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[港澳] Hong Kong’s future is at stake — at a pivotal moment for China

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发表于 6/25/2019 13:26:53 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 6/25/2019 13:36 编辑

Hong Kong’s future is at stake — at a pivotal moment for China






Hong Kong protest leader Joshua Wong speaks as thousands of protesters surround Hong Kong police headquarters Friday. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)By Au Nok-hin andJoshua Wong
June 24, 2019 at 2:28 PM

Au Nok-hin is a member of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong. Joshua Wong is secretary general and co-founder of Demosisto, a political party in Hong Kong.
Over the past few weeks, the people of Hong Kong have gone to unprecedented lengths to make their voices heard. They have come out onto the streets in the millions, weekend after weekend, to protest a controversial bill that would allow the government to extradite people to China. They have taken considerable risks to demonstrate in the face of excessive force exercised by the Hong Kong police, who fired rubber bullets at a protester’s head and reportedly beat up journalists during their clampdown.
We, too, understand the risks of standing up against authorities. The government has cracked down on pro-democracy groups in recent years, outlawing a political party and imprisoning leaders of the pro-democracy movement — one of us included. But we have continued our fight because we know what is at stake: Hong Kong’s freedom, democratic rights and position of global relevance.

Although Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has temporarily suspended the bill, she still refuses to comply with people’s demands to withdraw it. The city’s police commissioner, Stephen Lo, still refuses to rescind arrests on charges of rioting, and has not apologized or taken responsibility for the police’s attacks on protesters. These actions show that the authorities do not understand their mistakes.
The extradition bill has attracted so much international attention precisely because of its damaging effects on Hong Kong’s international reputation. Since the handover from British governance in 1997, Hong Kong was allowed to implement a “one country, two systems” framework until 2047, making it an important portal into China for foreign businesses and investors.
Despite the fact that it has benefited from Hong Kong’s position, Beijing has continually tried to bend the rules, disqualifying elected legislators, trying to reinterpret Hong Kong’s Basic Law and constructing large-scale infrastructure in an attempt to integrate Hong Kong with other nearby mainland cities.

Hong Kong, however, has still managed to hold onto its independence. The extradition bill threatens that, making people of all nationalities vulnerable to being surrendered to China.
Already, foreign politicians are acknowledging the importance of the case. In Congress, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) recently introduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which reaffirms the U.S. commitment to the rights in Hong Kong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also said that if the extradition bill passed, the United States would have to reevaluate the level of Hong Kong’s autonomy from China and whether it is still eligible for trading privileges.
Beijing, as usual, is upset by what it sees as “foreign interference” — though it is in fact Hong Kongers who stood up on their own against the extradition bill. Still, these statements put pressure on China and give it an incentive to resolve the controversy before other governments take it up.

The fact of the matter is that the Hong Kong government’s rash decision to push forward with the bill comes at a pivotal juncture for China. The Group of 20 summit, which will take place in Osaka, Japan, at the end of June and is being held in the midst of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, will be key for Beijing.
In an earlier interview, President Trump said he was sure Hong Kong and China would be able to “work it out.” China’s Foreign Ministry expressed its appreciation for the president’s comment. But if protests continue during the G-20 summit as a result of the Hong Kong government’s failure to react responsibly, it would inevitably make things awkward for China. Governments should take the opportunity to bring up Hong Kong’s case and emphasize that it would be in China’s interest to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy.
And Hong Kong is not just relevant to U.S.-China relations. Take the host of the G-20 summit, Japan, for example: In early 2019, Japan’s exports to China had already fallen by 17.4 percent compared to last year, a result of China’s slowing economic growth. Against this backdrop, improving economic and trade relations might be the trick to easing tensions — and Hong Kong, as a bridge into China and an international hub, could be the key to success.

The Hong Kong government’s extradition bill has already become a problem that China has to face during the upcoming summit. Lam and Beijing should pause and realize that they don’t want to aggravate their relationship with Hong Kongers — and by extension, much of the world — by making decisions on a whim.



 楼主| 发表于 6/25/2019 13:49:18 | 显示全部楼层
More anti-extradition protests planned in Hong Kong and Japan ahead of Osaka G20 summit
25 June 2019 10:38

Kris Cheng

More protests against Hong Kong’s extradition bill have been planned ahead of the G20 summit in Japan this week in an attempt to pressure the local government and Beijing.

One of the protest calls was made by a group of anonymous demonstrators on a Telegram messaging channel, urging people to gather at Chater Garden at 9am on Wednesday. They plan to walk to 19 foreign consulates to submit petition letters, urging them to press Chinese President Xi Jinping over Hong Kong issues at the G20 summit on Friday and Saturday.




Protests planned on June 26. Photo: Supplied.

According to a press advisory sent out by the protesters, they plan to visit the US consulate, EU office, and the UK consulate. They will then split into two groups, with one group going to consulates in Central including Japan, Germany and Canada; and a second group moving to Wan Chai to visit the consulates of Italy, Australia and Indonesia.
The protesters said they will be dressed in black and will walk silently, and participants may choose whether to wear a mask or not. They said the petition letter mainly talks about the development of the anti-extradition bill protests, and the “erosion of democracy and freedom” in Hong Kong by China.
“We will urge the countries to pressure China at the G20 to raise concerns over Hong Kong, to defend Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and free trade environment, and to protect the rights of their citizens to do business and to live in Hong Kong,” they said.
The protest plan came as Chinese assistant foreign minister Zhang Jun said China will not allow discussion of Hong Kong at the global meeting of world leaders.
“This proves that China wants to avoid Hong Kong issues, and that is why Hong Kong people should seriously call on foreign countries to raise this issue that Xi Jinping wants to avoid – to force Xi to review the current policy for Hong Kong,” the protesters said.
CHRF convenor Jimmy Sham. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Legal amendments were proposed in February to allow the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements – most notably China. Lawyers, journalists, foreign politicians and businesses have raised concerns over the risk of residents being extradited to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections. The bill was suspended after mass protests, but not axed.
‘Democracy now’
After visiting the 19 consulates, protesters will join a second gathering – a rally hosted by the Civil Human Rights Front at Edinburgh Place in Central at 8pm on Wednesday. Front convener Jimmy Sham said the theme will be “Free Hong Kong, democracy now.”
“We are asking… leaders of the 20 countries – do Hong Kong people deserve democracy? Should Hong Kong people enjoy democracy? Can we have democracy now?” said Sham.
Sham said they will also restate their five demands of the Hong Kong government, including the withdrawal of the extradition bill, retraction of characterisation of the June 12 protest as a “riot,” an investigation into alleged police violence, to absolve all arrested protesters, and the resignation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.
Meanwhile, a group of Hongkongers are set to protest in Osaka on Thursday.


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