Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers took the the streets to protest against a controversial extradition bill. Hong Kong. 31 August 2019. Editorial credit: Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com

Hong Kong*

The people of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, have traditionally enjoyed substantial civil liberties and the rule of law under their local constitution, the Basic Law. However, the chief executive and half of the Legislative Council (Legco) are chosen through indirect electoral systems that favor pro-Beijing interests, and the territory’s freedoms and autonomy have come under threat in recent years due to growing political and economic pressure from the mainland.

Freedom in the World 2021

Freedom in the World — Hong Kong Report

Hong Kong is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2021, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

hong kong anti extradition protests

Countries in the Spotlight

Freedom in the World's Countries in the Spotlight features countries that experienced important developments in 2019 that affected their democratic trajectory, and deserve special scrutiny in 2020. In Hong Kong, sustained demonstrations against meddling by Beijing were met with police violence, but undeterred voters expressed overwhelming support for prodemocracy candidates in local elections. View the full Freedom in the World report to learn about the other Countries in the Spotlight.

Protesters demonstrate in the district of Yuen Long in Hong Kong on July 27, 2019. Photo Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images.

Recommendations for Policymakers: Democratic Crisis in Hong Kong

The United States and other democracies must take strong, immediate action to stand with the people of Hong Kong in their defense of democratic values.

* Indicates a territory as opposed to an independent country.