Hong Kong’s future: Young guns versus old guard

By Elaine Yu and James Griffiths/ June 30, 2016/ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN)Hong Kong police are on guard ahead of protests Friday to mark 19 years since the handover of the territory from British to Chinese rule.

Every year since 2003, thousands have taken to the streets of the semi-autonomous city on July 1 to march for democracy, as the government holds official events celebrating the end of colonial rule.

This year, the march is being led by bookseller Lam Wing-kee, who says that he, along with four colleagues, was kidnapped by Chinese agents for publishing books critical of President Xi Jinping and other top officials.
Lam’s revelations sparked outrage in the city and have further strained relations with China. Marchers will call for the resignation of Hong Kong’s top official, chief executive Leung Chun-ying.
Since the mass pro-democracy protests in 2014 known as the Umbrella Movement rocked the city, Hong Kong’s political landscape has gone through a massive upheaval, with new voices and political parties springing up and some calling for greater autonomy and even independence.
CNN spoke to long-term lawmakers and some of the young guns seeking to replace them. Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Hong Kong’s relationship with China

Alan Leong, lawmaker, Civic Party: I’ve seen Hong Kong going down the mainlandization route at a pace much faster than we can swallow.

Hong Kongers, particularly the youth, feel a sense of hopelessness and they want to take things into their own hands instead of trusting the institutions and the political parties who according to them have failed to deliver change in the past three decades.
Holden Chow, vice-chairman, DAB: I strongly believe that “One Country, Two Systems” generally works well. Because first of all, we have our rule of law here, and the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s mini-constitution) guarantees the rights and freedoms we enjoy.
Regina Ip, lawmaker, New People’s Party: We need to hold up the authority of the Central Government, but also want to maintain Hong Kong’s high level of autonomy.
You are bound to have underlying tensions when you have two radically different systems under one roof. Read more…

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