Publication Date

Fall 12-3-2020


Helms School of Government


International Relations


Hong Kong, China, autonomy, universal suffrage, democracy, Special Administrative Region, Human Rights


Asian History | Chinese Studies | East Asian Languages and Societies | International Humanitarian Law | International Law | Law and Politics | Transnational Law


Hong Kong has been fighting for democracy and to retain its autonomy from China, and the world has been watching. Over time, Hong Kongers have seen Beijing blatantly tighten its grip before time was up for the fifty-year agreement since the handover in 1997. In 2014, and again in 2019, hundreds of thousands of citizens filled the streets to participate in pro-democracy demonstrations with the protests only gaining momentum and influence. While there has mostly been support for Hong Kong’s independence movement, there has been argument that Beijing’s actions are completely justified. Should Hong Kong remain autonomous from China, and if so, what is the justification? This paper will discuss Hong Kong’s need to regain and maintain autonomy from China as well as solutions to help it achieve this.