How Much of a Headache Will Hong Kong’s Extradition Protests Give Beijing?

How Much of a Headache Will Hong Kong’s Extradition Protests Give Beijing?
Protesters march along a downtown street against the proposed amendments to an extradition law in Hong Kong, June 9, 2019 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

The massive demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill that have rocked Hong Kong in recent days “cannot be what Beijing wanted,” as commentator Yi-Zheng Lian argued this week in The New York Times. The simmering anger in Hong Kong toward the central government poses a major headache for China’s leaders as they attempt to extend control over the territory.

Protesters took to the streets again Wednesday and surrounded Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, where they were met by riot police firing rubber bullets and tear gas. At least 72 people were injured in a day of demonstrations that led the government to cancel a scheduled debate in the legislature over the extradition law, a victory for the protesters. But China’s authoritarian encroachment is unlikely to subside.

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