China

Hong Kong protests in 300 words

Protesters in Hong Kong Image copyright Getty Images

Hong Kong has been rocked by anti-government protests for months.

Here's a guide to understand what's going on.

How did the protests start?

Hong Kong introduced a bill in April that would allow people accused of crimes against mainland China to be extradited.

Critics said those sent to the mainland could face an unfair trial and violent treatment under China's court system. They said it could put activists and journalists at risk.

They also argued the bill would give China more control over Hong Kong.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the city to demand the extradition bill be pulled.

Following weeks of protests, Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam confirmed in July that the bill would be suspended.

What are the protesters' demands?

The suspension of the bill did not impress the protesters who called for it to be shelved completely amid fears it could be revived.

The protesters' demands have changed since the beginning of the protests and they are now calling for:

  • Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill
  • Withdrawal of the "riot" description used about the 12 June protests
  • Amnesty for all arrested protesters
  • An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality
  • Universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and Legislative Council elections

And some also want the resignation of Carrie Lam, who they view as a puppet of Beijing.

What is Hong Kong's status?

Hong Kong is a former British colony and now part of China. It is run under a "one country, two systems" agreement that guarantees it a level of autonomy.

It has its own judiciary and a separate legal system from mainland China.

Rights including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are protected. It is one of the few places in Chinese territory where people can commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Want to know more?

Read this:

Watch this:

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe BBC's Helier Cheung on why people are taking to the streets in Hong Kong
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionProtesters describe their ransacking of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council one month on

More on this story