Thousands took to the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday as residents of the Chinese Special Administrative Region continue to demand fuller democracy and greater autonomy from Beijing.
China gained control of the former British colony in 1997, and later set the goal of direct elections for the city’s leader by 2017 at the earliest. Many Hong Kongers now treat this provisional date as a firm promise, and consider any possible deferral as backtracking by Beijing.
Also at issue is the vetting of candidates. Protesters at the annual New Year’s Day democracy rally held banners and shouted slogans to demand that candidates be nominated without Beijing’s approval.