Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

The people of Hong Kong are protesting in record-breaking numbers. Thanks to Dashlane for sponsoring us – Try Dashlane free here: and get 10% off now with promo code VOX.

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Correction at 7:48: The protester says “They are not doing this for themselves, but for the future of Hong Kong.”

Hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers have taken to the streets to protest a controversial extradition bill that could send Hong Kong residents to mainland China to be tried in court. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, says the bill is meant to prevent Hong Kong from becoming a safe haven for fugitives. But its opponents fear that Hong Kong would be exposed to China’s flawed judicial system, which would lead to further erasure of the city’s judicial independence.

At first Lam was determined to move forward with the bill. But after a series of massive protests, she announced she would “indefinitely suspend” the bill. But protesters aren’t accepting the suspension, and have started demanding its complete withdrawal. They’ve also begun calling for Lam’s resignation.

But this rise in tensions is about a lot more than a bill. To understand why this bill hits a nerve with Hongkongers, it’s important to understand Hong Kong’s relationship with China – and exactly how the bill would tip the scales in China’s favor.

Watch this video to understand the news coming out of Hong Kong and the history that led up to this moment. 

For more watch Episode one of our Vox Borders Hong Kong episodes here:

And for even more context on Hong Kong’s history with Britain you can watch another one of our Vox Borders Hong Kong episodes here:

If you want to get real nerdy you can read Hong Kong’s Basic Law (their mini Constitution) here:

You can also read the Sino-British Joint Declaration that defined Hong Kong when the British handed it back to China in 1997 here:

And the extradition law introduced in Hong Kong that has sparked massive protests here:

Here is a piece reported by the New York Times on the latest from Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s leader:

Here are some additional resources regarding Hong Kong’s democracy and political make-up:

And finally, you can also find our latest articles covering the most recent developments here:

Thanks for watching! And let us know what you think of this video in the comments! is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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Written by Yaipoo


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  1. This seems to be about way more than just China and Hong Kong. China's influence in diverse parts of the world has grown immensely. With politics in the US, UK, and so many other places in a mess and the EU weak as water, democracy may be losing much of its appeal. Meanwhile, the Chinese model of economic prosperity under dictatorial control seems like a viable option to many. Singapore is an even more striking example. What the people of Hong Kong are doing is vital at this moment in history. We should all admire and support them for their commitment to defend this imperfect but precious ideal.

  2. Please ASK HK GOVT + MARTIN LEE / Jimmy Lai of Apple Newspaper + to use
    my WIN – WIN PLAN —–> SO that HK + CHINA will BOTH BE happy again.
    1 – GOvt + Police acknowledge they made a mistake by attacking students in 2013 + 2016 and were wrong not to let them go to the toilet 2 – Students who INJURE Police ++ WHO SHINE harmful lasers to blind police officers …..must apologize and be really sorrY before FREE RElease + pardon

    3 – New INDEPENDENT ELECTIONS – without China Inteference to begin in 2 weeks, so no time for rioting
    – in accordance with BASIC LAW

    4 – China will be HONOURED + RESPECTED by Carrie Lam staying in power TEMPORARILY
    overlooking elections until NEW Chief Executive + NEW Legco and new Executive Council elected – all without China interference.

    1 – Students MUST NOT USE LASERS – or else, police WILL USE LASERS TOO
    2 – Police Must apologize for using Black Societies.

    Thank you.

  3. That is so sad. Hongkonger thought they are fight for they freedom, but in reality they just fight for the west hegemony. USA and UK is evil. They just get involved when it is benefit for them. They don't care about your freedom.

  4. Vo x shame on you, showing half the truth.

    For people out there, the protest has already changed and escalated to riot with attempted murder on police officers, tourists and strangers whom doesn't follow or refused their believes.

  5. These protests have been going on for months now. Just like the yellow vest protests in France. Protesting Government decisions that are not for the people. It will just get worse.

  6. The western evils are moving the Hongkongers towards to the brink of no return. I hope this will not be the start for westerners to intervene and destroy asisn nations like what they did to the middle eastern countries. Hongkong is a part of China by history no one could contest sbout it.

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