The protests, which picked up momentum over the weekend, only intensified on Monday. Riot police fired rounds of tear gas and demonstrators continued to block roads on Monday, leading schools and banks to close.
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"The Hong Kong electorate are calling for a greater freedom for the selection of candidates, not having a slate of candidates determined by Beijing," Sorrell said. "I think it is worrying from the point of view of China as a whole."
After all, the protests could be a tipping point for the city, which had been a British colony for 99 years until its lease expired in 1997. Hong Kong's transfer from the United Kingdom back to China didn't happen instantly, though. Instead, China agreed to wait 50 years to complete the shift.
In turn, it remains unclear whether Hong Kong will remain a special administrative region or become fully absorbed by the mainland when the transfer is finally completed in 2047.