'Violence erupted in Hong Kong on Monday as protesters stormed the Legislative Council on the anniversary of the city’s return to Beijing, amid growing anger over a plan to allow extraditions to China.
Hundreds of masked demonstrators ran riot inside the building, forcing their way into the chamber, and smashing up doors, walls and paintings. Portraits of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and Chinese President Xi Jinping were torn down.
The protesters streamed into the legislature after shattering windows with metal trolleys and poles and wrenching open metal shutters. The council issued a red alert, ordering them to leave. But the riot police who had previously been pushing them back appeared to have retreated.
Earlier, police had raced toward protesters, beating some with batons and using pepper spray to thin the crowds.
As the day wore on, more people turned out to participate in a planned rally to mark the date the former British colony was given back to China in 1997. The organisers said some 550,000 attended.
Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign Secretary, tweeted in support of the demonstrations, saying: "No violence is acceptable but HK people must preserve right to peaceful protest exercised within the law."
Away from campaigning want to stress UK support for Hong Kong and its freedoms is UNWAVERING on this anniversary day. No violence is acceptable but HK people MUST preserve right to peaceful protest exercised within the law, as hundreds of thousands of brave people showed today.
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) July 1, 2019
“I wanted to add to the crowd numbers so that the government could hear the dissatisfaction of so many people,” said Gary, 35, a teacher, who declined to give his surname.
Ming, 50, a business owner, told The Daily Telegraph: “I have marched all three times. I completely support the young people and their ideals and ambitions, which is for the good of Hong Kong.
"Seeing these young people like this, if I didn’t come out, I couldn’t have that on my conscience. I’m in my fifties, what can we do for these young people? One thing we can do is come out and march."
Pro-democracy activists use the handover anniversary every year to march through Hong Kong calling for greater freedoms, though have failed to win any concessions from Beijing.
Coming after three weeks of ongoing rallies, this year's rally took on even greater significance.'
Read more: Clashes in Hong Kong as protesters storm legislature on anniversary of handover to China
US “Colour Revolution” Struggles in Hong Kong
'The Western media has been boasting over recent protests in Hong Kong. Western headlines have claimed the protests have “rattled” Beijing’s leadership.
The protests have been organized to obstruct Hong Kong’s elected government from moving forward with an extradition bill. The bill would further integrate Hong Kong’s legal system with that of mainland China’s, allowing suspects to be sent to the mainland, Taiwan, or Macau to face justice for crimes committed anywhere in Chinese territory.
The protests oppose the extradition bill as a wider means of opposing Hong Kong’s continued reintegration with China – arguing that the “One Country, Two Systems” terms imposed by the British upon Hong Kong’s return under Chinese sovereignty in 1997 must be upheld.
Uprooting the Last Vestiges of British Imperialism
The story of Hong Kong is one of territory violently seized by the British Empire from China in 1841, being controlled as a colony for nearly 150 years, and begrudgingly handed over to China in 1997.
The “One Country, Two Systems” conditions imposed by the British were a means of returning Hong Kong to China in theory, but in practice maintaining Hong Kong as an enduring outpost of Western influence within Chinese territory. The West’s economic and military power in 1997 left Beijing little choice but to agree to the terms.
Today, the Anglo-American international order is fading with China now the second largest economy on Earth and poised to overtake the US at any time. With economic and military power now on China’s side, it has incrementally uprooted the vestiges of British colonial influence in Hong Kong – the extradition bill being the latest example of this unfolding process.
Beijing has reclaimed Hong Kong through economic and political means. Projects like the recently completed Hong Kong high-speed rail link and the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge have helped increase the number of mainlanders – laborers, visitors, and entrepreneurs – travelling to, living in, and doing business with Hong Kong. With them come mainland values, culture, and politics.
Hong Kong’s elected government is now composed of a majority of openly pro-Beijing parties and politicians. They regularly and easily defeat Hong Kong’s so-called “pan-democratic” and “independence” parties during elections. It is the elected, pro-Beijing government of Hong Kong that has proposed the recent extradition bill to begin with – a fact regularly omitted in Western coverage of the protests against the bill.
US Color Revolution Masquerades as “Popular Opposition”
Unable to defeat the bill legislatively, Hong Kong’s pro-Western opposition has taken to the streets. With the help of Western media spin – the illusion of popular opposition to the extradition bill and Beijing’s growing influence over Hong Kong is created.
What is not only omitted – but actively denied – is the fact that the opposition’s core leaders, parties, organizations, and media operations are all tied directly to Washington DC via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and corporate foundations like Open Society Foundation.
Hong Kong’s opposition has already long been exposed as US-sponsored.'
Read more: US “Colour Revolution” Struggles in Hong Kong