More than 1 million protest in Hong Kong, organizers say, over Chinese extradition law

BMD

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Hong Kong: More than 1 million protest, organizers say, over Chinese extradition law - CNN

More than 1 million protest in Hong Kong, organizers say, over Chinese extradition law

By James Griffiths, Eric Cheung and Chermaine Lee, CNN

Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT) June 10, 2019




Organizers say over one million marched in Hong Kong 02:07

Hong Kong (CNN)More than 1 million protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong Sunday, organizers said, to oppose a controversial extradition bill that would enable China to extradite fugitives from the city.

The mass of protesters would be the largest demonstration since the city was handed back to China in 1997. Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organized the protests, said 1.03 million people marched -- a figure that accounts for almost one in seven of the city's 7.48 million-strongpopulation.

Hong Kong Police estimated the number of protesters closer to 240,000.

Critics say the bill will leave anyone on Hong Kong soil vulnerable to being grabbed by the Chinese authorities for political reasons or inadvertent business offenses and undermine the city's semi-autonomous legal system.

The bill has caused political gridlock, outcry among the city's usually pro-conservative business community, and even physical scuffles in the city's legislature, as well as criticism of the Hong Kong government by the United States and European Union.

The government says the bill is designed to plug loopholes in current law by allowing Hong Kong to decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to send fugitives to territories where it doesn't have formal extradition deals -- such as Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. Lawmakers have said the guarantee of a fair trial will not be written into the bill.


Protesters waved placards and wore white -- the designated color of the rally. "Hong Kong, never give up!" some chanted.

Sunday afternoon, protesters gathered at Victoria Park in central Hong Kong, waving placards and wearing white -- the designated color of the rally. "Hong Kong, never give up!" some chanted.

Other protesters were heard chanting "step down," "shelve the evil law," "anti extradition to China," and called for Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, to step down, as the marchers made their way along the 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) route to the Legislative Council in the Admiralty business district.

At least seven people were arrested, the police posted to Twitter.

At around 7:30 p.m. in Hong Kong (7:30 a.m. ET), five to six men with masks planned to occupy a main road in the city, Hong Kong Police said on Twitter.

Police said they used pepper spray on the protesters before they escaped the area. Officers urged protesters to disperse.

The protest was mostly peaceful during the day, but it turned violent overnight, with police trying to clear protesters with batons.

Thousands also gathered to protest the extradition bill in cities across Australia on Sunday. Similar marches were planned in other cities around the world, Hong Kong political group Demosisto said in a statement.

At about 10.30 p.m. (10.30 a.m. ET), organizers announced that the protest had ended. CNN journalists on the ground said the bulk of the protesters had dispersed by then, leaving a number of people milling around the Legislative Council.

Late Sunday, the government of Hong Kong released a statement acknowledging the ongoing protests across the island but reiterating the contested bill is still scheduled to resume debate June 12.

"We urge the Legislative Council to scrutinize the Bill in a calm, reasonable and respectful manner to help ensure Hong Kong remains a safe city for residents and business," it said.

Murder of tourist
The case for the bill was expedited by a grisly murder case in Taiwan, where a 20-year-old Hong Kong woman was allegedly killed by her boyfriend while on holiday there. Currently, the suspect cannot be sent from Hong Kong to face justice in Taiwan.



In #HongKong, scores of protesters - including this family - gather in Victoria Park to take part in a march against the proposed #extradition law.​
27 people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy

However, Taipei has already said it will refuse to cooperate with the new law if it puts Taiwanese citizens at risk of being extradited to China. The self-ruled island has previously seen citizens accused of crimes in countries that do not recognize Taiwan diplomatically being handed to Chinese custody, despite objections of Taipei.

Earlier this week, Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, slammed the bill.

"People have known exactly why there shouldn't be an extradition agreement with China for years," Patten said in a video message Thursday. "The argument that it's better to have an extradition treaty than to abduct people illegally from Hong Kong -- are people really supposed to believe that?"


Protesters take part in a rally against the proposed extradition law on April 28, 2019, in Hong Kong.

Last month, representatives from the European Union met with Lam, the chief executive, and expressed concern over the bill. Members of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) have also spoken out against the bill, warning Lam it could "negatively impact the relationship between the United States and Hong Kong."

Unwanted and unneeded?
Business groups in Hong Kong usually take a neutral stance on contentious political issues. But this time they, too, have spoken out against the bill. In a bid to secure their support, the government has limited the scope of extraditable offenses -- but for some that is still not enough.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong warned last week there were "too many uncertainties in fundamental sections of the proposed legislation" for it to be passed in its current form.

"Hong Kong is not ready to see this bill passed and we do not see why it should be rushed through when the loophole it seeks to address has existed for 20 years," the chamber said in a statement.


A woman holds a poster of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, against a proposed extradition law, before a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2019.

But government spokesman Matthew Cheung said the move was time sensitive.

"The suspect in the Taiwan murder case is serving sentences for other criminal offenses in Hong Kong but is expected to be released this October," Cheung said. "There is thus a pressing need to provide a legal basis for the assistance that we want to render to Taiwan, before the (legislature) goes into summer recess from mid-July to October."

Cheung did not address Taipei's concerns over the bill. Separately, Lam said it was "unfounded" to suggest the Hong Kong government "will just follow the instructions given by the Central Government and surrender whatever fugitives that the Central Government wants."

