Hong Kong people fight a dreaded law

I’m sure most people, if they’ve watched the news recently, must have seen the events in Hong Kong. There was a million-person march on June 9, a street protest on June 12, capped off by a two-million-person march on June 16. Besides those, there have been smaller protests outside the police headquarters and government buildings, as well as a gathering this past Wednesday ahead of the G-20 meetings in Osaka, Japan.

The reason for all of this is an extradition bill that was proposed by the HK government which would allow extraditions of anybody in HK, including visitors and expats, to mainland China. If passed, this law would mean everyone in Hong Kong could be extradited to the mainland for any perceived offense in its opaque justice system. What this means is that almost every sector of Hong Kong society has expressed concern and fears, from activists, teachers, lawyers, to even businesspeople, who are usually pro-government and pro-China. This explains why Hong Kongers were so angry and desperate that millions of them took to the streets more than once to protest this extradition law.

As most people know, China is an authoritarian country ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. This means the party stands above everything, including the legal system. Chinese courts and judges are all party-controlled and laws are rubber-stamped and arbitrarily applied at the whim of the authorities. Forced confessions, disappearances (Fan Bingbing being a famous example) and a 99% conviction rate (if the state arrests you, that’s it for you) are all common characteristics of the Chinese legal system. There is no uncensored media so you can forget about having journalists cover your case fairly.

While Hong Kong belongs to China, it operates with distinct autonomy under “One Country, Two Systems.” So while China is a communist authoritarian state, Hong Kong retains a partly democratic legislature, media and civic freedoms and rule of law, including an independent judiciary. Over time, China has tried to reduce some of these freedoms via the Hong Kong government, whose chief executive (the title of HK’s leader) is appointed by China.

As someone who’s strongly against China and the CCP and who was born in HK, I support the anti-extradition law movement. I have wrote about this issue and I also took part in two of the marches, which I wrote about as well.

The government was stunned enough, as well as embarrassed, to postpone the extradition bill. There has been talk from government figures that it probably will not be put back on the table again, so in effect it has been withdrawn. However, many people do not trust the authorities and they demand an official withdrawal.

Here are photos of the June 9 march, which featured over a million people. 
People mostly wore white to signify justice.

It was mesmerising to see so many people fill up the street in a sea of white. I stood on this bridge just watching for about 10 minutes, then walked down to rejoin the crowd.

Just across from the government headquarters, which was the final destination of the march, police stood along these barriers to prevent marchers from occupying the road. On June 12, protesters did occupy this road during the day.

Then the following week, on June 16, two million (not a typo) people came out to march. It was definitely much crowded than the previous week and much slower.

In contrast to the previous week, marchers wore black.

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22 thoughts on “Hong Kong people fight a dreaded law

  1. The amendments to the bill allows people who committed a serious crime in Mainland China, but fled or live in Hong Kong to be extradited to the Mainland, just as to the many other countries. Political fugitives are not included and the crime must have exceeded a sentence of 7 seven years. Even so, the CE has the power of reviewing / rejecting the case.
    Your first paragraph is in serious errors. You should research the amendments and amend your post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you mean the second paragraph but anyways I get your point. I know the bill has had amendments which you mentioned but they do not mean anything.
      When China seeks to arrest people for political crimes, they do not usually provide a real reason or evidence. In the case of one of the booksellers which they kidnapped, they claimed he was involved in a fatal car accident but provided no real evidence. Time and time again, China has arrested (or disappeared) people on trumped-up and flimsy charges such as plotting against the state.
      Given the actions of the HK government in recent years, would this CE actually dare to reject a case from China?
      The main point is that nobody trusts the Chinese justice system and none of these amendments address this issue.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes, I’m still following Hong Kong’s news. I have friends living there so yes, it does cause some concern for me. From a peaceful protest to a violent one.

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            1. It has become much more violent and tense. I am writing an update about the protests soon, but there is so much to think about.
              You live in Malaysia right? Is it on the news a lot and do a lot of people know about the protests?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yup, I live in Malaysia. And yes, it is on the news a lot. Many people in KL and Singapore are talking about it. Some of my friends are putting off traveling to Hong Kong for pleasure and for work. Not so much because that they think it’s dangerous but because it may inconvenience them if the flights are delayed or if they are caught outside during the protest.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. That’s good to know that many people in KL and Singapore are talking about it.
                  They are right to be worried about the possible delays or protests.
                  It’s not dangerous for people in general, though there have been a handful of clashes between protesters and gangsters. Hong Kong is not a good place to visit to have fun or shop these days.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Yeah, it’s not surprising given how rough things have become in HK. Retail and property sales have also been hit, though the economy was a bit weak even before the protests. It is a shame but at this point, I think there are more important things to worry about. I don’t fully agree with all the things protesters have done, but I do support the protests in general. Yesterday, there were some terrible acts from the police, which led to the airport rally today that made the authorities cancel flights.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Same here. I do support the protest generally but sometimes, protesters do cross the lines which I don’t agree to use violence against violence. I do admire the HK spirit and how everyone young and old, from different backgrounds come together to fight for a common belief. Sad that things have to come down to this in order for people to be heard.

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                    3. Very glad that you support the protests in general as well. Some Singaporean ministers have been very critical of the HK protests so I’m not sure how much sympathy there is from Singaporeans.
                      Indeed, there is a wide cross-section of HK society of all ages and professions supporting these protests. That’s true that it’s sad it has had to come to this as the HK government has been neglecting the people and trying to clamp down on freedoms for years.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I’ve just read that there is a new way of protest now. People are just withdrawing their money (all of their savings) so to cripple the economy. I think that is a smart stance rather than to block tourists from leaving the country through airport.

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                    5. Yes, some people did that yesterday. The government and banks claimed everything is under control, but I think that is a worthwhile way of protesting. The airport blockade was not nice or productive and some of the protesters apologized the day after.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. I think the airport protest just made tourists not want to come back to HK. While the cash withdrawal is silent but has more impact if everyone in HK withdraw all their cash.

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