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Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong protests: What's next?

Prominent figures in politics and business look at a scarred city's way forward

Hong Kong's political standoff is rooted in a government attempt to amend an extradition law to ease the transfer of criminal suspects to mainland China. (Getty Images)

HONG KONG/TOKYO -- Massive protests in Hong Kong are now in their third month, and the near-daily demonstrations appear to have no end in sight. The rallies have been largely peaceful, but increasingly some have turned violent. The stalemate is rooted in a government attempt to amend an extradition law that would permit the transfer of people to mainland China, which lacks a transparent judicial system, but have expanded to include calls for greater democracy.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam in June suspended the proposed legislation after several large demonstrations -- including one that organizers said drew 2 million people -- but protesters are demanding the bill's full retraction. Protests have spread from government offices and business districts to the airport, rail stations and residential neighborhoods, with police using tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against crowds. Beijing officials, showing growing impatience, have likened the protesters to "terrorists."

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