A US State Department spokesperson said Washington is "concerned by the Hong Kong government's proposed amendments to its Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, which would allow for individuals to be transferred to mainland China at the request of Communist Party authorities, and is closely monitoring the situation."

"Societies are best served when diverse political views are respected and can be freely expressed," the spokesperson said in a statement. "Continued erosion of the 'One country, Two systems' framework puts at risk Hong Kong's long-established special status in international affairs."

Fierce opposition
The extradition bill, particularly an attempt to fast-track it through Hong Kong's semi-democratic Legislature, has reinvigorated the city's flagging opposition movement after numerous setbacks.

Organizers claimed 130,000 people took part in a protest against the bill in April. While police gave the lower figure of 22,800, it was still the biggest protest since the 2014 Umbrella Movement, an ultimately unsuccessful protest over political reform which shut down parts of the city for months.

Tens of thousands filled Victoria Park on Tuesday, ignoring sweltering heat and threatening clouds overhead. Most wore black and almost all held candles overhead. The crowd chanted: "Demand accountability for the massacre! End one-party dictatorship! Build a democratic China!"


A Chinese paramilitary police officer stands guard in front of Mao Zedong's portrait on Beijing's Tiananmen Gate on Tuesday.




Photos: Massive Hong Kong vigil held 30 years after Tiananmen

A candlelight vigil, held in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Tuesday, remembered the victims of the 1989 massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.


The annual candlelight vigil has been taking place in Hong Kong's Victoria Park since 1990. The vigil calls for the release of all dissidents, rehabilitation of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, accountability for the massacre, the end of one-party dictatorship and the start of a democratic China.


For many who lived in Hong Kong in 1989, the massacre quashed their hopes that a rapidly reforming China would also bring democracy to the city. "Young people in China were demanding democracy," Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the organizers, told CNN in 2017. "We felt that if they made it, it meant Hong Kong would not have to live under an authoritarian regime." The massacre forever changed the character of Hong Kong, Lee said. "In the past we were something of an economic city, but after 1989 we became a political city."



The annual candlelight vigil has been taking place in Hong Kong's Victoria Park since 1990. The vigil calls for the release of all dissidents, rehabilitation of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, accountability for the massacre, the end of one-party dictatorship and the start of a democratic China.



For many who lived in Hong Kong in 1989, the massacre quashed their hopes that a rapidly reforming China would also bring democracy to the city. "Young people in China were demanding democracy," Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the organizers, told CNN in 2017. "We felt that if they made it, it meant Hong Kong would not have to live under an authoritarian regime." The massacre forever changed the character of Hong Kong, Lee said. "In the past we were something of an economic city, but after 1989 we became a political city."


While attendance at the annual vigil has fluctuated — with some, particularly younger people, complaining that the focus on democracy in China ignores more pressing demands for reform in the city — key anniversaries have always brought massive numbers to Victoria Park. According to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, more than 200,000 people attended a commemoration in 2009, and 180,000 came out in 2014 for the 25th anniversary.





Fears over the bill -- and criticism from a broad swath of Hong Kong society -- echo 2003, when half a million people took to the streets to oppose the passage of an anti-sedition law. That legislation was shelved, but the issue has become such a hot-button topic in Hong Kong that -- despite promising to do so -- no governments since have attempted to introduce it.

Sunday's protest comes days after the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, a pivotal moment that dashed hopes China would democratize before it took control of Hong Kong in 1997.

Hong Kong has commemorated the massacre with a candlelit vigil ever since, the only place on Chinese soil where mass remembrances are held. Organizers said more than 180,000 people joined a vigil in the city's Victoria Park on Tuesday, the largest such event since the 25th anniversary in 2014, which came in the politically fraught run-up to the Umbrella protests.
 
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_Anonymous_

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Hong Kong: More than 1 million protest, organizers say, over Chinese extradition law - CNN

More than 1 million protest in Hong Kong, organizers say, over Chinese extradition law

By James Griffiths, Eric Cheung and Chermaine Lee, CNN

Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT) June 10, 2019




Organizers say over one million marched in Hong Kong 02:07

Hong Kong (CNN)More than 1 million protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong Sunday, organizers said, to oppose a controversial extradition bill that would enable China to extradite fugitives from the city.

The mass of protesters would be the largest demonstration since the city was handed back to China in 1997. Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organized the protests, said 1.03 million people marched -- a figure that accounts for almost one in seven of the city's 7.48 million-strongpopulation.

Hong Kong Police estimated the number of protesters closer to 240,000.

Critics say the bill will leave anyone on Hong Kong soil vulnerable to being grabbed by the Chinese authorities for political reasons or inadvertent business offenses and undermine the city's semi-autonomous legal system.

The bill has caused political gridlock, outcry among the city's usually pro-conservative business community, and even physical scuffles in the city's legislature, as well as criticism of the Hong Kong government by the United States and European Union.

The government says the bill is designed to plug loopholes in current law by allowing Hong Kong to decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to send fugitives to territories where it doesn't have formal extradition deals -- such as Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. Lawmakers have said the guarantee of a fair trial will not be written into the bill.


Protesters waved placards and wore white -- the designated color of the rally. "Hong Kong, never give up!" some chanted.

