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China pulling the strings in Hong Kong

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16.06.2019

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people — nearly 2 million, by some estimates — took to the streets of Hong Kong once again, demanding that a contentious extradition law be scrapped and for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to step down.

The irate protesters aren't only marching against the proposed bill, but also the continued Chinese takeover of their city. It's a battle to preserve Hong Kong's identity.

As a former British crown colony, Hong Kong's Basic Law constitution guarantees civil rights and freedoms under a Western-style framework. It has a fundamentally democratic value system that encompasses the rule of law, freedom of the press and freedom of expression. All of these terms are foreign in mainland China.

China's reformist leader Deng Xiaoping came up the guiding principle for Hong Kong's return to China in 1997: "One country, two systems." China was tasked with handling foreign policy and defense, but Hong Kong would be able to continue governing itself.

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Special status?

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