Daniel Halliday
Jun 12 · Last update 14 days ago.
What choice does Hong Kong have?
Following an escalation of tensions surrounding the protests in Hong Kong and the beginning of police force to disburse protesters, it seems the embers of the Umbrella Revolution have reignited. Protesters have been out in their hundreds of thousands, and possibly over a million, in order to oppose a criminal legislation amendment that would allow extradition of people from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland. Critics fear that this would allow the prosecution of those who speak out against the mainland government, and represents a challenge to human rights in Hong Kong. However, given China’s human rights track record and Hong Kong’s status as a Special Administrative Region of China, what choice do the citizens of Hong Kong have, and what can be done to overcome this impasse?
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Protests need to continue
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Protests need to continue

These repeated protests in Hong Kong are a sign of human rights suffering under a lack of universal suffrage in the region and a real desire for democratic change. The bigger issue of the lack of democratic development in Hong Kong stems back to the 1997 handover of the island from the UK to China, and the decade of democratic developments that preceded it. Opinion polls of the last election showed that the people of Hong Kong favoured the opposition John Tsang over Pro-Beijing Carrie Lam, so if the island was allowed a democratic election there would likely be a very different atmosphere in Hong Kong. The only thing that will solve this issue is the granting of open elections in Hong Kong, and like other movements for universal suffrage, protests need to be varied and continuous.