Tens of thousands of people marched on Hong Kong’s parliament on Sunday to demand the scrapping of proposed extradition rules that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial – a move which some fear puts the city’s core freedoms at risk. Opponents of the proposal fear further erosion of rights and legal protections in the free-wheeling financial hub – freedoms which were guaranteed under the city’s handover from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
Hong Kong voted, Wednesday, to end the domestic sale of ivory, planning to completely end the trade by 2021. The decision, called ‘a lifeline for elephants,’ closes a major loophole in the global effort to end trade, protecting elephants from poaching. Hong Kong joins China, where a similar ban was made earlier in the year.
Thursday, Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law have been sentenced to six to eight months in prison. The three young men who headed the movement for freer elections in Hong Kong, 2014 were originally sentenced to community service and suspended jail terms. The Beijing-backed local government successfully pushed for harsher punishments, effectively preventing them from being legible for public office for five years. The trio, who led what became known as the ‘Umbrella Movement’, has been also suggested for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday for the first time as president this week to celebrate the city’s 20th anniversary of the unification with China. In a statement, President Jinping said he hopes to uphold the ‘one nation two systems’ and that it remained stable. Many in the city claim Beijing doesn’t respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and will come out in force to protest the increasing control of the city.