Here's Why Thousands Of Young People In Hong Kong Protested Against China

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor Hong Kong's new Chief Executive and her new cabinet are sworn in by Chinese President Xi Jinping during an inauguration ceremony in Hong Kong

Associated Press photographer Kin Cheung has documented Hong Kong's transition to Chinese rule with several pairs of abstract photos based on daily life and local symbols.

It was Xi's first visit to the city since he took power in 2013, and came amid fears by some Hong Kongers of increasing Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy - guaranteed under a framework known as "one country, two systems".

The number of mainland enterprises that have gone public in Hong Kong has skyrocketed from 101 in 1997 to more than 1,000 a year ago - more than half the total number of companies listed in the city - with the market values of mainland companies rising from about 20 percent to 63 percent of the city's total market capitalization.

Young activists calling for self-determination or independence have emerged as a result.

Yu, however, said Hong Kong Chinese home ownership in the city helped make Vancouver more progressive.

Some residents uneasy about the changes that have taken place since the July 1, 1997, handover worry about further changes to come during the formal transition period lasting until 2047.

President Xi Jinping warned in his speech on Saturday that any attempt to endanger Chinese sovereignty in the former colony would cross a red line.

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When Hong Kong was first returned to China, China watchers assessed that the process would liberalize mainland China.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's new leader, was selected over a much more popular candidate in an election deemed entirely undemocratic, as the Chinese government is believed to have directly influenced the election.

Helicopters flew overhead as onlookers cheered at the ceremony in Golden Bauhinia Square, central Hong Kong.

The "one country, two systems" principle calls for the coexistence of the mainland's socialist system and Hong Kong's capitalism within the one nation of China.

In many major Hong Kong newspapers, coverage of protests has been eclipsed by exhaustive accounts of Xi's itinerary and quotes from him, at a time when the media stands accused of succumbing to pressure from Beijing.

Police blocked roads, preventing pro-democracy protesters from getting to the harbour-front venue close to where the last colonial governor, Chris Patten, tearfully handed back Hong Kong to China in the pouring rain in 1997.

One of the movement's leaders, Joshua Wong, was taken away in handcuffs for the second time in three days, but later released.

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Charles Li Xiaojia, CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, which operates the city's bourse, has observed the city's evolution from the mainland's fundraising center into the nation's global wealth-management hub, top offshore risk management center and global asset pricing pivot.

"In the early 1840s, the invasion of merely a 10,000-person British expedition forced the Qing government, having 800,000 in troops, to cede territory and pay indemnities, to cede Hong Kong island", he said.

Citing Hong Kong's low unemployment rate and free economy during a regular press briefing Friday, Lu said: "Now Hong Kong has returned to China for nearly two decades and this communique is a historical document".

For China, Hong Kong is no longer the gateway to the world or the key to economic growth.

Mrs. Lam has said the government will enforce the law against calls for independence, but has not explained how such acts would be illegal in Hong Kong, which has strong protections for speech.

The plan was voted down by pro-democracy lawmakers and the reform process has since stalled, with Lam making no commitment to revisit it anytime soon.

News of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and prominent Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo's ill health made for an additional focal point.

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