Sunday afternoon, protesters gathered at Victoria Park in central Hong Kong, waving placards and wearing white -- the designated color of the rally. "Hong Kong, never give up!" some chanted.

Other protesters were heard chanting "step down," "shelve the evil law," "anti extradition to China," and called for Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, to step down, as the marchers made their way along the 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) route to the Legislative Council in the Admiralty business district.

At least seven people were arrested, the police posted to Twitter.

At around 7:30 p.m. in Hong Kong (7:30 a.m. ET), five to six men with masks planned to occupy a main road in the city, Hong Kong Police said on Twitter.

Police said they used pepper spray on the protesters before they escaped the area. Officers urged protesters to disperse.

The protest was mostly peaceful during the day, but it turned violent overnight, with police trying to clear protesters with batons.

Thousands also gathered to protest the extradition bill in cities across Australia on Sunday. Similar marches were planned in other cities around the world, Hong Kong political group Demosisto said in a statement.

At about 10.30 p.m. (10.30 a.m. ET), organizers announced that the protest had ended. CNN journalists on the ground said the bulk of the protesters had dispersed by then, leaving a number of people milling around the Legislative Council.

Late Sunday, the government of Hong Kong released a statement acknowledging the ongoing protests across the island but reiterating the contested bill is still scheduled to resume debate June 12.

"We urge the Legislative Council to scrutinize the Bill in a calm, reasonable and respectful manner to help ensure Hong Kong remains a safe city for residents and business," it said.

Murder of tourist
The case for the bill was expedited by a grisly murder case in Taiwan, where a 20-year-old Hong Kong woman was allegedly killed by her boyfriend while on holiday there. Currently, the suspect cannot be sent from Hong Kong to face justice in Taiwan.



In #HongKong, scores of protesters - including this family - gather in Victoria Park to take part in a march against the proposed #extradition law.​
27 people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy

However, Taipei has already said it will refuse to cooperate with the new law if it puts Taiwanese citizens at risk of being extradited to China. The self-ruled island has previously seen citizens accused of crimes in countries that do not recognize Taiwan diplomatically being handed to Chinese custody, despite objections of Taipei.

Earlier this week, Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, slammed the bill.

"People have known exactly why there shouldn't be an extradition agreement with China for years," Patten said in a video message Thursday. "The argument that it's better to have an extradition treaty than to abduct people illegally from Hong Kong -- are people really supposed to believe that?"


Protesters take part in a rally against the proposed extradition law on April 28, 2019, in Hong Kong.

Last month, representatives from the European Union met with Lam, the chief executive, and expressed concern over the bill. Members of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) have also spoken out against the bill, warning Lam it could "negatively impact the relationship between the United States and Hong Kong."

Unwanted and unneeded?
Business groups in Hong Kong usually take a neutral stance on contentious political issues. But this time they, too, have spoken out against the bill. In a bid to secure their support, the government has limited the scope of extraditable offenses -- but for some that is still not enough.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong warned last week there were "too many uncertainties in fundamental sections of the proposed legislation" for it to be passed in its current form.

"Hong Kong is not ready to see this bill passed and we do not see why it should be rushed through when the loophole it seeks to address has existed for 20 years," the chamber said in a statement.


A woman holds a poster of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, against a proposed extradition law, before a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2019.

But government spokesman Matthew Cheung said the move was time sensitive.

"The suspect in the Taiwan murder case is serving sentences for other criminal offenses in Hong Kong but is expected to be released this October," Cheung said. "There is thus a pressing need to provide a legal basis for the assistance that we want to render to Taiwan, before the (legislature) goes into summer recess from mid-July to October."

Cheung did not address Taipei's concerns over the bill. Separately, Lam said it was "unfounded" to suggest the Hong Kong government "will just follow the instructions given by the Central Government and surrender whatever fugitives that the Central Government wants."

A US State Department spokesperson said Washington is "concerned by the Hong Kong government's proposed amendments to its Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, which would allow for individuals to be transferred to mainland China at the request of Communist Party authorities, and is closely monitoring the situation."

"Societies are best served when diverse political views are respected and can be freely expressed," the spokesperson said in a statement. "Continued erosion of the 'One country, Two systems' framework puts at risk Hong Kong's long-established special status in international affairs."

Fierce opposition
The extradition bill, particularly an attempt to fast-track it through Hong Kong's semi-democratic Legislature, has reinvigorated the city's flagging opposition movement after numerous setbacks.

Organizers claimed 130,000 people took part in a protest against the bill in April. While police gave the lower figure of 22,800, it was still the biggest protest since the 2014 Umbrella Movement, an ultimately unsuccessful protest over political reform which shut down parts of the city for months.

Tens of thousands filled Victoria Park on Tuesday, ignoring sweltering heat and threatening clouds overhead. Most wore black and almost all held candles overhead. The crowd chanted: "Demand accountability for the massacre! End one-party dictatorship! Build a democratic China!"


A Chinese paramilitary police officer stands guard in front of Mao Zedong's portrait on Beijing's Tiananmen Gate on Tuesday.




Photos: Massive Hong Kong vigil held 30 years after Tiananmen

A candlelight vigil, held in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Tuesday, remembered the victims of the 1989 massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.


The annual candlelight vigil has been taking place in Hong Kong's Victoria Park since 1990. The vigil calls for the release of all dissidents, rehabilitation of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, accountability for the massacre, the end of one-party dictatorship and the start of a democratic China.


