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  • Protests are fairly common in Hong Kong and theyre usually handled peacefully by law

  • enforcement. That is until this past week, when police showed up in military gear and

  • used tear gas on a protest group called Occupy Central. A move that is being seen by some

  • as a clear sign that China and Hong Kong's pro-China chief executive are changing their

  • tune on civil unrest. So, why is the Chinese government more aggressively cracking down

  • now and what is really happening in Hong Kong?

  • Well, Hong Kong was under British rule until 1997, when the city was handed back over to

  • the Chinese. That came with some caveats designed to establish Hong Kong as a “Special Administrative

  • Regionof China with more self-representation, democracy and freedom than other regions under

  • Chinese control. The exact level of these freedoms was not explicitly laid out in the

  • original deal and now there is some concern that China could assert more control over

  • Hong Kong than expected. That is the central issue of this conflict.

  • The Occupy Central movement wants a high level of autonomy including full democratic elections

  • by 2017, something that has been promised to Hong Kong since 1997. The Chinese Government

  • wants a less autonomous Hong Kong and more control over elections. China will most likely

  • allow the 2017 general elections, but they also recently announced that the nominees

  • will be selected by the Chinese Government. So, Hong Kong would get the vote, but they’d

  • only be able to elect the leaders that China wants. This is what the Occupy Central movement

  • was protesting and why this whole thing is coming to a head now. But that isn’t the

  • only issue.

  • In 1989, the Chinese Military killed approximately 2,600 peaceful pro-democracy protesters in

  • Beijing and other cities in China. It’s known as the Tiananmen Square protests and

  • massacre and it looms over the current situation. The people of Hong Kong have seen how authoritative

  • and anti-democratic the Chinese Government can be in some instances. Many are worried

  • that losing the freedom to control their own elections could lead to their losing Special

  • Administrative Status. A possibility that the Chinese Central Government has already

  • hinted at. According to a recent report put out by the Chinese Government "the high degree

  • of autonomy of [Hong Kong] is not an inherent power, but one that comes solely from the

  • authorization by the central leadership."

  • The Chinese Government is cracking down now because the people of Hong Kong are split

  • on this issue. Some, like the Occupy Central Movement, want to press the issue and maintain

  • autonomy, while others are willing to make concessions to China in order to avoid conflict.

  • China’s aggression may be designed to force the general public to pick a side, but it

  • is also a not so subtle reminder of what could happen if they decide to go against China.

  • To find out more about China and their domestic policies, check out our video on Tibet and

  • the conflict there. Or click on our other box to see how Powerful China actually is

  • on the world stage.

Protests are fairly common in Hong Kong and theyre usually handled peacefully by law

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Why Is Hong Kong Protesting Against China?

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/10/05
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