jordan Schwarzlose says:

      RedShadow right? It’s interesting to see how humans “interest” and “likes” change throughout history.

  3. kuazexin says:

    So basically HongKong is a plutocracy and has no true democracy to begin with.

  4. star liang says:

    As a Taiwanese, I stand with democratic Hong Kong

  5. Jus Myself says:

    Dang they make us Americans look sad, look how they come together. Our protest be little club groups.

    • badboje says:

      ​@Ratinder Singh That’s just not true. I’ve lived in the U.S. for nearly 10 years now and I have yet to meet a single racist person.

    • Thirty Two says:

      Cause we tend to protest ober if pineapple belomgs on pizza

    • The Person says:

      Steven Lee literally no country is a democracy in the world and it’s not because they stop people from punching each other in the faces

  6. Ryan N says:

    I like how how Hong Kong has lobbying built into their representative system.

    • 郭士達 says:

      This is actually a very bad system because the electorates of the business sector are not well-defined. A trucking company owner was able to register himself as a voter for the Sports and Entertainment group. Another person was able to have 6 votes simply because he was allowed to register 6 clubs with no active member. The whole thing is a scam.

    • Nick says:

      @郭士達 I’m pretty sure Ryan N was being ironic. Rather than being sneaky about abusing lobbying to control government, HK has skipped that step and just give the votes straight to corporations, making it even easier for them to control the laws.

    • tocrob says:

      @Nick and legal immunity on top of that ( icing on the cake ).

    • Too gay to function says:

      Sounds like the City of London.

    • DeepSpace12 says:

      @郭士達 And the fishery representatives. As if Hong Kong has a vibrant fishery industry…

  7. Salvor says:

    Thank you for letting the world know what is happening. We appreciate it!

  8. Dasarathy Mutharasan says:

    Continue to fight back HK, know that your protests have not gone unheard across the world. Love from Canada.

    • Declan Edmison says:

      SR Media Just because they failed once doesn’t mean they’ll always win.

    • SebastianKing Ong says:

      Where are the white man and their flags. Why no American flags in the street. I don’t pay for this ill plan protests.

    • Y T says:

      thank you for your support!

    • NeoGeo says:

      You do know the bill is about the extradition of felons of crimes over 7 years back t to mainland china right?
      You have read up on the bill before positing right?
      I hope so… these criminals ( murders, rapists etc) that are living in Hong Kong free without trial.
      Please educate yourself on the bill.

  9. Fresh_doggo says:

    Tianamen square June 4th 1989

    Now nobody in China can watch this video

    • Bill Lo says:

      @Butterworth Filter In China, you can’t access Youtube, Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc.. unless you VPN it, but VPN is illegal, they can send you to jail.

    • Bill Lo says:

      @TK Wong I don’t know if you 50 cents or you are so cold blooded

    • Bill Lo says:

      @Bt Tan No, but if you are in China, you cannot access any western govts and media news, that is the problem

  10. Moondust2365 says:

    Go Hong Kong!!! Fight for Democracy! 🇭🇰
    <3 Love from the Philippines! 🇵🇭

  11. TheNachoNinja FTW says:

    _Protest in Hong Kong at June_

    Hey, I’ve seen this one before

  12. Chuck-U Farly says:

    I said back in 1997 that China will not honor the 2 systems. Politicians can’t resist meddling even with an agreement. I fee bad for the people of HK.

    • Fei Han says:

      just because Hongkong belongs to China?

    • Lachesis Morningstar says:

      Proof that you say it? Give us a link! Facts please!

    • Kryp Alex says:

      @Scott Tangents Whereas you don’t contribute anything to this conversation by name calling people. Typical of ignorant people who are anti-China and do not have any understanding of the situation. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    • sebastard429 says:

      Pankaj Gupta – it isn’t just people in the streets, it’s legal experts who say this bill will not guarantee humane punishment on the Mainland. Fair trials are not guaranteed. Don’t be so naive as to think China would treat Hong Kong as a separate entity – a crime in China would warrant extradition regardless whether Hong Kong deems it a crime. This has already happened illegally with the five booksellers who went missing and turned up in Mainland China after being critical of Chinese leaders. Western media did not influence 2 million people to turn out and to demand for their chief executive to step down.

  13. Future Senator Karl Pilkington says:

    in 2047 there’s gonna be a shitstorm in Hong Kong and Macau

  14. Morya Breland says:

    This sounds like Britain pushed off a problem on a future generation. As well as the setup for a refugee crisis in the late 2030s and early 2040s as people flee authoritarian rule

  15. #Deathstroke says:

    Dam I’m not even from hong kong and I already want to join in this protest

  16. G GG says:

    Can’t trust China. They promised 2047 and in 2019 are already breaking it.

    • jesse guy says:

      @Declan Edmison it helps the people in power, the military industrial complex. Companies made billions off the war, of course it’s not good for the American people.

    • Bill Lo says:

      @Pankaj Gupta what make you think America are involve in this? you are out of your mind.

    • Bill Lo says:

      @ge johnny People just think they understand it by just reading it, if that is so simple, you think 2 million Hongkongers are suckers? you think it is fun to go out to protest under the Summer heat with high humidity for several hours? Please spend more time to study the Bill before you saying anything, feel sorry for you.

  17. Johnathan land says:

    Hong Kong looks like it’s the year 2040 at night

  18. Michelle Ng says:

    Love the explanation of the Chief Executive and LegCo election systems! Also love the interview with Claudia Mo! However, there are 2 critical missing pieces that most non-Hong Kong and non-Taiwan media didn’t capture: 1) Prior to Hong Kong proposing this bill, Taiwan actually reached out for a one-off extradition request on 3 separate occasions, but the Hong Kong government ignored them and put this bill forward instead (i.e. under the current legal system, the murderer actually could be extradited to Taiwan for trial, so the bill was an excuse to pass a law for extradition to mainland instead), and 2) Taiwan is also against the bill, and has threatened to put forth a travel alert on Hong Kong for its citizens if this bill pass, because Taiwan also doesn’t trust the mainland government.

  19. ScytheNoire says:

    Hundreds of thousands?
    The one day at TWO MILLION people protesting. Total population: 7 million.
    2 in 7 people were out protesting. This is unprecedented percentage of a population protesting.

    • Kryp Alex says:

      @luticens So do you all give the police space when they are trying to clear the sites?

    • luticens says:

      Kryp Alex the protests were legally allowed, and the police were just there to keep everyone safe. i wasn’t there for the more violent protests, and we weren’t asked to leave then. they actually gave us roads, and we only filled ones that they allowed us to. we stayed polite, but on our goals. on 6/12, the police were using excessive force and if we just left when we were told, what would change? it’s a civil disobedience movement. if we were obedient, who’s to say what kind of laws the mainland would impose on us?

  20. Ike says:

    7:48
    The subtitle is wrong. It should be:
    “They are *not* doing this for themselves, but for the future of Hong Kong.”

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