Hong Kong Protests Becoming Increasingly Violent as They Drag On

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Now in their seventh month, the Hong Kong protests have seen an increase in violence from both police and protesters.

Hong Kong protests are now in their seventh month, and they’ve become more and more destructive as protestors have become increasingly frustrated. The protests started in June of 2019 over a new bill from Beijing that would allow criminal extraction to China, where the justice system is must harsher. 

But to get to the root of the issue and why the protests have continued long after the bill was overturned, we have to look at the history of Hong Kong and China. According to BBC News, Hong Kong was a British colony for more than 150 years and became a busy trading port and economy in the 1950’s. It became popular with migrants and dissidents escaping instability, poverty or persecution in China. However, in 1984, Britain and China made a deal that Hong Kong would return to China in 1997 as “one country, two systems.” The “one country, two systems” essentially means that Hong Kong has its own legal system, borders, and rights, such as freedom of speech and assembly. They’re fiercely protective of these rights, especially given the declining freedom and increasing censorship in China. Civil rights groups are arguing that China has been meddling in Hong Kong and that their rights are on the decline. They cite instances such as artists that have disqualified pro-democracy legislators or artists and writers that feel increasing pressure to self-censor. (BBC) 

The initial protests were over a new law that China released, which would allow extraction to mainland China from Hong Kong. However, protests continued even after the bill was overturned, as protests expanded their complaints to include their limitations of democracy, as well as against the increasingly aggressive tactics of the police. In response, protesters have become even more bold in their protests, resorting to rioting tactics as well as attacking and looting stores that are thought to be supportive of China’s regime. 

The protests show no signs of stopping, as neither side is willing to back down. China considers the protests to be a personal attack on their country, while Hong Kong is determined to gain back their rights that they consider to be infringed. Hopefully, both sides can eventually come to an agreement without furthering the chaos much longer.