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Hong Kong Protesters Want Democracy, Accountability, Autonomy, and U.S. Support

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The formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill won’t be enough to stop the protest movement.
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Hongkongers booed the Chinese national anthem before a soccer match on Tuesday night. That’s an illegal act in mainland China.

After more than three months of sustained protests in Hong Kong, nobody seems quite sure what will happen next. But it’s clear that the government’s formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill won’t be enough to stop the protest movement.

The demonstrators tell Reason that the Hong Kong police force lost the public trust during its violent crackdowns. They see their government as hopelessly compromised because its leaders are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. They’re calling for an independent investigation into the police, and they want to elect new leaders who aren’t beholding to interest groups connected to mainland China.

The protesters also expressed hope that the U.S. Congress would pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which would make the city’s bilateral trade and travel agreements with the U.S. contingent on China maintaining Hong Kong’s autonomy. It would also levy sanctions against Chinese individuals accused of violating the rights of Hong Kong citizens, and it would direct immigration officials not to punish visa applicants who’ve been arrested for participating in the protests.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Edwin Lee.

Photo credits: Hong Kong police by Miguel Canela/SOPA Images/Sip/Newscom; protester with U.S. flag by Aidan Marzo/SOPA Images/Sina U/Newscom; Carrie Lam by Kyodo/Newscom; Carrie Lam at podium by SOPA Images; protesters with hands up by Aaron Guy Leroux/Sipa USA/Newscom

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