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[港澳] Hong Kong: pressure builds on Carrie Lam as public rejects apology

发表于 6/17/2019 14:14:00 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 6/17/2019 14:34 编辑

Hong Kong: pressure builds on Carrie Lam as public rejects apology

Calls for leader to stand down after estimated 2 million march over unpopular extradition bill
Mon 17 Jun 2019 18.44 BSTFirst published on Mon 17 Jun 2019

Protesters demonstrate against the now-suspended extradition bill on 16 June in Hong Kong. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images
Protesters have kept up pressure on Hong Kong’s leader by blocking streets outside the shuttered legislature building and welcoming the city’s most prominent political activist, Joshua Wong, on his release from jail.
As the political crisis entered its second week, Hong Kong’s police chief admitted that his officers had sought to arrest wounded demonstrators in hospitals after a previous protest, but claimed criminal screening was routine for anyone arriving at A&E.
He said 32 people had been arrested for their role in protests last week, and five charged with rioting offences, which carry heavy sentences.
The city was electrified by a record march on Sunday, the third major demonstration in a week. Organisers claimed that nearly 2 million people turned out to oppose an extradition law pushed by the territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, called for her resignation, condemned police brutality against protesters and demanded they drop any rioting charges.

Protesters against the proposed extradition bill rest near the legislative council building in the early morning. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters
The police commissioner, Stephen Lo Wai-Chung, refused to apologise for police use of tear gas, rubber bullets and truncheons, saying their hand was forced when “a minority” turned to violence on Wednesday. He claimed police had been misunderstood.
“We’re not saying that the public gathering on that day was a riot,” Lo told a press conference. “Some protesters used violence, that’s why the situation was a riot. As for other peaceful protesters … they need not worry about the riot crime.”

Asked about reports that police used medical records to search hospitals for protesters, he said every hospital had a police post, and officers had followed routine procedures.
“Whenever there are people delivered to the emergency ward, there is a responsibility for police to check whether it is an accident, natural sickness, or [if they were] involved in certain crimes,” he said.

'President Xi, we will not keep silent': Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong released from jail – video
“The allegation that we are going to hospitals, chasing people to disturb their treatment, I disagree. It is only that our police stations discover [this], like normal crimes, like the triad wounding case or a murder case.”

The response was unlikely to satisfy protesters who marched under slogans including “they are kids, not rioters” and have been emboldened by the government’s unexpected climbdown over the extradition bill.
The crowds on Monday were tiny by comparison to Sunday, but participants remained committed. “This is Hong Kong’s future at stake, it’s really important,” said one 29-year-old protester, who had skipped work to attend. He said his boss knew where he was, but asked not to be named because he feared arrest after roundups including hospital detentions.

'They're kids, not rioters': new generation of protesters bring Hong Kong to standstill

The timing of Wong’s release on Monday after serving half of a two-month sentence on a contempt charge was coincidental. He rose to prominence during the 2014 pro-democracy “umbrella movement”, and had been finishing a sentence for his role in those protests when Hong Kongers took to the streets again.
He wasted no time adding his name to the cause. When he arrived at the protest site in the early afternoon, he told reporters he was in the same clothes he wore when he was jailed, not even taking time to return home and wash or change.

“[The protests] showed the spirit and dignity of the Hong Kong people,” Wong said. He urged her to withdraw the controversial law and step down.
Sunday was the largest demonstration in Hong Kong’s history and the potent display of public anger pushed Lam to apologise for her handling of the crisis in a statement, but she did not respond to demonstrators’ key demands.

Hundreds of thousands take to streets in renewed Hong Kong protests – video report
Many have sworn they will not rest until she goes. “I know this is going to be a serious fight, but I think it is somehow necessary,” said a 22-year-old student who gave his name as Draven.
“We all know that just one protest is not going to have any long-term impact; we have to go further to let the government know what we need.” That includes bringing an end to Lam’s leadership, he said.
Hong Kong is not China yet, but that feared day is coming ever nearer Louisa Lim

China, which handpicked Lam for the job, has stood by her publicly. The foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday she had the government’s support. But analysts and opposition politicians said her campaign to force through a much-criticised bill, and her repeated misreading of the public mood as Hong Kong’s people rose up against it, had fatally undermined her authority.
“Her government cannot be an effective government, and will have much, much, much difficulties to carry on,” the Democratic party legislator James To told the government-funded broadcaster RTHK.
The extradition law at the heart of the crisis would allow both residents and visitors to be sent to China for trial in opaque, communist-controlled courts, which many in Hong Kong fear would prove a devastating blow to their economy and society.
The city functions as a regional business and trade hub, protected from China by its judicial “firewall”. Without that protection everyone from dissidents to business tycoons could be at risk; some of the city’s wealthy have reportedly already started moving assets abroad over fears about the new law’s impact.
Additional reporting by Verna Yu

 楼主| 发表于 6/17/2019 14:37:08 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 6/17/2019 14:55 编辑

