Hong Kong Protests Against Deportation Law

 

Hundreds of thousands of citizens in Hong Kong have been protesting against the government in the past few weeks. Mass demonstrations began because authorities of the former British colony plan to introduce a new law that would allow them to send criminals back to China.

Critics of the new proposal claim, however, that getting a fair trial in China would be impossible. Hong Kong has been a safe haven for people who escaped from mainland China because of political reasons.

On June 9 more than 1 million people marched in the largest protest ever organised in Hong Kong. A few weeks later demonstrators occupied parliament and had to be forcefully removed by police, who used tear gas and other methods to break up protests. The demonstrations could be used by the city's authorities and China to tighten control on Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has a special status compared with other cities in China.  Under British rule the city has been a booming economy for decades. When it was given back to China in 1997, the Communist government agreed to let Hong Kong govern itself and keep its special status for 50 years. During this period, its citizens are allowed freedom of speech and enjoy rights that people on the mainland don't have.

 

Life has been changing in Hong Kong in the past few years.  Chinese authorities are cracking down on the human rights of people, many of whom do not regard themselves as Chinese.

 

Hong Kong protesters in March 2019 – Source : Voice of America

 

 

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Words

  • authorities = the people who are in a powerful position and make the important decisions
  • booming = successful, wealthy, rich
  • citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • critic = a person who is against something and gives their opinion about it
  • decade = ten years
  • escape = to get away from a place where someone is trying to catch you
  • forcefully = using physical power
  • former = earlier, past
  • govern = rule
  • government = the people who rule a city or country
  • however = but
  • mainland China =Communist China
  • mass demonstration = when thousands of people go to the streets to protest against something
  • occupy = to enter a place by force  and keep control of it
  • proposal = suggestion
  • remove = get someone out of a place
  • rights = something that you are officially allowed to do
  • rule = law
  • safe haven = place where people go to in order to escape and live peacefully
  • status = position; state
  • tear gas = gas that hurts your eyes; police use it to control protests
  • tighten control = here: to make something more strict
  • trial = when a judge and a jury try to find out if a person is guilty or not