For many who lived in Hong Kong in 1989, the massacre quashed their hopes that a rapidly reforming China would also bring democracy to the city. "Young people in China were demanding democracy," Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the organizers, told CNN in 2017. "We felt that if they made it, it meant Hong Kong would not have to live under an authoritarian regime." The massacre forever changed the character of Hong Kong, Lee said. "In the past we were something of an economic city, but after 1989 we became a political city."



The annual candlelight vigil has been taking place in Hong Kong's Victoria Park since 1990. The vigil calls for the release of all dissidents, rehabilitation of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, accountability for the massacre, the end of one-party dictatorship and the start of a democratic China.



For many who lived in Hong Kong in 1989, the massacre quashed their hopes that a rapidly reforming China would also bring democracy to the city. "Young people in China were demanding democracy," Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the organizers, told CNN in 2017. "We felt that if they made it, it meant Hong Kong would not have to live under an authoritarian regime." The massacre forever changed the character of Hong Kong, Lee said. "In the past we were something of an economic city, but after 1989 we became a political city."


While attendance at the annual vigil has fluctuated — with some, particularly younger people, complaining that the focus on democracy in China ignores more pressing demands for reform in the city — key anniversaries have always brought massive numbers to Victoria Park. According to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, more than 200,000 people attended a commemoration in 2009, and 180,000 came out in 2014 for the 25th anniversary.





Fears over the bill -- and criticism from a broad swath of Hong Kong society -- echo 2003, when half a million people took to the streets to oppose the passage of an anti-sedition law. That legislation was shelved, but the issue has become such a hot-button topic in Hong Kong that -- despite promising to do so -- no governments since have attempted to introduce it.

Sunday's protest comes days after the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, a pivotal moment that dashed hopes China would democratize before it took control of Hong Kong in 1997.

Hong Kong has commemorated the massacre with a candlelit vigil ever since, the only place on Chinese soil where mass remembrances are held. Organizers said more than 180,000 people joined a vigil in the city's Victoria Park on Tuesday, the largest such event since the 25th anniversary in 2014, which came in the politically fraught run-up to the Umbrella protests.

I fully support the Chinese move. One Nation two systems was always a temporary measure before integration of HK into Chinese laws and other mores. Else you'd have separatist movements a across various regions of China demanding such special status.

Moreover, one doesn't see different systems of governments in NI from what it is in England, Scotland and Wales, do we now?!
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
6,583
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I fully support the Chinese move. One Nation two systems was always a temporary measure before integration of HK into Chinese laws and other mores. Else you'd have separatist movements a across various regions of China demanding such special status.

Moreover, one doesn't see different systems of governments in NI from what it is in England, Scotland and Wales, do we now?!
Wrong on both counts. China agreed to that special status for Hong Kong in 1984, fully autonomous status was to last until 2047.

You heard of devolution? NI, Scotland and Wales have devolved governments and yes rules are different.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
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Wrong on both counts. China agreed to that special status for Hong Kong in 1984, fully autonomous status was to last until 2047.

You heard of devolution? NI, Scotland and Wales have devolved governments and yes rules are different.
This doesn't question the autonomy of HK. It's merely an extradition treaty. The citizens of HK are of the view that Beijing may use it to target political dissidents too. In the event, there's little the citizenry and the legislature in HK can do. Expect more such laws harmonizing the dichotomy between the laws governing HK & the mainland. Don't expect everything to happen post 2047.

Devolution is different from one country two systems. The laws in HK are mostly British derived and are thus in variance to the political and legal systems in the mainland. There's a big difference between the examples you're citing.
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
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This doesn't question the autonomy of HK. It's merely an extradition treaty. The citizens of HK are of the view that Beijing may use it to target political dissidents too. In the event, there's little the citizenry and the legislature in HK can do. Expect more such laws harmonizing the dichotomy between the laws governing HK & the mainland. Don't expect everything to happen post 2047.

Devolution is different from one country two systems. The laws in HK are mostly British derived and are thus in variance to the political and legal systems in the mainland. There's a big difference between the examples you're citing.
No, it's an extradition imposition. The treaty says post-2047, so why not expect it.

Not at all, it's the same. You mean the laws in HK are British-derived and hence better.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
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No, it's an extradition imposition. The treaty says post-2047, so why not expect it.

Not at all, it's the same. You mean the laws in HK are British-derived and hence better.
Imposition or otherwise. The HK citizenry can like it or lump it. As can the Brits. OTOH, I'd love to see the Brits take up the issue with the Chinese and censure them. Perhaps even sanction them. If only to know the extent of their own impotence.

The laws are British derived. Whether it makes them better or not is between the HK citizenry and Beijing to dwell upon. I don't have a dog in this fight. Neither do you. But trust the Brits or their Irish lackeys to come out of their colonial hangover anytime soon.
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
6,583
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Imposition or otherwise. The HK citizenry can like it or lump it. As can the Brits. OTOH, I'd love to see the Brits take up the issue with the Chinese and censure them. Perhaps even sanction them. If only to know the extent of their own impotence.

