Hundreds of protesters surround government headquarters in Hong Kong as officials prepare to table extradition law

Hundreds of protesters surround government headquarters in Hong Kong as legislature prepares discussion on extradition law

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(AP photo)

HONG KONG (AP) — Hundreds of protesters have surrounded government headquarters in Hong Kong as the territory's legislature prepare to open discussion on a highly controversial extradition law that would allow residents accused of wrongdoing to be sent to China for trial.

The overwhelmingly young crowd of demonstrators overturned barriers and tussled with police Wednesday morning as they sought to enter government headquarters and offices of the Legislative Council.

Under its "one country, two systems" framework, Hong Kong was guaranteed the right to retain its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years following its handover from British rule in 1997. However, China's ruling Communist Party has been seen as increasingly reneging on that agreement by forcing through unpopular legal changes.

A vote on the amended laws is scheduled for June 20.