September 11, 2014 / 8:08 AM / 5 years ago

Timeline: Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement

(Reuters) - December 1984 - Britain and China sign Joint Declaration on the conditions under which Hong Kong will be handed over to Chinese rule in 1997, including a “one country, two systems” formula.

June 1989 - A crackdown on pro-democracy activists in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square prompts calls for more democratic safeguards to be introduced in Hong Kong.

April 1990 - Beijing ratifies Hong Kong’s Basic Law as a mini-constitution which states for the first time that “universal suffrage” is the ultimate aim for Hong Kong.

July 1997 - Hong Kong is handed back to Chinese authorities after more than 150 years of British control. Tung Chee-hwa, a Shanghai-born former shipping tycoon with little political experience, is hand-picked by Beijing to rule the territory following the takeover.

February 2001 - Hong Kong’s number two official, Chief Secretary Anson Chan, who opposed Chinese interference in the territory’s affairs, resigns under pressure from Beijing.

July 2003 – Half a million people spill onto Hong Kong’s streets to protest against proposed anti-subversion laws. The government shelved the proposed legislation and they have not been re-introduced since, even though they are required under the Basic Law.

April, 2004 - China controversially rules out the possibility of universal suffrage in Hong Kong in 2007 and 2008, further slowing the pace of political reform. China also rules that its approval must be sought for any changes to Hong Kong’s election laws, giving Beijing the right to veto any moves towards more democracy.

December 2007 - Beijing says it will allow the people of Hong Kong to directly elect their own leader in 2017 and their legislators by 2020.

July 2012 - Leung Chun-ying takes office as chief executive, succeeding Donald Tsang whose last months in office were dogged by controversy over his links with wealthy businessmen.

January 2013 - Occupy Central with Love and Peace campaign is initiated by law professor Benny Tai.

June 2014 - China’s Cabinet issues a “white paper” policy document on Hong Kong underscoring China’s sovereignty and ultimate authority over the city.

June 2014 - Nearly 800,000 people cast votes in an unofficial referendum calling for open nomination of candidates for the 2017 election, part of campaign branded illegal by the Hong Kong government and senior Chinese officials.

July 2014 - Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters march through Hong Kong, calling for a genuinely democratic vote in 2017. Police arrest over 500 protesters who stage an overnight sit-in in the main business district.

August 2014 - Tens of thousands of pro-Beijing supporters stage a massive counter-protest against the Occupy Central civil disobedience campaign.

August 2014 - Anti-corruption officers raid home of Jimmy Lai, a media magnate and outspoken critic of Beijing who has supported pro-democracy activists through his publications and with donations.

August 2014 - The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress rules out a fully democratic election for Hong Kong leader in 2017, by imposing tight rules on nominations of candidates who want to run in the poll.

Compiled by Anne Marie Roantree. Editing by Bill Tarrant

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