A riot policeman sprays pepper spray at a man as they disperse a crowd during a demonstration against "parallel traders" who buy goods in Hong Kong to resell in mainland China on Sunday, January 5.
Andy Wong/AP

In pictures: Hong Kong unrest

Updated 3:37 AM ET, Wed January 15, 2020

A riot policeman sprays pepper spray at a man as they disperse a crowd during a demonstration against "parallel traders" who buy goods in Hong Kong to resell in mainland China on Sunday, January 5.
Andy Wong/AP

Anti-government protests in Hong Kong, which have been ongoing since early June 2019, were initially sparked by strong opposition to a proposed extradition bill.

Critics feared the bill would allow citizens to be sent across the border into mainland China.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the bill on September 4, 2019 but she refused to give ground on four other demands, which include greater democracy for the city and an independent commission into police conduct.

"We must find ways to address the discontent in society and look for solutions," Lam said. "After more than two months of social unrest, it is obvious to many that this discontentment extends far beyond the bill."