Mass demonstrations of up to 400,000 people in Hong Kong on July 1, the 15th anniversary of the return of the former British colony to Chinese rule, underscore the sharp social tensions developing not only in Hong Kong, but throughout China. Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Hong Kong to inaugurate the territory’s new chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, but quickly left the city following the official ceremony, before the main demonstrations began in the afternoon. The Hong Kong media widely reported that the demonstrations were the largest since half a million people took to the streets in 2003 to oppose former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and his proposed draconian national security law. (See YouTube:

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