At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese control after a century and a half of British colonial rule. The handover was meant to establish a “one country, two systems” relationship between China and Hong Kong that would last until 2047, with Hong Kong existing as a special administrative region.
Since the handover, Hong Kong residents have accused Beijing of overstepping its authority. The Umbrella Movement was a series of protests in 2014 that called for more transparent elections for the city’s chief executive. In early 2016, Hong Kong booksellers disappeared and later showed up in police custody in China. And in 2019 protests erupted in Hong Kong over a proposed bill to allow extradition to mainland China.