It's been 11 weeks since the people of Hong Kong first staged mass weekend protests against a controversial extradition bill introduced by the Hong Kong government, that would allow handover of criminal suspects in Hong Kong to mainland China.
The bill is now shelved, but what started off as an anti-extradition protest is now widely seen as a full-fledged democratic movement against China's growing political influence over the city.
Just last weekend, some 1.7 million people, which is a quarter of Hong Kong's total population, took to the streets braving pouring rain to raise their voice.
Today we go in-depth on Hong Kong protests that are showing no sign of subsiding with Dr. Choo Jae-woo,(주재우) Professor of Chinese Studies at Kyung Hee University.
1. The people of Hong Kong are continuing to take to the streets every weekend protesting against the extradition bill but their demands now go beyond scrapping the controversial the bill. Could you start us off by explaining in detail what their demands are now?
2. Going back to the cause that ignited these protests why are the people of Hong Kong so strongly against the handover of suspects or criminals in Hong Kong territory to mainland China?
3. The extradition bill was introduced by the Hong Kong government in March. Why was the bill first brought up to begin with? On what social, political backgrounds?
4. As protests grew in size and scaleeventually turning violent along the way, the Hong Kong government announced that the extradition bill is 'dead' in June. But that was not enough to quell Hong Kong citizens' anger, as 'dead' is not the same as "complete withdrawal". Is there a deep-rooted distrust between the people of Hong Kong and their government?
5. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam today announced that she will commit to creating a platform for dialogue to better communicate with the protesters. How do you see this move?
6. When rallies turned violent, protesters clashed with riot police who used teargas and rubber bullets against them. Dozens were also charged with rioting. Can you walk us through the 11 weeks of mass protests?
7. It was only about three years ago when thousands of Koreans gathered in central Seoul to stage peaceful candlelight vigils to protest against the previous Park Geun-hye administration. The vigils were closely observed by the foreign media. Some say that people of Hong Kong were inspired by that movement. Do you agree?
8. The possibility of China's military intervention is also becoming a big concern. The Chinese military has staged anti-riot drills warning that it can reach the Hong Kong border within ten minutes. What are the chances of China forging ahead with a military crackdown?
9. What about the possibility of an intervention from the U.S.? President Trump a few days ago stated that China's crackdown on Hong Kong protesters would hurt U.S.-China trade deal.