Protests in Hong Kong. Credit: Studio Incendo via Flickr CC license

Why the Protests in Hong Kong Have Taken a New Turn

Protesters in Hong Kong are once again flexing their muscle. Over the weekend, the largest protests in weeks stretched through downtown Hong Kong as nearly 1 million people took to the streets to demand greater civil liberties.

This protest was the latest turn in a movement that has endured since this summer, when millions of people in Hong Kong took to the streets in an unprecedented protest against a proposed law that could allow for the extradition of people in Hong Kong to mainland china. Protesters saw that as an affront to what is known as the “one country, two systems policy.” This is the idea that though Hong Kong is formally part of China, it also has a special political status as a former British Colony — and that status includes a degree of autonomy and freedoms from the political system of mainland china.

Since those protests against the extradition bill over the summer, the situation in Hong Kong has changed dramatically. Protests have continued and have widened to include other demands. This includes a demand for universal suffrage for the people of Hong Kong. The protests and the police reaction to it have also become increasingly violent.

On the Global Dispatches podcast today is Victoria Tin-bor Hui, a professor of political science at Notre Dame University.   She discusses the situation in Hong Kong, including how the protest movement and Beijing’s reaction to it have evolved since the summer. She also discusses the concrete demands of the protesters.

If you have 25 minutes and want to learn why the people of Hong Kong are protesting and where the situation may be headed, have a listen

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Watch: Victoria Tin-bor Hui testifies to the US Congress