Hong Kong’s biggest political crisis since its return to mainland China, starts with an ill-conceived plan by the government for an extradition law to allow the transfer of suspects for trial to Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. It sparks a massive public backlash, drawing millions of protesters onto the streets. By the time the government agrees to drop the extradition bill, events on the streets have overtaken them and Hong Kong spirals out of control. The police, using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, find themselves overwhelmed by public resentment and hatred.
Hong Kong descends into months of fiery street battles with anger and frustration touching every corner of the city. While the coronavirus pandemic brings a halt to anti-government protests, Beijing is determined not to allow a repeat of the past year’s chaos. But society remains fractured, the old resentments run deep, and the future is uncertain.