Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

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The people of Hong Kong are protesting in record-breaking numbers. Thanks to Dashlane for sponsoring us - Try Dashlane free here: www.dashlane.com/vox and get 10% off now with promo code VOX.
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Correction at 7:48: The protester says “They are not doing this for themselves, but for the future of Hong Kong.”
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: ruvid.net/video/video-StW7oGSR_Mg.html
If you want to get real nerdy you can read Hong Kong’s Basic Law (their mini Constitution) here:
You can also read the Sino-British Joint Declaration that defined Hong Kong when the British handed it back to China in 1997 here: www.gov.cn/english/2007-06/14/content_649468.htm
And the extradition law introduced in Hong Kong that has sparked massive protests here:
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:
And finally, you can also find our latest articles covering the most recent developments here:
Thanks for watching! And let us know what you think of this video in the comments!
Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com.
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Published on


Jun 22, 2019

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Comments 9 382
Vox 13 days ago
UPDATE: Protesters in Hong Kong forced their way into the legislature on July 1, taking over the building on the 22nd anniversary of the city-state’s handover from Britain to China. The occupation is likely a turning point in what have been relatively peaceful - and powerful - demonstrations. Read more: www.vox.com/world/2019/7/1/20677066/hong-kong-protests-legislative-council
terry green
terry green Hour ago
lol, forced their way?
Boonpeng Siah
Boonpeng Siah 5 hours ago
@Nigel Li where on earth did you gather such info that "UK to take HK back".
Brighton Lek
Brighton Lek Day ago
@Nigel Li I am upset by your statement of UK have the right to take back HK. Can you do a little research on opium war. HK was all along China land. Your statement will raise the next world war. If you claim to love humanity, can you comment on the drugging of the Chinese people back in those days.
Sidztravelblog 5 minutes ago
99% of the world's problems was created by the Great Britain
Wynn Xiao
Wynn Xiao Hour ago
I know this has become a political issue however can’t help but wonder what is the feeling who’s parents of that pregnant lady that has been killed by the boyfriend. So the boyfriend has a jail free card because of this? Can someone explain to me?
Sassymestreet 2 hours ago
I find it ridiculous how in this video, it uses “pro-democracy” vs “pro-China”. And also the border is between the mainland and Hong Kong, not “China and Hong Kong”. I respect the people’s right to peacefully protest. But what’s happening now in Hong Kong is violent. Many innocent police officers are getting hurt. The method the protesters are taking can’t be encouraged. After all, Hong Kong is a city of China. Not only by politics, but also getting economic and living support from the mainland. I have friends from Hong Kong, but I was also swore at by a Hongkongnese for being Chinese. Issues like these are far more complicated than what the protesters have got to say. Media has strong power and they know it. But the audience can sometimes be unaware of the media’s influence. Please make sure, at least, you get your geography right before you tell a sensitive story like this. Stop being manipulative.
J j
J j 4 hours ago
Lego structure is wrong they are Not all pro Beijing, do your homework ! N they are Not all corporations, more are professional bodies. Dont fool ppl.
michaelwumol 4 hours ago
Lair. Little group of commitees who are selected by HK people
康卓 4 hours ago
binxin chen
binxin chen 5 hours ago
what a pretty riot😂
Sarah Sukaimi
Sarah Sukaimi 5 hours ago
*my last braincell still processing informations*
Mark Zhou
Mark Zhou 6 hours ago
For a very long period before 1997, Hong Kong has no democracy under UK. If the change of 1997 never happened, do you believe Hong Kong would get more autonomy than now?
Steven Guo
Steven Guo 7 hours ago
It's a good thing that under British gov't every 'HKer' is quiet and obedient and productive, I think British 'democracy' largely contributed to it. It is funny when HK people think west does not have a tendency on press and news sector and everyone has a say in choosing their leader. In China, you have no freedom of speech, you cant protest against the gov't. In the US, you can and somebody does, and you will end up being charged with defamation and end up in prison anyway. The only difference here is that US is still stronger than China and probs still better at telling lies than most of countries.
