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Students have had enough of the old system in Hong Kong

Filed on November 8, 2019 | Last updated on November 8, 2019 at 11.03 pm

Students and young people have been at the forefront of the hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets in Hong Kong. It is an indication that the old order has to change.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula, allowing it colonial freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including an independent judiciary and the right to protest.

China denies interfering in Hong Kong and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble.

The protests were ignited by a now-scrapped extradition bill allowing people to be sent to mainland China for trial, but have evolved into wider calls for democracy. They pose one of the biggest challenges for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took charge in 2012.

Two pro-Beijing newspapers ran full-page ads, commissioned by "a group of Hong Kong people," calling for a postponement of the lowest-tier district council elections set for Nov. 24, a move that would infuriate those calling for democracy.

Since June, protesters have thrown petrol bombs and vandalised banks, stores and metro stations. Police have fired rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and, in some cases, live ammunition.

The youth have had enough of the old system. They want true democracy in Hong Kong.

They are putting their futures on the line, all for the cause of freedom.

- Samuel Cho, Dubai


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