All you need to know about the Hong Kong protests

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By Euronews
All you need to know about the Hong Kong protests

<div style="width:320px; float:right; margin-left:8px;margin-bottom:8px;margin-right:8px;"><div style="background-color:#e8e8e8; font-size:12px; padding:6px;border-radius:8px;"> <h4><b><span class="caps">HONG</span> <span class="caps">KONG</span> <span class="caps">FACTS</span> + <span class="caps">FIGURES</span></b></h4> <img src="https://static.euronews.com/articles/282810/290x159_population.jpg"> </br></br> <ul style="list-style-type:none"> <li>* <b>Population: </b> 7,2m (2014)</li><li>* <b>Unemployement rate:</b> 3.3% (July 2014)</li><li>* <b><span class="caps">GDP</span> per head:</b> $42,140 (33,466 euros)</li><li>* <b>Total area:</b> 1,103 sq km</li><li>* <b>Population density </b> 6,845 people per square km</li> </ul> <h4><b><span class="caps">CHINA</span> <span class="caps">FACTS</span> + <span class="caps">FIGURES</span></b></h4> <ul style="list-style-type:none"> <li>* <b>Population:</b> 1,357 billion (2013)</li><li>* <b>Unemployement rate:</b> 4.1% (June 2014)</li><li>* <b><span class="caps">GDP</span> per head:</b> $7,740 (6,145 euros)</li><li>* <b>Total area:</b> 9,562,911 sq km</li><li>* <b>Population density </b> 145 people per square km</li><li>* Mainland China is HK’s main trade partner</li> </ul> </div> </div> <p>Hong Kong, a region of south-east China, has seen its biggest demonstrations since gaining independence from Britain in 1997.</p> <p>The protests were sparked when Bejing decided against having open nominations for the election of Hong Kong’s leader in 2017.</p> <p>China had promised direct elections but in August said voters would be able to choose from a list of candidates chosen by a largely pro-Bejing nominating committee.</p> <p>The issue has been bubbling away for some months.</p> <p>Back in June, Ocuupy Central arranged a referendum that asked voters to choose one-of-three proposals for the 2017 election. All involved people being able to nominate candidates for the chief executive role.</p> <p>Then, on July 1 – the anniversary of Hong Kong being handed back to China – thousands took to the streets for a pro-democracy rally.</p> <p></br><br /> <h4><b><span class="caps">BRITAIN</span>’S <span class="caps">LEGACY</span>?</b></h4></p> <p>When Hong Kong was handed back to China, Bejing agreed to govern the city on a ‘one country, two systems’ principle.</p> <p>Put simply this allowed the region to retain its capitalist economy, while the rest of China continued with its socialism-based system.</p> <p>It gave Hong Kong more autonomy, its own legal system and the right of free speech.</p> <p>Yet faith in the concept is plummeting.</p> <p>In July 2007, 74.9 percent of Hong Kong’s population were confident with it; by July 2014 that had dropped to just 37.6 percent. </p> <p><img src="https://static.euronews.com/articles/282810/606x363_web_china_map-region.jpg"/></p> <p></br><br /> <h4><b><span class="caps">HOW</span> <span class="caps">DID</span> IT <span class="caps">UNRAVEL</span>?</b></h4></p> <p>The drop in confidence was likely linked to a white paper issue by the Chinese government in July, which argued Hong Kong’s civil rights weren’t ‘inherent rights’, instead privileges granted by the central government. </p> <p>While in July it was policy, in August it became ‘practice’.</p> <p>Bejing made good on its implied threat, announcing candidates for the 2017 election – meant to be the first fully democratic election in Hong Kong’s history – would need to be approved by a pro-Beijing committee. </p> <p>This violated China’s pledge for those elections to be free and democratic, infuriating citizens of Hong Kong. </p> <p></br><br /> <h4><b><span class="caps">HOW</span> <span class="caps">THE</span> <span class="caps">PROTESTS</span> <span class="caps">UNFOLDED</span></b></h4><br /> <ul style="list-style-type:none"><li>* <b>September 24:</b> Students lead peaceful marches to protest against China’s 2017 election stance</li><br /> <li>* <b>September 26:</b> Matters begin to escalate. Protest group Occupy Central, in light of the demonstration by students, decide to bring forward a planned march. They occupied various parts of Hong Kong’s downtown area, including a plaza. Police <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2014/09/27/hong-kong-protesters-enter-government-compound/">intervene and arrest protesters</a>. <br /> </li><br /> <li>* <b>September 28:</b> Clashes continue, with police using pepper spray. Fresh consultation promised on voting reform <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2014/09/28/clashes-at-hong-kong-pro-democracy-protest-leader-promises-more-talks/">but 2017 plans unaffected</a> .