Protests erupt as Hong Kong marks 20 years of handover

01 Jul 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a series of lavish events in Hong Kong to celebrate 20 years since its handover from Britain to China.

Xi also swore in the city's new leader Carrie Lam amid tight security.

The celebrations were marred by clashes between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing protesters leading to several arrests.

Several parts of the city were sealed off.

In context: Hong Kong celebrates 20 years of handover

29 Jun 2017Mass protests expected as Xi Jinping's arrives in Hong Kong

On June 29, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong to mark 20th anniversary since the city's handover from Britain to China.

The visit was highly symbolic as it was Xi's first since he became president in 2012.

The visit and celebrations were, however, dogged by massive protests and an annual pro-democracy rally to mark the handover day.

Several activists were arrested.

ExplainedWhat is "one country, two systems" policy?

When Hong Kong was handed over from Britain to China in 1997, Beijing had agreed to govern it under the "one country, two systems."

This granted Hong Kong its own legal system, partial democracy with more than one political party, and the fundamental rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.

However, China's influence on the city has been growing, leading to protests.

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01 Jul 2017Protests erupt as Hong Kong marks 20 years of handover

WarningXi issues stern warning to Hong Kong's pro-democracy factions

Carrie Lam was sworn in as Hong Kong's first female chief executive.

President Xi said Hong Kong enjoyed more freedom now than ever before.

In a warning to pro-democracy factions, Xi said: "Any efforts to endanger national sovereignty, challenge the authority of the central government and the Hong Kong Basic Law… cross the bottom line and are absolutely impermissible."

DetailsPro-democracy leader accuses Xi of 'causing public nuisance'

On June 30, demonstrators gathered at an official protest zone near where Xi was attending an anniversary celebration.

The demonstrators chanted "end one-party dictatorship."

Joshua Wong, who leads the Demosisto pro-democracy party, accused Xi of "causing a public nuisance."

Wong and 25 other activists had been arrested on Wednesday and released for "breaking the 'public nuisance' law" during a protest.