Hong Kong Protests

In September large protests erupted outside Hong Kong’s government headquarters. According to The New York Times, the protests called for the Chinese Communist Party to grant citizens of Hong Kong the right to democratically elect government officials. Beijing promised in August that the 2017 election for Hong Kong’s chief executive would be democratic, but with a catch: the candidates would be chosen by a committee of people whose loyalties lie with China. Hong Kong, which was a British colony until China regained its sovereignty in 1997, was promised its new government would operate as “one country, two systems”, meaning Hong Kong would maintain an independent judiciary and freedoms not granted under communism. Upon receiving the news, student-led groups Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism camped outside the government headquarters in protest.

In October FOX News reported that the protestors demanded the resignation of Hong Kong’s current chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, who urged protestors to accept Beijing’s conditions for the election. However, protestors claimed that this response was unsatisfactory and the protests only escalated. CNN reported that the government offered to hold talks with the protestors covering their demands, but the protestors refused. They claimed their peaceful protesting had been met with only violence by the police, who they alleged had also ignored clashes between protestors and those opposing their protests.

The demonstrators eventually agreed to meet with government officials for talks on October 21 and 22, MSN reported, but students left the panels disappointed. The following day approximately 200 protestors marched down main streets of Hong Kong to Leung’s home to push their cause. The LA Times stated that a vote was planned to be held October 26 but was called off hours before it was supposed to begin. The poll was going to ask supporters to vote on what their next move should be as the demonstrations approach their one-month anniversary. Protest groups said that differing opinions and security issues were reasons given for why the poll shut down, reported The LA Times.