by Devon Rowcliffe

Amid democracy protests in Hong Kong, accusations of deception filled the tropical autumn air with as much fervor as the swarms of colourful umbrellas. Some Hong Kong residents insist that the larger powers involved in this affair – namely the Chinese government – have broken earlier promises to fully democratize Hong Kong, and that recent demands from China violate existing commitments.

But are these claims accurate? Has China ever actually offered a complete democracy to Hong Kong? And are China’s new demands truly in violation of its legal commitments or other promises?