The laws are British derived. Whether it makes them better or not is between the HK citizenry and Beijing to dwell upon. I don't have a dog in this fight. Neither do you. But trust the Brits or their Irish lackeys to come out of their colonial hangover anytime soon.
There might be an opportunity if they try take Taiwan, it may cost them North Korea and Hong Kong as well as not getting Taiwan.

Trump is doing just fine with sanctions on his own.:D

You don't have a dog in this fight, yet you are always riding a Chinese dog in these matters, either that or you're doing something else with it that makes it look like you're riding it.:unsure:
 

BMD

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Telegram founder links cyber attack to China

Telegram boss links cyber attack during HK protests to China
Related Topics
Image copyrightMANUEL BLONDEAU - CORBISImage captionPavel Durov founded Telegram in 2013
Telegram's founder Pavel Durov has said a massive cyber attack on his messaging service originated from China.

On Wednesday, the firm confirmed it suffered a "powerful" Distributed Denial of Service attack which disrupted services for about an hour.

In a DDos attack, hackers overwhelm a target's servers with junk requests.

It came as protestors in Hong Kong used Telegram to coordinate demonstrations over a plan to allow extradition to China.

In a post on Twitter, Telegram said the disruption affected users in the Americas and "other countries".

Mr Durov later tweeted the IP addresses involved in the attack mostly came from China.

Image Copyright @[email protected]
Report

China's Cyberspace Administration, which oversees the country's cyber policy, has yet to comment.

Telegram allows people to send encrypted messages, documents, videos and pictures without charge.

Users can create groups for up to 200,000 people, or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionTelegram has more than 200 million users
Its popularity has grown because of its emphasis on encryption, which thwarts many widely used methods of reading confidential communications.

Mr Durov's comments came amid reports a man identified as a Telegram group administrator had been arrested in Hong Kong for conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

Police and protesters had pitched battles in the city on Wednesday over plans to allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China.

Seventy-two people were injured, including two men who were in critical condition.

Hong Kong is part of China under a "one country, two systems" principle, which ensures that it keeps its own judicial independence, its own legislature and economic system.

People are worried that should the extradition bill pass, it would bring Hong Kong more decisively under China's control.
 

Ginvincible

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Dec 5, 2017
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Hong Kong: More than 1 million protest, organizers say, over Chinese extradition law - CNN

More than 1 million protest in Hong Kong, organizers say, over Chinese extradition law

By James Griffiths, Eric Cheung and Chermaine Lee, CNN

Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT) June 10, 2019




Organizers say over one million marched in Hong Kong 02:07

Hong Kong (CNN)More than 1 million protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong Sunday, organizers said, to oppose a controversial extradition bill that would enable China to extradite fugitives from the city.

The mass of protesters would be the largest demonstration since the city was handed back to China in 1997. Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organized the protests, said 1.03 million people marched -- a figure that accounts for almost one in seven of the city's 7.48 million-strongpopulation.

Hong Kong Police estimated the number of protesters closer to 240,000.

Critics say the bill will leave anyone on Hong Kong soil vulnerable to being grabbed by the Chinese authorities for political reasons or inadvertent business offenses and undermine the city's semi-autonomous legal system.

The bill has caused political gridlock, outcry among the city's usually pro-conservative business community, and even physical scuffles in the city's legislature, as well as criticism of the Hong Kong government by the United States and European Union.

The government says the bill is designed to plug loopholes in current law by allowing Hong Kong to decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to send fugitives to territories where it doesn't have formal extradition deals -- such as Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. Lawmakers have said the guarantee of a fair trial will not be written into the bill.


Protesters waved placards and wore white -- the designated color of the rally. "Hong Kong, never give up!" some chanted.

Sunday afternoon, protesters gathered at Victoria Park in central Hong Kong, waving placards and wearing white -- the designated color of the rally. "Hong Kong, never give up!" some chanted.

Other protesters were heard chanting "step down," "shelve the evil law," "anti extradition to China," and called for Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, to step down, as the marchers made their way along the 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) route to the Legislative Council in the Admiralty business district.

At least seven people were arrested, the police posted to Twitter.

At around 7:30 p.m. in Hong Kong (7:30 a.m. ET), five to six men with masks planned to occupy a main road in the city, Hong Kong Police said on Twitter.

Police said they used pepper spray on the protesters before they escaped the area. Officers urged protesters to disperse.

The protest was mostly peaceful during the day, but it turned violent overnight, with police trying to clear protesters with batons.

Thousands also gathered to protest the extradition bill in cities across Australia on Sunday. Similar marches were planned in other cities around the world, Hong Kong political group Demosisto said in a statement.

At about 10.30 p.m. (10.30 a.m. ET), organizers announced that the protest had ended. CNN journalists on the ground said the bulk of the protesters had dispersed by then, leaving a number of people milling around the Legislative Council.

Late Sunday, the government of Hong Kong released a statement acknowledging the ongoing protests across the island but reiterating the contested bill is still scheduled to resume debate June 12.

"We urge the Legislative Council to scrutinize the Bill in a calm, reasonable and respectful manner to help ensure Hong Kong remains a safe city for residents and business," it said.

Murder of tourist
The case for the bill was expedited by a grisly murder case in Taiwan, where a 20-year-old Hong Kong woman was allegedly killed by her boyfriend while on holiday there. Currently, the suspect cannot be sent from Hong Kong to face justice in Taiwan.




