Hong Kong: Amid high tensions, the mass pro-democracy march commenced on Monday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, from the United Kingdom to China. The day has already witnessed heated stand-off between police and demonstrators. Protestors attempted to storm into the city's government headquarters just before the march.
The security in the city has been beefed up. The police officers were positioned outside Legislative Council and on Tim Wa Road, outside the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Hong Kong has been shaken by huge demonstrations in the past three weeks against a controversial extradition bill which many fear could be used to deport political activists and dissidents to mainland China.
The said bill was proposed on April 3, and its opposers argue that its controversial amendments will leave anyone on Hong Kong soil vulnerable to being grabbed by the Chinese authorities for political reasons or inadvertent business offences. They further reason that the newly framed extradition plan would dissolve the rights and legal protections, which were guaranteed under the city's handover from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
July 1 marks the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China. Although the day is usually marked with protests in the city, this year might witness a massive surge in the number of demonstrators vowing to the controversy over the extradition bill.