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As Hong Kong marked the 22nd anniversary of its return to Chinese rule on Monday, anger over a proposed extradition bill reached a new high as protesters broke into Hong Kong's Legislative Council building. Masked demonstrators briefly occupied the council's chambers, leaving anti-government graffiti on its walls and defacing portraits of the city's political leaders.
Widespread demonstrations have drawn more than a million people to the streets over the past month. Protesters are calling for the withdrawal of a bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be tried for crimes in mainland China. But Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam stopped short of protesters' demands to scrap the bill entirely. In a news conference on Monday, she said the extradition bill would not be debated any further and would expire at the end of the council's term in July 2020.
Many Hong Kong citizens see the extradition proposal as a threat to the "one country, two systems" principle that allows Hong Kong to have an independent judiciary and greater civil liberties than mainland China. The anti-extradition protests have also revived demands for direct democracy in the former British colony.
In this episode, we'll discuss the controversy surrounding Hong Kong's extradition bill and the protest movement it helped spark.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Andrew Thomas, @andthomsydney
Correspondent, Al Jazeera English
District Councillor, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB)
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What's next for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement? - Al Jazeera
Protesters break into and deface Hong Kong's legislative chamber - South China Morning Post