In #HongKong, scores of protesters - including this family - gather in Victoria Park to take part in a march against the proposed #extradition law.​

27 people are talking about this
Twitter Ads info and privacy

However, Taipei has already said it will refuse to cooperate with the new law if it puts Taiwanese citizens at risk of being extradited to China. The self-ruled island has previously seen citizens accused of crimes in countries that do not recognize Taiwan diplomatically being handed to Chinese custody, despite objections of Taipei.

Earlier this week, Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, slammed the bill.

"People have known exactly why there shouldn't be an extradition agreement with China for years," Patten said in a video message Thursday. "The argument that it's better to have an extradition treaty than to abduct people illegally from Hong Kong -- are people really supposed to believe that?"


Protesters take part in a rally against the proposed extradition law on April 28, 2019, in Hong Kong.

Last month, representatives from the European Union met with Lam, the chief executive, and expressed concern over the bill. Members of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) have also spoken out against the bill, warning Lam it could "negatively impact the relationship between the United States and Hong Kong."

Unwanted and unneeded?
Business groups in Hong Kong usually take a neutral stance on contentious political issues. But this time they, too, have spoken out against the bill. In a bid to secure their support, the government has limited the scope of extraditable offenses -- but for some that is still not enough.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong warned last week there were "too many uncertainties in fundamental sections of the proposed legislation" for it to be passed in its current form.

"Hong Kong is not ready to see this bill passed and we do not see why it should be rushed through when the loophole it seeks to address has existed for 20 years," the chamber said in a statement.


A woman holds a poster of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, against a proposed extradition law, before a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2019.

But government spokesman Matthew Cheung said the move was time sensitive.

"The suspect in the Taiwan murder case is serving sentences for other criminal offenses in Hong Kong but is expected to be released this October," Cheung said. "There is thus a pressing need to provide a legal basis for the assistance that we want to render to Taiwan, before the (legislature) goes into summer recess from mid-July to October."

Cheung did not address Taipei's concerns over the bill. Separately, Lam said it was "unfounded" to suggest the Hong Kong government "will just follow the instructions given by the Central Government and surrender whatever fugitives that the Central Government wants."

A US State Department spokesperson said Washington is "concerned by the Hong Kong government's proposed amendments to its Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, which would allow for individuals to be transferred to mainland China at the request of Communist Party authorities, and is closely monitoring the situation."

"Societies are best served when diverse political views are respected and can be freely expressed," the spokesperson said in a statement. "Continued erosion of the 'One country, Two systems' framework puts at risk Hong Kong's long-established special status in international affairs."

Fierce opposition
The extradition bill, particularly an attempt to fast-track it through Hong Kong's semi-democratic Legislature, has reinvigorated the city's flagging opposition movement after numerous setbacks.

Organizers claimed 130,000 people took part in a protest against the bill in April. While police gave the lower figure of 22,800, it was still the biggest protest since the 2014 Umbrella Movement, an ultimately unsuccessful protest over political reform which shut down parts of the city for months.

Tens of thousands filled Victoria Park on Tuesday, ignoring sweltering heat and threatening clouds overhead. Most wore black and almost all held candles overhead. The crowd chanted: "Demand accountability for the massacre! End one-party dictatorship! Build a democratic China!"


A Chinese paramilitary police officer stands guard in front of Mao Zedong's portrait on Beijing's Tiananmen Gate on Tuesday.




Photos: Massive Hong Kong vigil held 30 years after Tiananmen

A candlelight vigil, held in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Tuesday, remembered the victims of the 1989 massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.


The annual candlelight vigil has been taking place in Hong Kong's Victoria Park since 1990. The vigil calls for the release of all dissidents, rehabilitation of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, accountability for the massacre, the end of one-party dictatorship and the start of a democratic China.


For many who lived in Hong Kong in 1989, the massacre quashed their hopes that a rapidly reforming China would also bring democracy to the city. "Young people in China were demanding democracy," Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the organizers, told CNN in 2017. "We felt that if they made it, it meant Hong Kong would not have to live under an authoritarian regime." The massacre forever changed the character of Hong Kong, Lee said. "In the past we were something of an economic city, but after 1989 we became a political city."



The annual candlelight vigil has been taking place in Hong Kong's Victoria Park since 1990. The vigil calls for the release of all dissidents, rehabilitation of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, accountability for the massacre, the end of one-party dictatorship and the start of a democratic China.



For many who lived in Hong Kong in 1989, the massacre quashed their hopes that a rapidly reforming China would also bring democracy to the city. "Young people in China were demanding democracy," Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the organizers, told CNN in 2017. "We felt that if they made it, it meant Hong Kong would not have to live under an authoritarian regime." The massacre forever changed the character of Hong Kong, Lee said. "In the past we were something of an economic city, but after 1989 we became a political city."


While attendance at the annual vigil has fluctuated — with some, particularly younger people, complaining that the focus on democracy in China ignores more pressing demands for reform in the city — key anniversaries have always brought massive numbers to Victoria Park. According to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, more than 200,000 people attended a commemoration in 2009, and 180,000 came out in 2014 for the 25th anniversary.





Fears over the bill -- and criticism from a broad swath of Hong Kong society -- echo 2003, when half a million people took to the streets to oppose the passage of an anti-sedition law. That legislation was shelved, but the issue has become such a hot-button topic in Hong Kong that -- despite promising to do so -- no governments since have attempted to introduce it.

