Speed Reads


Hong Kong marks its 20-year handover anniversary with pro-democracy protests

Hong Kong on Saturday marked the 20-year anniversary of the city-state's 1997 transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, a handover that effectively marked the end of the British Empire.

Tens of thousands of residents turned out for an annual pro-democracy march critiquing Beijing's creeping control over internal city affairs, which are semi-autonomous thanks to a "one country, two systems" arrangement. "I don't understand politics, and don't really want to comment on it," said one marcher. "But how can I not come out, seeing my beloved city shrinking in terms of freedom of speech?"

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday warned protesters all attempts "to challenge the power" of China are "absolutely impermissible." "Any attempt to endanger China's sovereignty and security ... or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses a red line," he said.