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> Hong Kong kicking off 2018 with its annual New Years Day demonstration calling for a stop to further erosion of autonomy. Organizers say 10,000 people marched through the city. Hong Kong is a former British colony. It was returned to Chinese rule in 1997, with the promise that Beijing would grant the city a high degree of autonomy.
That was to include an independent judiciary, or under a so called, one country, two systems arrangement. But over two decades of Chinese rule, differences have deepened between communist party leaders in Beijing and a younger generational of democracy advocates. Some of them are now calling for the financial hub to eventually split from China.
In a written response to the protest, the city's government said it respects the right of its people to protest as guaranteed in the city's mini constitution.