Anti China protests erupt in Hong Kong on new year eve
HONG KONG - After a year that saw democracy advocates in Hong Kong jailed and ousted from public office, thousands marched through the streets of Hong Kong on New Year's Day to warn China not to meddle further in the city's affairs and undermine its autonomy.
Over the past year, Hong Kong, a former British colony which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, has experienced what critics and pro-democracy activists describe as an intensifying assault on its autonomy by China's Communist Party leaders.
This is despite Beijing's promises to grant the city wide-ranging freedoms including an independent judiciary, under a so-called "one country, two systems" framework.
Besides the controversial jailing of several prominent young activists for unlawful assembly over the massive 2014 "Occupy" pro-democracy protests, authorities also ejected six pro-democracy lawmakers from the legislature for failing to take proper oaths of office.
The city's reputation as one of Asia's most robust legal jurisdictions has also come under a cloud amidst accusations of a politicization of certain legal cases.