</li><br /> <li>* <b>September 29:</b> Pro-democracy protesters <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2014/09/29/pro-democracy-protesters-take-control-of-central-hong-kong/">take control of central Hong Kong</a> – more unrest promised for October 1.</li><br /> <li>* <b>September 30:</b> Umbrella revolution continues as <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2014/09/30/more-join-protests-in-hong-kong-despite-government-warning-to-go-home/">more people join the protests despite a government warning to protesters to go home</a>.<br /> </li><br /> </ul></p> <p><img src="https://static.euronews.com/articles/282810/606x363_web_china_map-city.jpg"/></p> <p></br><br /> <h4><b><span class="caps">WHO</span>’S <span class="caps">WHO</span>?</b></h4></p> <p><b>Benny Tai</b></p> <p>The law professor from the University of Hong Kong initiated the Occupy Central campaign.</p> <p>Tai has spoken of his pride at people’s determination to fight for “genuine” universal suffrage.</p> <p>He believes he will face heavy punishment for initiating the movement, reports Reuters.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" align="center"><p>Benny Tai, Occupy Central co-founder, received a gift. He's lost his voice after hours of rallies & interviews. <a href="http://t.co/mDIdhVkqHX">pic.twitter.com/mDIdhVkqHX</a></p>— Alan Wong (@byAlanWong) <a href="https://twitter.com/byAlanWong/status/516401892016926720">September 29, 2014</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><b>Leung Chun-ying</b></p> <p>This is Hong Kong’s current chief executive or leader.</p> <p>The pro-democracy camp want him to resign because they say he hasn’t taken their views into account for free elections.</p> <p>He was pledged strong action against the protest movement and said China will not back down.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" align="center"><p>Leung Chun-ying with his wife, Regina <a href="http://t.co/JAfOkf2QmP">pic.twitter.com/JAfOkf2QmP</a></p>— vanessa favaretto (@vanessafavarett) <a href="https://twitter.com/vanessafavarett/status/516928769987444736">September 30, 2014</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><b>Joshua Wong</b></p> <p>Wong, at 17, is one of the freshest faces among the protesters.</p> <p>Two years ago, with the help of secondary school activists calling themselves Scholarism, he forced the Hong Kong government to shelve plans to introduce a pro-China national education scheme in the city’s schools.</p> <p>“I hope I can have a better future and that I can have the right to choose my future in Hong Kong,” Wong told Reuters recently, with a self-belief that belies his bookish looks.</p> <p>Wong was arrested with two other students after a group broke into Hong Kong’s Civic Square on Saturday, demanding it be re-opened to the public.</p> <p>After 40 hours in police custody, he was released without charge or conditions.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" align="center"><p>Joshua Wong – the Christian teen in center of HK protest who cut his teeth on opposing Communist education in HK <a href="http://t.co/T9IJDwQ6YO">pic.twitter.com/T9IJDwQ6YO</a></p>— AKahn (@akahnnyc) <a href="https://twitter.com/akahnnyc/status/516915843557765120">September 30, 2014</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p></br><br /> <h4><b><span class="caps">DID</span> <span class="caps">YOU</span> <span class="caps">KNOW</span>?</b></h4></p> <p><p><b>‘Umbrella revolution’</b>: The term has been adopted after protesters began using umbrellas to block tear gas. </p> <p>But it all started with weather — specifically, rain and sun.”</p> <p><b>Protest demographics</b>: “Occupy Central with peace and love is a group that’s totally led by intellectuals who are well past student age. But university students had launched a class boycott ahead of any concerted action by Occupy. The protests have been a student-led movement, or a student-sparked movement, but now there are members of all kinds of social groups joining them on the streets,” said Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, on <a href="http://www.vox.com/2014/9/29/6864181/hong-kong-protest-china-wasserstrom" rel="external">www.vox.com</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://static.euronews.com/articles/282810/606x405_web_china_umbrellas.jpg"/></p>