Written by Naina Singh, a grade 6 student.
Ever since 1841 there have been many protests and complications in Hong Kong that continue till today.
How did this start?
It all started because of the Opium war. When China lost this war to Britan as part of the defeat they agreed to cede (give up power) of Hong Kong to Britan. They signed a treaty (agreement) which stated that Britan would rule Hong Kong for 99 years. Starting from up 1898 until 1997.
So, what was the problem after those 99 years got over?
When China had signed the treaty part of it also stated that for 50 years (1997-2047) China would not directly rule Hong Kong. This meant that Hong Kong would maintain its own political and economic independence for 50 years. So where was the problem? This seems quite straightforward. Well, the problem came in when China started trying to control Hong Kong. China is not a democracy, but the people of Hong Kong believe in freedom and democracy and they are opposing Chinese control. Hong Kong’s technical name is – Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region).
A quick update- What is happening now?
While protests in Hong Kong have been going on for a while, there was a big protest movement in 2014 where thousands of people came to the streets to protest. This came to be known as the Umbrella Movement (people came with umbrellas so that image became part of the symbol).
Now people are back to the streets in protest.
Why are they protesting this time?
Firstly, why are the protests happening in 2020? Well, China has proposed a bill (a draft of a proposed law presented to parliament for discussion) called the extradition bill. Extradition means to forcefully hand over a person accused or convicted of a crime to the government or the force that has official power to a foreign country. So, in short China will have the ability to send anybody in Hong Kong who committed a crime to any country if this bill becomes a law. This will take away a lot of freedom from the people of Hong Kong.
People fear that this bill will be used to target those fighting for democracy and they will be sent to China. Hong Kong people are fighting for freedom and that’s why they are protesting.
Written by Naina Singh
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