ewilddog 7 hours ago
i really don't get this, the law is about extradition which many many countries have in the world, if Hong Kong wants to be viewed as an independent nation, I think this is what they are trying to achieve here, cuz none of them will admit they are Chinese, then this is something as a nation should consider, if not, then you are basically encouraging your nationals to commit crime overseas then come back because your homeland will protect you? And there's been no mentioning of how the murderer should get trialed but somehow made this into a Hong Kong vs mainland independence argument? it's not even related, and for those that are protesting so much about Hong Kong potentially "fallen", how's that even relevant to this case? I just want to know what happened to the murderer and what's Hong Kong government prepared to do about it? I mean if you are a law biding citizen, extradition or not, why would it bother you? Plus the guy killed someone in Taiwan, not even mainland China, I really don't understand how they make this into an issue with China, i mean extradition law will not be limited to just China only right? And the logic don't even make sense here, what if someone from Hong Kong killed someone in China or vise versa, someone from China killed someone in Hong Kong? What's going to happen then? Just forget about it because Hong Kong desperately don't want to be associated with China? And what about other nations that Hong Kong deals with? If any crime gets committed, what's going to be the solution? Honestly, to me if anyone that should be protesting, it should be Taiwan, the man committed murder on their soil and they can't do anything about it because no extradition in place, then somehow he manage to fly back to his homeland, next thing you know, you have the whole nation's hothead trying to protect him for their rights??? A women died here, how's that related to a nation's future or how's that even a democracy argument? What are you going to say to the women's family? And she's pregnant with a child, I don't know about other countries but here in the states, the guy would be charged with first degree murderer without a doubt plus he already admitted to the crime, he would be looking at life sentence possibly without parole too, and here we are everyone arguing about independence against mainland China, what happened to all these people's senses? Please tell me the guy has been arrested and being charged and trialed for murder? Cuz no news media in HK seems to care?
Wynn Xiao
Wynn Xiao Hour ago
ewilddog totally agree with you. After I watched this video the thing only that got me thinking is so what are they planning to do with the murderer? So the murderer can have a jail free card? It feels very weird if that’s democracy to Hong Kongers. Also what are they planning to do in 2047? I thought their future is to return China in 2047 according to the agreement? Sounds like all this youngsters planning to fight against the government again in 2047 in their forties or move to Atlantic Ocean, haha. Not sure how this really solve any problem. 🤔
pablo honey
pablo honey 7 hours ago
Some people nowadays like being colonized
Paulo 98
Paulo 98 8 hours ago
So, where did the murderer go?
ZQ Pang
ZQ Pang 8 hours ago
威 李
威 李 10 hours ago
Euhundra 10 hours ago
Don't blame the protestors. Blame Carry Lam for waiting until the protestors to get violent to scrap the bill. Essentially sending the message, "Violent protests are what's required to get us to do something." Which manipulates the protestors to continue violence, attempts to get the international community to side with Carry Lam. One of the most disgusting strategies I've ever seen. How to manipulate democracy 101 - annihilating dissenting voices by making your opponent produce actions of negative sympathy.
Fair & Square Justice
Arrest all these protesters, and send them to labour camps in China! Why should you worry about extradition law if you do not commit any serious crimes in China? Does Hong Kong has extradition laws with UK or US?
Apollo 10 hours ago
Yeah! Arrest 1/7 of the population and give communism more power and allow them to falsely arrest democrats!
Mosen Wong
Mosen Wong 11 hours ago
Can you make a subjective report and display different views?
Lion 4U
Lion 4U 10 hours ago
subjective and different views hahahaha
T S 11 hours ago
HK's on dead row
Jonathan Mui
Jonathan Mui 13 hours ago
everytime i watch whats going on in hk it just makes me want to cry... I don't want my home to be destroyed... and my people to be hurt...
Jonathan Mui
Jonathan Mui 13 hours ago
刘贾 14 hours ago
As a 30-year-old Chinese, I just finished my postgraduate studies from a university in Hong Kong. To be honest, I really don’t like the castration standards of the mainland. As a result, our news is blocked. What I understand is the truth that the government let me know, but My salary level has really advanced by leaps and bounds, and the quality of life has improved a lot. Compared with Hong Kong people, it seems like we don’t have the power to resist anything. It seems that we are used to living under such a form. I certainly respect everyone’s decision,but what I have to say is that young people in Hong Kong need to work harder, not just shouting slogans. They need down-to-earth efforts, and they need the local strength in the economic, technological, and industrial chains. People who can change something may be on the street. Politics is really complicated, but life is real, it’s our own. Our generation is actually trying to change something, I do love China, because it’s my country, I also hate the policyholders, hope you guys can understand my standpoint.
Billy Chung
Billy Chung 13 hours ago
They are talking about democracy but you ask working harder. I dont get it. You mean democracy(especially freedom of speech) and strength of the economy are incompatible?
Teng Pong Yu
Teng Pong Yu 14 hours ago
If the policy on the welfare of houses, education, medical support and basic amenities were distributed well, which are basic necessities that comfort the soul of Hong Kong people, things could be managed at a different evel. The identity of who they are and where they sit, especially the younger generation towards their future, is what brought forth a bottled up and escalated frustration that triggers the crisis.
junliang lin
junliang lin 14 hours ago
If hong kong always do it like this.Feel free to protest, without thinking.Being misled and not conscious, I believe that Hong Kong will not have a future.Therefore, I think that any Hong Kong youth who are interested in continuing to develop themselves will still leave Hong Kong. Because Hong Kong has long been overweight by Western and local interest groups, there is no future.Some people say that the fugitive offenders will do so. Hong Kong has lost its status as a legal independence. I think that the first fugitive offenders Ordinance should be clearly marked on the draft and the right to decide whether to extradite is in the hands of Hong Kong judges. In the hands of the mainland, this is one of the two. After many years of development, the level of the legal system in the mainland, you or the inland areas has also increased significantly.On this serious issue, if you want to have objections, you need to produce evidence, evidence must be and it is true evidence.Those who want to know these things, I suggest you collect information from many aspects and think about the problem from more angles, such as this time.Finally, I wish Hong Kong good luck.God bless Hong Kong.
