Hong Kong protests, one year later

Thursday, 11 Jun, 2020

"I was pretty shocked by that".

But Beijing's push to impose national security laws over the territory has prompted some protesters to return to the streets.

Protesters took to Twitter to respond to Lam's statement.

Pompeo said at the time that Beijing's enactment of the new law would mean the U.S. has no reason to treat Hong Kong more favourably than mainland China. China will "unswervingly" protect its sovereignty and block any outside interference in Hong Kong's affairs, he added.

David, 22, who works in insurance and declined to give his surname, said a mix of violent and peaceful tactics was needed for worldwide attention.

"So we are feeling helpless".

Around one third of adults in Hong Kong have reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the protest movement escalated last June, according to a mental health survey published in The Lancet a year ago, which said the incidence of psychiatric problems was similar to those usually associated with war zones or terrorist attacks.

Seven months of massive and often violent rallies kicked off on June 9 a year ago when as many as a million people took to the streets to oppose a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China.

It was the one-year anniversary of a huge march through central Hong Kong that grew into a pro-democracy movement that saw protesters break into the legislative building and take to the streets every weekend for months.

Only 30 percent said they were opposed, compared with 59 percent of those polled who supported the movement.

China's rubber-stamp parliament last month endorsed plans to enact a law that will punish subversion and other perceived offences in Hong Kong, a move some activists say will kill the former British colony's promised freedoms.

A man walks past graffiti against banking giant HSBC during a pro-democracy march in Hong Kong on Jan 1, 2020.

Hong Kong police also arrested 53 people during Tuesday evening's protests, as demonstrators blocked roads and police fired pepper spray to disperse the crowds.

Up to midnight, 36 males and 17 females were arrested for offenses including participating in unlawful and unauthorized assemblies. "I don't think the passion has subsided much, but the problem is that many actions are now not allowed in the current circumstances", Leung Kai-chi, an analyst at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), told AFP.

Beijing chose to introduce the national security laws at the full session of National People's Congress, which ended last month, but it did not provide specifics over the penalties for dissident activities or how the laws will be enforced.

China and Britain, as two major countries with global influence, share the common responsibility of safeguarding world peace and development, Wang said, adding that strengthening mutually-beneficial cooperation in a wide range of fields between the two sides is in the fundamental and long-term interests of the two peoples. Days later, the Hong Kong government used emergency powers to ban face masks at protests, a move that was scaled back in a series of court rulings.