Sunday's protest comes days after the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, a pivotal moment that dashed hopes China would democratize before it took control of Hong Kong in 1997.

Hong Kong has commemorated the massacre with a candlelit vigil ever since, the only place on Chinese soil where mass remembrances are held. Organizers said more than 180,000 people joined a vigil in the city's Victoria Park on Tuesday, the largest such event since the 25th anniversary in 2014, which came in the politically fraught run-up to the Umbrella protests.

To be honest, the CCP doesn't really need to follow the treaty until 2047. Nobody really has the willpower to oppose them on the issue and protests like those in 2014 can just be weathered. Even if they did maintain the treaty, nobody expects them to allow Hong Kong or Macau real democracy after 2047.

If the CCP played things more strategically, they would earnestly follow the treaty and even post-2047 allow local autonomy/democracy. It would show good faith to the neighborhood and Taiwan especially (if they are still apart).
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
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To be honest, the CCP doesn't really need to follow the treaty until 2047. Nobody really has the willpower to oppose them on the issue and protests like those in 2014 can just be weathered. Even if they did maintain the treaty, nobody expects them to allow Hong Kong or Macau real democracy after 2047.

If the CCP played things more strategically, they would earnestly follow the treaty and even post-2047 allow local autonomy/democracy. It would show good faith to the neighborhood and Taiwan especially (if they are still apart).
Taiwan will never join China willingly under the current regime.
 

BMD

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The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong

The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong


Michael H Fuchs

,
The GuardianJune 15, 2019



Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images
As the United States engages in an increasingly heated debate over policy towards China – the fight against Huawei, the trade war, talk of a new cold war – the protests in Hong Kong serve as a reminder that there are people in China who are concerned about the same things we are – basic rights, jobs, families.

In Hong Kong this week hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets to protest a proposed law that would enable the government to extradite Hong Kong citizens to the mainland – legislation perceived as legal cover for the Chinese Communist party (CCP) to jail those in Hong Kong advocating for their democratic rights.

But the protests are about much more than this particular law – they are about the dwindling freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, the territory formerly administered by the United Kingdom and handed back to Beijing in 1997. While the Basic Law promises that Hong Kong can maintain its democratic system for at least 50 years, the CCP has increasingly squeezed the rights of the people of Hong Kong. In 2014, another round of massive protests – the “umbrella movement” – erupted to stop an electoral law that placed more power in the hands of the CCP.

As calls grow for a tougher US policy towards China, we must remember what we are talking about when we discuss China policy. In a public conversation defined by 240-character statements, we (myself included) too often shorthand the discussion by referring to “China” – but that is misleading. The CCP is the regime that rules China, but as a dictatorship it does not necessarily represent the 1.4 billion Chinese people.

The people of Hong Kong still have a certain ability to express their opinions, at least for now. But beyond the baseline repression in a system that does not have simple rights like the freedom of speech and assembly, the CCP in mainland China is becoming even more oppressive: today there are more than a million Uighurs imprisoned in an attempt to extinguish their ethnic identities; the CCP is setting up a surveillance state that pulls a page from George Orwell’s 1984 dystopia; and daily restrictions on civil society and citizens are becoming harsher and more widespread.

We often paint China’s government as a monolith run by the dictator Xi Jinping, but the reality is far more complex. Xi contends with forces inside the government and the sentiments of the people, even if those aren’t expressed through democratic means. The CCP’s top goal is to maintain power, and it lives in a constant state of fear about its legitimacy – and rightly so.
 

Volcano

Senior member
Mar 11, 2018
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The downside of these protests will be Taiwan becoming more opposed to unification with China,under the framework of one nation,two system policy

If china played it soft, that posibility with Taiwan would have kept open.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
13,882
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Mumbai
The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong

The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong


Michael H Fuchs

,
The GuardianJune 15, 2019



Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images
As the United States engages in an increasingly heated debate over policy towards China – the fight against Huawei, the trade war, talk of a new cold war – the protests in Hong Kong serve as a reminder that there are people in China who are concerned about the same things we are – basic rights, jobs, families.

In Hong Kong this week hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets to protest a proposed law that would enable the government to extradite Hong Kong citizens to the mainland – legislation perceived as legal cover for the Chinese Communist party (CCP) to jail those in Hong Kong advocating for their democratic rights.

But the protests are about much more than this particular law – they are about the dwindling freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, the territory formerly administered by the United Kingdom and handed back to Beijing in 1997. While the Basic Law promises that Hong Kong can maintain its democratic system for at least 50 years, the CCP has increasingly squeezed the rights of the people of Hong Kong. In 2014, another round of massive protests – the “umbrella movement” – erupted to stop an electoral law that placed more power in the hands of the CCP.

As calls grow for a tougher US policy towards China, we must remember what we are talking about when we discuss China policy. In a public conversation defined by 240-character statements, we (myself included) too often shorthand the discussion by referring to “China” – but that is misleading. The CCP is the regime that rules China, but as a dictatorship it does not necessarily represent the 1.4 billion Chinese people.