Hong Kong protests show first dent in armour of Xi Jinping

Crisis will provide ammunition for his elite enemies inside China’s Communist party
Mon 17 Jun 2019 20.09 BSTLast modified on Mon 17 Jun 2019

Protest messages written on sticky notes on the wall of a stairway near the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty
The most obvious casualty of Hong Kong’s extraordinary uprising against chief executive, Carrie Lam, and her campaign to tie the city more closely to China, will be the bureaucrat-turned-politician’s own career. If she stays on, it will only be as a lame duck leader.
But the city’s turmoil is also a major challenge to her boss and patron, Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
Lam has been at pains to paint herself as an independent actor in the crisis, and as it unfurled Beijing has publicly doubled down on its expressions of support for her. But neither of those positions are entirely honest.
The show of political power by Hong Kong’s population, and Lam’s humiliating climbdown over a controversial extradition law, are a major headache for Xi, a ruler who has pursued an increasingly nationalist, autocratic agenda since becoming premier of China.
“I think Xi Jinping is probably mad as hell,” said Willy Lam, Prof of Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “(Protestors) have forced Xi to back down, for the first time since he took power seven years ago, from a major policy platform.”
At home the crisis will provide immediate ammunition for his elite enemies inside the Communist party, and eventually perhaps inspiration to a different group of opponents in restive regions including Tibet and western Xinjiang province.
“Sooner or later news will filter through, and again people there will take heart from what Hong Kong people have achieved through a show of unity and coming out to the streets,” Lam said.
In self-ruled Taiwan, which Xi would dearly like see unified with the mainland, the crisis is expected to boost pro-independence president Tsai Ing-wen as she runs for re-election, by providing voters with a dramatic warning of the risks from closer ties with China.
Further afield, the showdown with Hong Kong citizens has given ammunition to critics in the West, at a time when China is hovering on the brink of a trade war with the US and under fierce attack for issues including a network of concentration camps for Uighurs in Xinjiang and its aggressive policy in the South China Sea.
Chinese authorities’ fear of what has been happening in Hong Kong is evidenced in widespread censorship. Many news outlets behind the digital great firewall that blocks China off from the rest of the Internet have avoided it, or briefly attacked foreign meddling in the former British colony. The English-language China Daily carried a report on an anti-US march by Hong Kong parents. It did not mention the protest that organiser’s claim numbered nearly 2 million marching against their own government.
Beijing’s expressions of support for Lam are almost certainly driven only by the calculation that losing a hand-picked leader under public pressure would do Beijing further damage.

Hong Kong chief executive, Carrie Lam, after administering the oath for office in 2017, watched by Xi Yinping, right Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP
“The protests in Hong Kong have exacerbated Beijing’s existing challenges. China is already embroiled in a trade war, and protests could strengthen Beijing’s critics in Taiwan as the election approaches,” said Zhixing Zhang, senior east Asia analyst at Stratfor.

“But the fact that Carrie Lam’s political career is at stake forces Beijing to firmly support its own appointed official.”
Lam’s own insistence that the controversial extradition law which lies at the heart of the current crisis was purely her own initiative ring almost as hollow as Beijing’s protestations of confidence.
It is still unclear whether the idea for the law originated in Beijing or Hong Kong, but once on the table, Xi and the ruling Communist party embraced it enthusiastically.
It would have been a useful tool, allowing the government in Beijing to legally pursue critics and fugitives who have set up shop in Hong Kong (it has ocasionally kidnapped them in defiance of the law).
It would also have expedited political and legal integration of the two countries, a key goal for China ahead of the 2047 expiry date for Hong Kong autonomy.
Two members of China’s ruling politburo standing committee made unusual public statements in support of the bill, and Lam is reported to have consulted with one of them, Han Zheng, the day before agreeing to suspend it.

Before the current crisis the chief executive had a reputation as a hardworking, competent and sometimes ruthless administrator, which may be why Beijing believed she could shepherd through legislation which would have such a profound impact on every aspect of Hong Kong life.
She has no obvious successor, and as Beijing tries to find one, it will have to confront the fundamental challenge it faces in trying to control Hong Kong, while the city still has freedom of speech and enjoys the rule of law.
The job of the chief executive is pretty much impossible as they have to answer to two masters with radically different demands,” said Prof Lam.
One is the politburo in Beijing, long a loud and demanding master. But the other is the people of Hong Kong, and now they have found their voice too.

 楼主| 发表于 6/17/2019 14:57:58 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 郭国汀 于 6/17/2019 15:11 编辑

Hong Kong: Torn between a British past and a Chinese future as it fights for democracy
By Tasha Wibawa and Sean Mantesso
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Hong Kong protesters take to streets to demand leader steps down

Hong Kong came to a standstill once again this week after more than a million protesters filled its streets in protest over a proposed extradition bill for the second week in a row.
Here's how its near-200-year history transitioning from a British colony to an expected-yet-uncertain Chinese state by 2047 shaped the territory while prompting the largest protests inHong Kong'shistory.
Where did the 'one country, two systems' policy come from?

