Marking the fifth anniversary of a Chinese ban on fully democratic elections in the region, Hong Kong protests escalated for the 13th week in a row this weekend as demonstrators rallied with Christian groups outside the headquarters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. They were also met by police who fired rubber bullets and tear gas, whilst some protesters threw petrol bombs and removed surveillance cameras. Damage to a number of buildings was reported.
In 2019 Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, pushed for an amendment to the country’s extradition laws and this is cited as one of the main reasons for the dramatic increase in protests. Crowds of up to 130,000 regularly participate in demonstrations in Hong Kong.
The attempted changes to extradition laws are perceived by Hong Kong residents as enabling Chinese political aspirations to change its status of “one country, two systems”. The United Kingdom withdrew from Hong Kong in 1997 allowing China to form this arrangement.
The proposed extradition laws would allow criminals to be detained and sent to mainland, communist China for trial.