- Title: Timeline of Hong Kong's politics, on six month mark of anti-government protests
- Date: 9th December 2019
- Summary: A million strong protesters, according to organisers, filled the streets of Hong Kong on June 9 in a bid to thwart a proposed extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to China to face trial. Several hundred riot police armed with batons, shields, tear gas guns and pepper spray sealed off the Legislative Council as hundreds of protesters charged their lines shortly after midnight. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 9, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CARRYING BANNERS ON STREET PLACARD READING (English) "NO CHINA EXTRADITION" HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 10, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) POLICE CLASHING WITH PROTESTERS POLICE SHOUTING POLICE CLASHING WITH PROTESTERS Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the city's legislature on June 12 to protest against the extradition bill before tempers flared and the protest turned chaotic. Hong Kong police in riot gear fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray as demonstrators threw plastic bottles and various items, and rushed to the legislative council building. Officials said 72 people were admitted to hospital. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 12, 2019) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS RUNNING TEAR GAS BEING FIRED ON THE LEFT / PROTESTERS RUNNING PROTESTERS RUNNING FROM TEAR GAS PROTESTERS RUSHING TOWARDS LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL COMPLEX / POLICE USING PEPPER SPRAY PROTESTERS AND POLICE SCUFFLING Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on June 15 delayed indefinitely a proposed law to allow extraditions to mainland China, in a dramatic retreat after widespread anger over the bill sparked violent protests in the Asian finance hub. The extradition bill, which would cover Hong Kong's 7 million residents as well as foreign and Chinese nationals in the city, was seen by many as a threat to the rule of law in the former British colony. Lam said there was no deadline, effectively suspending the process indefinitely. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 15, 2019) (REUTERS) LAM WALKING INTO ROOM MEDIA FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "In the transfer of the concerned suspect, the original urgency to pass this bill in this legislative year, perhaps, no longer exists. After repeated internal deliberations over the last two days, I now announce, that the special administrative region government would like to suspend the work." An unidentified man stood on top of a scaffolding of the Pacific Place Complex in Hong Kong before falling to his death on the night of June 15. He had earlier unfurled a banner denouncing Hong Kong's extradition bill. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 15, 2019) (REUTERS) UNIDENTIFIED MAN IN YELLOW RAINCOAT STANDING ON SCAFFOLDING AT A DEPARTMENT STORE WHO LATER FELL TO HIS DEATH / BANNER READING (Chinese and English): "MAKE LOVE, NO SHOOT! NO EXTRADITION TO CHINA" MAN STANDING ON SCAFFOLDING, BACK FACING THE ROAD Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Hong Kong on June 16, dressed in black to demand the city's embattled leader to step down, a day after she suspended an extradition bill in a dramatic retreat following the most violent protests in decades. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 16, 2019) (REUTERS) PEOPLE MARCHING IN PROTEST VARIOUS PEOPLE HOLDING SIGNS READING (English): "STOP KILLING US" VARIOUS OF MASSIVE CROWDS MARCHING IN PROTEST Activist Joshua Wong, who had become the face of Hong Kong's push for full democracy, walked free from prison on June 17 and joined a chorus of voices demanding that the city's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, steps down. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 17, 2019) (REUTERS) DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST JOSHUA WONG WALKING OUT OF PRISON WONG SPEAKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST, JOSHUA WONG, SAYING: ''Hong Kong people will not keep silent under the suppression of President Xi and the Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Carrie Lam must step down." Lam on June 18 signalled the end of a controversial extradition bill that she promoted and then postponed following violent protests. In a closely-watched press conference, Lam apologised for the turmoil but refused to say the bill would be "withdrawn," only that it wouldn't be re-introduced during her time in office if public fears persist. However democracy activists decried her move, saying they would only accept a withdrawal of the bill and for Lam to step down. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 18, 2019) (REUTERS) LAM WALKING TO PODIUM MEDIA SITTING AND FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "I personally have to shoulder much of the responsibility." PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS NATHAN LAW (LEFT), JOSHUA WONG (CENTER) AND AGNES CHOW (RIGHT), STANDING AND HOLDING PICTURES OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARRIE LAM AND POLICE CHIEF STEPHAN LO MEDIA FILMING DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOSISTO PARTY MEMBER AND DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST, JOSHUA WONG, SAYING: "Carrie Lam just choose to say sorry and that's all and totally ignore the requests of Hong Kong citizens." Thousands of demonstrators blockaded police headquarters on June 21 as Asia's leading financial center braced itself for a third weekend of mass protests against an extradition bill that has plunged the Chinese-ruled city into crisis. Marchers demanded that the government drop all charges against those arrested in last week's clashes, charge police with what they describe as violent action and stop referring to the protests as a riot. HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 21, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) PROTESTERS GATHERED OUTSIDE HONG KONG POLICE HEADQUARTERS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS THROWING OBJECTS AT POLICE HQ More than 1,000 protesters marched to the U.S. consulate and European Union Office in Hong Kong to call on nations at an upcoming G20 meeting to raise the plight of Hong Kong with China and to support the full scrapping of a controversial extradition bill. Protesters held placards reading "President Trump, liberate Hong Kong" and chanted "Free Hong Kong." HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JUNE 26, 2019) (REUTERS) PROTESTER HOLDING PLACARD READING (English): "FREE HK FROM CHINA COLONIZATION" SHOUTING (English): "FREE HONG KONG" ACTIVISTS MARCHING Protesters stormed the city's legislative council building on the 22nd anniversary of the city's 1997 return to Chinese rule on July 1, destroying pictures and daubing walls with graffiti. Leader Carrie Lam later condemned the protesters' actions, saying that many Hong Kong residents had been saddened by the "extreme use of violence and vandalism by protesters". HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JULY 1, 2019) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS RAMMING TROLLEY INTO GLASS OF LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL PROTESTERS HITTING GLASS WITH METAL ROD PROTESTERS TAKING APART METAL STRUCTURES AROUND LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL BUILDING
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2019 04:29
- Keywords: China Hong Kong Occupy Sino-British Joint Declaration Umbrella anniversary extradition handover one country protests two systems
- Location: HONG KONG / SHENZHEN, GUANGDONG PROVINCE / BEIJING, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG / SHENZHEN, GUANGDONG PROVINCE / BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Government/Politics,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA00HB99TOW7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: December 19th marks the 35th anniversary of the signing of an agreement by China and Britain over Hong Kong, which laid the blueprint over how the city would be ruled after its return to China in 1997.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed on December 19, 1984 by then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang, laid out how Britain would end its century-and-a-half long rule over Hong Kong. It also guarantees the city's rights and freedoms under the "two systems" formula.
Under Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, Hong Kong was guaranteed its freedoms for "at least 50 years" after 1997.
This year, Hong Kong has been rocked by six months of sometimes violent unrest in the biggest challenge to Chinese stability since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The protesters' demands include universal suffrage, an investigation into alleged police brutality and an end to Beijing's perceived efforts to undermine democratic freedoms promised when the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997.
China denies interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" formula enshrined at the handover and guaranteeing the territory a high degree of autonomy. Beijing blames foreign countries including the United States for inciting unrest.
(Production: Phyllis Xu)
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