The people of Hong Kong still have a certain ability to express their opinions, at least for now. But beyond the baseline repression in a system that does not have simple rights like the freedom of speech and assembly, the CCP in mainland China is becoming even more oppressive: today there are more than a million Uighurs imprisoned in an attempt to extinguish their ethnic identities; the CCP is setting up a surveillance state that pulls a page from George Orwell’s 1984 dystopia; and daily restrictions on civil society and citizens are becoming harsher and more widespread.

We often paint China’s government as a monolith run by the dictator Xi Jinping, but the reality is far more complex. Xi contends with forces inside the government and the sentiments of the people, even if those aren’t expressed through democratic means. The CCP’s top goal is to maintain power, and it lives in a constant state of fear about its legitimacy – and rightly so.
Incidentally, Beijing has suspended attempts at getting HK to comply with an extradition law. For the time being. Remember, you read it here first.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
13,882
9,954
Mumbai
The downside of these protests will be Taiwan becoming more opposed to unification with China,under the framework of one nation,two system policy

If china played it soft, that posibility with Taiwan would have kept open.
There's absolutely no way Taiwan will agree to re unification with PRC. Even if the one country two systems model were successful. Both PRC and Taiwan know that.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
13,882
9,954
Mumbai
The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong

The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong


Michael H Fuchs

,
The GuardianJune 15, 2019



Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images
As the United States engages in an increasingly heated debate over policy towards China – the fight against Huawei, the trade war, talk of a new cold war – the protests in Hong Kong serve as a reminder that there are people in China who are concerned about the same things we are – basic rights, jobs, families.

In Hong Kong this week hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets to protest a proposed law that would enable the government to extradite Hong Kong citizens to the mainland – legislation perceived as legal cover for the Chinese Communist party (CCP) to jail those in Hong Kong advocating for their democratic rights.

But the protests are about much more than this particular law – they are about the dwindling freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, the territory formerly administered by the United Kingdom and handed back to Beijing in 1997. While the Basic Law promises that Hong Kong can maintain its democratic system for at least 50 years, the CCP has increasingly squeezed the rights of the people of Hong Kong. In 2014, another round of massive protests – the “umbrella movement” – erupted to stop an electoral law that placed more power in the hands of the CCP.

As calls grow for a tougher US policy towards China, we must remember what we are talking about when we discuss China policy. In a public conversation defined by 240-character statements, we (myself included) too often shorthand the discussion by referring to “China” – but that is misleading. The CCP is the regime that rules China, but as a dictatorship it does not necessarily represent the 1.4 billion Chinese people.

The people of Hong Kong still have a certain ability to express their opinions, at least for now. But beyond the baseline repression in a system that does not have simple rights like the freedom of speech and assembly, the CCP in mainland China is becoming even more oppressive: today there are more than a million Uighurs imprisoned in an attempt to extinguish their ethnic identities; the CCP is setting up a surveillance state that pulls a page from George Orwell’s 1984 dystopia; and daily restrictions on civil society and citizens are becoming harsher and more widespread.

We often paint China’s government as a monolith run by the dictator Xi Jinping, but the reality is far more complex. Xi contends with forces inside the government and the sentiments of the people, even if those aren’t expressed through democratic means. The CCP’s top goal is to maintain power, and it lives in a constant state of fear about its legitimacy – and rightly so.
Please stop quoting a left liberal rag begging for donations to survive, Paddy.
 

BMD

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
6,583
1,527
Thousands dressed in black rally to demand Hong Kong leader steps down

'Sea of black' Hong Kong protesters demand leader step down


By Alun John and James Pomfret

,
ReutersJune 16, 2019

1 / 23

'Sea of black' Hong Kong protesters demand leader step down
Demonstration demanding Hong Kong's leaders to step down and withdraw the extradition bill, in Hong Kong

By Alun John and James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of people clogged the streets in central Hong Kong on Sunday dressed in black to demand the city's leader step down, a day after she suspended an extradition bill in a dramatic retreat following the most violent protests in decades.

The massive rally saw some protesters carry white carnation flowers, while others held banners saying, "Do not shoot, we are HongKonger," as they sought to avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked the financial center on Wednesday when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas.

The protesters, including young families as well as the elderly, formed a sea of black along roads, walkways and train stations across Hong Kong's financial center to vent their frustration and anger at Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.

Loud cheers rang out when activists called through loud hailers for Lam to step down and "step down" echoed through the streets. Protesters also chanted "pursue the black police", angry at what they say was an overreaction by police that left more than 70 people injured in Wednesday's violent protest.

Beijing-backed Lam on Saturday indefinitely delayed the extradition bill that could send people to mainland China to face trial, expressing "deep sorrow and regret" although she stopped short of apologizing.

The about-face was one of the most significant political turnarounds by the Hong Kong government since Britain returned the territory to China in 1997, and it threw into question Lam's ability to continue to lead the city.

"Carrie Lam refused to apologize yesterday. It's unacceptable," said 16-year-old Catherine Cheung. "She's a terrible leader who is full of lies ... I think she's only delaying the bill now to trick us into calming down."

Her classmate, Cindy Yip, said: "That's why we're still demanding the bill be scrapped. We don't trust her anymore. She has to quit."

Critics say the planned extradition law could threaten Hong Kong's rule of law and its international reputation as an Asian financial hub. Some Hong Kong tycoons have already started moving personal wealth offshore.

Activist investor David Webb, in a newsletter on Sunday, said if Lam was a stock he would recommend shorting her with a target price of zero.