Frank Mark
Frank Mark 14 hours ago
One person one vote wasn’t even a thing under British rule.
Pan Patrick
Pan Patrick 14 hours ago
HK’s fall should blame the media and young people themselves. The future will tell the truth. You can misled and fool the people once but not all the time.
David Feltheim
David Feltheim 15 hours ago
Hong Kong deserves to be like Singapore, and independent and powerful city state.
pablo honey
pablo honey 7 hours ago
What independent. Lol... Who gives you water to drink... Your neighbour. Come on wake up son
jmin w
jmin w 10 hours ago
???????? and not have any of these rights to assembly? having a one party state that has tightened civil and political freedoms?
Ld Adv
Ld Adv 15 hours ago
All Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee's fight. Forgot to mention Jet li
Suk Mike Hok
Suk Mike Hok 15 hours ago
Rice is rice
An Zheng
An Zheng 15 hours ago
So it was in the end a kind of china-phobia.
LordEredor 15 hours ago
That construction worker guy is a mole... You wanna fight China and yet you speak Mandarin while the other two fellas spoke Cantonese which is Hong Kong's lingo.... Maybe because their education has slowly eroded Cantonese and replace it with Mandarin.... hmmmm.. should protest against that as well..... I remember a time where Hong Konger don't just not speak Mandarin, but don't know.... It's like not being able to speak Spanish....
Kelvin Tan
Kelvin Tan 16 hours ago
I wonder if Hong kong can survive without China. Basically Hong Kong citizen have to decide for themselves what kind of model they want for their state. Capitalism vs socialism. if they are unhappy about cost of living, then they should adopt socialism model. Cut back on land sale revenue and focus more on sustainable tax model. What is that Hong Kong is protesting for the sale of protesting without any concrete thought what they really want.
Steven Guo
Steven Guo 7 hours ago
@Jonathan Mui It's a good thing that under British gov't every 'HKer' is quiet and obedient and productive, I think British 'democracy' largely contributed to it. It is funny when HK people think west does not have a tendency on press and news sector and everyone has a say in choosing their leader. In China, you have no freedom of speech, you cant protest against the gov't. In the US, you can and somebody does, and you will end up being charged with defamation and end up in prison anyway. The only difference here is that US is still stronger than China and probs still better at telling lies than most of countries.
Jonathan Mui
Jonathan Mui 13 hours ago
its not always about economics. it's about freedoms, and culture, and a life forwards that they can be proud of. Hong kong one of the largest ports in the southeastern region, they are a connection between the west and east, im sure they can manage.
Hae Shim
Hae Shim 16 hours ago
Step down Carrie Lam
y z
y z 18 hours ago
Yixuan Jia
Yixuan Jia 20 hours ago
J F Woods
J F Woods 20 hours ago
Shame on UK for not enforcing the Treaty!
Anthony Salgado
Anthony Salgado 21 hour ago
This reminds me of that time in ‘89
Cancayate4 22 hours ago
Last time is Syria, this time is "The people of Hongkong", when they represent me, a hongkong resident? rofl. Time to tell, no need the time to tell, it is rioter and there is no massacre in Tianman square 6.4. Hongkong government will not be hijack by your violent.
sebastian sandoval
I don’t blame China. In America we Mexicans are trying to take back what was ours. Hong Kong can go back to British oppression colonial slavery
Danny Thrive
Danny Thrive Day ago
don't give up! keep pushing on! the bill is political slavery!!!!!
Danny Thrive
Danny Thrive Day ago
don't give up! keep pushing on! the bill is political slavery!!!!!
meera bhargava
I wish you could make a video on China's influence on the Venezuelan Crisis.
马健刚 Day ago
Hong Kong people are really sad. Hong Kong will no longer be of value after China's fall.
Eddie Solis
Eddie Solis Day ago
Woaaahhh... And here I thought all this time Hong Kong was already part of the China since its within its territory. After this video I understand why they don't want this bill to pass and how it will affect them in the future. 🤔😮 I don't really get why would the British give a timeline in order for China to take Hong Kong back, what was the purpose??
Chris Rinaldi
My grandpa: China is in the right Me: no. Hong Kong is in the right What eventually happens: legit just noise.
Tuan Nguyen
Tuan Nguyen Day ago
They can't not arrest sever million people of Hong Kong. So don't back down. Just keep moving forward, the people of Hong Kong will win.
midnightduo1 12 hours ago
They dont need to
GoldenHawk93 Day ago
HK = bunch of 3 year old kids crying... when dad is giving you money and supporting you.
Jack M
Jack M Day ago
You can change nothing ! Just do your own works and follow the rules, otherwise you won't have a nice ending.
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