Hong Kong became a British colony in the mid-19th century when the United Kingdom signed a 100-year lease with China to obtain sovereignty over Hong Kong Island and surrounding territories in 1898.
Fast forward to 1949, and controversial reformer Mao Zedong appeared on the cusp of controlling the entire Chinese mainland — the city would, for the first time, think about how it might have to fend off a communist incursion.
In 1984 an agreement was made that would reshape Hong Kong's future when the UK agreed to return the region to China when the hundred year lease expired in 1997 — many Hong Kongers left the region in the years in between fearing Chinese rule.
A timeline of key events
When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997, remaining citizens were promised British capitalism and laws. In the intervening years, some argue that Beijing has squandered its promises.

However, it was under the condition that Hong Kong would retain some of its democratic institutions, including its judicial system and independence, for 50 years after the handover, set to expire in 2047.
The agreement of a principle of "one country, two systems" was eventually reached with the idea that Hong Kong could retain a high degree of autonomy while still being a part of China.
Protests have long been in Hong Kong's DNA as a result of such history — in the mid-1960s, for example, it was against British rule, years later, it was again fear of Beijing's creeping power.
Hong Kong's historical status as both a former British colony and a part of China continues to feed into tensions about the territory's rule, politics and its cultural identity.
Hong Kong torn between Western and Chinese identitiesPHOTO: A protester raises his umbrellas in front of tear gas which was fired by riot police during the 2014 pro-democracy protest. (Reuters: Tyrone Siu)

Under British colonial rule, Hong Kong's national ties with mainland China were wound back, and over the years, Hong Kong developed its own cultural identity, associated with its own way of life in attempt to fuse Chinese values and British norms and regulations.
For example, today, Hong Kong's legal system is based on the English Common Law, referred to as the Basic Law — where the judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.
'Everyone is feeling more despair'
A look back at Hong Kong's handover to China 21 years later.
However, the final interpretation of Hong Kong's Basic Law is still in the hands of a division of the Chinese Communist Party back in Beijing.
Meanwhile, English remains an official language, spoken fluently by half the population and widely seen on national signs and transport, while nearly all Hong Kongers speak Cantonese, a Chinese language native to south-eastern China — in mainland China, though, Mandarin remains the official language.
The crucial distinction in Hong Kong and mainland identities are the difference in general public attitudes towards things like press freedom, freedom of speech, privacy and inequality, according to experts.
People who associate themselves with a Hong Kong identity are more openly willing to defend the region's values — prompting uprisings like the 2014 Umbrella Movement as well — in order to maintain its unique characteristics and cultural identity.
Transition from a 'tiger economy' to a high-income economyPHOTO: The HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong (right) is one of many multinational corporations based in the territory. (Supplied, file)

Hong Kong's free market economy and its democratic institutions have allowed it to flourish and become one of the world's most important financial and economic hubs.
It was one of Asia's four "tiger economies" throughout the 20th century along with South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore witnessing rapid economic growth before establishing itself as a high-income economy in the 21st century.
Its economic growth have been underpinned by minimal government market intervention, minimal taxation and an established international financial market, which attracts many corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region.
The territory has also become a gateway for foreign direct investments in China due to its ties to the Chinese stock exchanges, with the Hong Kong Stock exchange also being one of the largest in the world.
Hong Kong is also one of the largest home to Australian expats overseas with 100,000 Aussies living in Hong Kong, and 96,000 people born in Hong Kong living in Australia.
Rising demonstrations in recent years — what might happen next?

Beijing's perceived interference into Hong Kong faced significant backlash in 2014, when tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters threatened to shut down Hong Kong's Central financial district.
The protests, which lasted 77 days, were sparked by China's proposed reforms to the island's electoral system and its rejection for open nominations for Hong Kong's chief executive — it was dubbed the Umbrella Revolution.
It was declared over nearly three months after it kicked off, and police arrested more than a dozen of activists, including elderly people who refused to move.
Now Hong Kong finds itself once again in a similar yet even more concerning situation for Hong Kongers: if the proposed legislation to allow extradition to China goes ahead, many fear their voice and demands for democracy will no longer be heard.
Hundreds of thousands are now demanding that Beijing-backed Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam step down and scrap the extradition bill, even after it was suspended amid debate and an apology forwarded by Ms Lam.
However, so far, Ms Lam has avoided answering questions about whether she would actually step down and appealed to the public to "give us another chance", leaving Hong Kongers future in limbo as it fights for the city lived in and loved by millions for its culture, history, and freedoms.
Meanwhile, the concerns raised have shown little sign of abating, as the 22nd anniversary of its 1997 handover from the British to the Chinese on July 1 — a date usually marked by protests and demands about civil liberties — looms.

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