Protesters In Hong Kong Clash With Police Over Elections

Some residents of Hong Kong are protesting after China's central government announced it will screen candidates for the island's highest office.

Protesters In Hong Kong Clash With Police Over Elections
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As many predicted, protesters were out in force on the streets of Hong Kong Sunday night and into Monday after the Chinese central government announced it will screen candidates for Hong Kong chief executive — the island's highest office. 

Those protesters reportedly clashed with police as they rallied in support of democracy, rejecting a plan that Beijing says will bring "universal suffrage" to Hong Kong by 2017. (Video via Deutsche Welle)

And the definition of universal suffrage is at the heart of the issue, as Hong Kongers say it should include the freedom for anyone to stand for office, not just a handful of candidates picked by the Chinese government. 

EDWARD CHIN VIA CNBC: ​​"Our stance is pretty simple. We want fair play, and also we want to choose the next chief executive 2017 without prescreening."

That was Edward Chin, one of the organizers of the Occupy Central movement, which has led many of the protests. That group has pledged to continue protesting, despite pushback from some Hong Kongers who say they want compromise. 

Some of the coverage has described the protests like this:

AL JAZEERA: "It was a rare display of open defiance by activists who have pledged to carry out a civil disobedience campaign."

But while such defiance might be rare on the mainland, Hong Kong has a history of protests going back at least as far as the 1997 handover of the colony from the United Kingdom to China. (Video via TVB Pearl)

DEBORAH KAN, TVB NEWS: "Thousands are expected to show up for a huge rally."

Back then, the Chinese government promised to allow Hong Kong to govern itself. And protests have been a fairly common occurrence this summer, too. 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: "On July 1, tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets in Hong Kong's annual march against Beijing. ... Police say nearly 100,000 people took part."

So why would the government risk all this political turmoil? 

LI FEI VIA BBC: "The goal of the nomination committee is to reduce the risks involved in universal suffrage. One, it reduces the risk of political confrontation."

Pepper spray has reportedly been used to control some of the protesters. Elections are set for 2017.

This video includes images from Getty Images.