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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Hong Kong extradition law: What happens next?

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The government of Hong Kong has blinked. The city's leader, Carrie Lam, announced that she was suspended in a controversial extradition bill after mass protests and sustained opposition from multiple sectors of society.

While it did not fully withdraw the bill, or renounce it, as some protesters had requested, the movement remains a great victory for the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets on June 9, as well as dozens of thousands of people mostly. Young protesters who closed parts of the city on Wednesday and prevented lawmakers.

Pro-democracy figures said the bill will lead to the erosion of civil rights in Hong Kong, including freedom of expression and the rule of law, and may see residents sent to China to face a judicial process in a country with an opaque legal system.

Beijing still has to officially react to Lam's announcement that it was suspended on the bill, although the Chief Executive has said he had the support of the central government.
Of all the available accounts, it seems that the bill was an initiative of the government of Lam, as he has affirmed all along, instead of an order from on high.

Lam and his ministers appear to be seen in a horrific murder case in Taiwan, a way to win an easy victory in public relations by extraditing a wanted killer to face justice, and a way to close the loopholes and escape after the powers of the central government spread, especially the Fugitive former Chinese officials, in Hong Kong.

However, they do not seem to have expected the overwhelmingly negative response to the bill and the deep and widespread distrust of the Chinese legal system. Activists in favor of democracy, NGOs and business groups joined in the draft retirement law, and also served to unify the previously fractured political opposition.

This month's protests, with the biggest march since June 9 since Hong Kong was handed over to Chinese control, and Wednesday's protests among some of the most violent scenes in the city, are unpopular and potentially dangerous.

However, although the reduction is certainly shameful for the governments of Hong Kong and Beijing, it only maintains the status quo, as did 2003 in law against sedition against the mass movement, formerly Hong Kong, the Chinese government under the biggest protests.
Hong Kong residents have shown to be more willing to leave the streets, and both local and central governments seem to have a greater degree of flexibility or patience, as well as these issues.

The situation in 2014, when the demands for the direct election of the Executive Director, are very different. These protests did not attract such a wide swath of society, and they were also met with a much more forceful reaction from Beijing, and subsequent repression and numerous prosecutions and disqualifications from legislators.

Does the invoice have a future?

While Lam emphasized that the bill was suspended rather than completely withdrawn, it is likely that the effect will be the same, at least in the short term.

Unlike the bill's increase, Taipei said it would not request the extradition of the Hong Kong murder suspect, saying the project would endanger Taiwanese citizens. With this off the table, Lam admitted that there was "less urgency to pass the bill this year."

In the future, he said he wanted to focus on "economic and livelihood problems", particularly those related to housing, a major and continuing problem in Hong Kong, specifically for young people of the type of protest on Wednesday.

That language is similar to the one she used in the past to discuss whether her government will seek to introduce Article 23, the anti-crime law that was shelved after mass protests against her in 2003. Lam has said that conditions in society They are correct, and on Saturday, he said he regretted that the extradition bill ruined the "period of calm" that Hong Kong had enjoyed since taking office in 2017.

While the government can resubmit the bill next year, 2020 is unlikely to be an election year for the legislative council.

The pro-democracy camp, recently revitalized and unified, will head to marginal seats in an attempt to return to power in the legislature, and pro-Beijing legislators have already warned that debates over the bill would have cost them seats.