Daniel Halliday
Jun 12 · Last update 1 mo. ago.
What choice does Hong Kong have?
Following an escalation of tensions surrounding the protests in Hong Kong and the beginning of police force to disburse protesters, it seems the embers of the Umbrella Revolution have reignited. Protesters have been out in their hundreds of thousands, and possibly over a million, in order to oppose a criminal legislation amendment that would allow extradition of people from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland. Critics fear that this would allow the prosecution of those who speak out against the mainland government, and represents a challenge to human rights in Hong Kong. However, given China’s human rights track record and Hong Kong’s status as a Special Administrative Region of China, what choice do the citizens of Hong Kong have, and what can be done to overcome this impasse?
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Protests need to continue
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No choice, Hong Kong is part of China now
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Hong Kong should look to the UK to pressure China
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Protests need to continue

These repeated protests in Hong Kong are a sign of human rights suffering under a lack of universal suffrage in the region and a real desire for democratic change. The bigger issue of the lack of democratic development in Hong Kong stems back to the 1997 handover of the island from the UK to China, and the decade of democratic developments that preceded it. Opinion polls of the last election showed that the people of Hong Kong favoured the opposition John Tsang over Pro-Beijing Carrie Lam, so if the island was allowed a democratic election there would likely be a very different atmosphere in Hong Kong.

The need for further protests has just been amplified following the recent events of Carrie Lam’s retraction of the extradition bill that sparked these particular protests, proving the protesters have essentially won. Demonstrators have continued to protest, some who see Lam decision as a suspension are seeking an official retraction of the bill, while others protest police conduct and for greater press freedom amidst a violent backlash from police and suspected organised crime gangs. The lack of police presence following coordinated aggression against members of the public wearing black shirts (common apparel amongst protesters), and the photographed links of these suspected mafia groups to pro-Beijing MP Junius Ho, hammer home the need for a continued firm stance over the very corrupt nature of Hong Kong's political landscape. The only thing that will solve this issue is the granting of open elections in Hong Kong, and like other movements for universal suffrage protests need to be varied and continuous until these goals and many other necessary reforms are achieved.

brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/03/29/another-hong-kong-election-another-pro-beijing-leader-why-it-matters aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-extradition-bill-dead-190709023602119.html scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/3017600/press-freedom-hong-kong-its-worst-journalists-attacked-and insider.com/hong-kong-protesters-crowd-police-headquarters-2019-6 npr.org/2019/06/30/737478293/hong-kong-seizes-on-handover-anniversary-to-continue-protests news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-triad-gang-attack-122500559.html

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 23
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DH edited this paragraph
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/03/29/another-hong-kong-election-another-pro-beijing-leader-why-it-matters/ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-extradition-bill-dead-190709023602119.html https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/3017600/press-freedom-hong-kong-its-worst-journalists-attacked-and https://www.insider.com/hong-kong-protesters-crowd-police-headquarters-2019-6 https://www.npr.org/2019/06/30/737478293/hong-kong-seizes-on-handover-anniversary-to-continue-protests https://news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-triad-gang-attack-122500559.html
No choice, Hong Kong is part of China now

The proposed extradition bill is nothing sinister, the Chinese government has signed extradition agreements with forty other countries, such deals are similar to extradition bills held all over the world, and this one would have caused concern with some of the other parties involved if it was outside of international norms. The bill was mainly proposed to catch corrupt Chinese officials who flee to Hong Kong, as this is mainly an amendment to close a legal loop hole. Even with recent events prompting a turn around on the extradition bill, the region is still under the control and scrutiny of the mainland Chinese government and a similar bill is likely to be passed at some stage moving forward.

As protesters have become increasingly violent toward the police counter-protesters in white shirts from nearby villages have launch attacks on protesters, seen on the mainland as an effort to guard their homeland from Hong Kong separatists*. Meanwhile the protests are a massive strain on police resources and are putting the government and police especially in an increasingly difficult position as they are accused of abusing their power when trying to control violent situations, but are also accused of neglecting their duty when they step back. This catch 22 situation is echoed in the government's position also, as they have little power to make any legislative decisions that will take power away from Beijing.

scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/3009141/opponents-hong-kongs-extradition-bill-are-blind-progress aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/hong-kong-gears-protests-extradition-bill-190611234342340.html * dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7273387/China-allows-pictures-Hong-Kong-protest-circulate-social-media-time.html scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3018701/frontline-police-warn-they-may-seek-legal-advice-find scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3018831/hong-kong-protester-appears-court-accused-biting

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 23
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DH edited this paragraph
As protesters have become increasingly violent toward the police counter-protesters in white shirts from nearby villages have launch attacks on protesters, seen on the mainland as an effort to guard their homeland from Hong Kong separatists*. Meanwhile the protests are a massive strain on police resources and are putting the government and police especially in an increasingly difficult position as they are accused of abusing their power when trying to control violent situations, but are also accused of neglecting their duty when they step back. This catch 22 situation is echoed in the government's position also, as they have little power to make any legislative decisions that will take power away from Beijing.
Hong Kong should look to the UK to pressure China

This extradition bill is the continuation of the curtailing of civil liberties and restrictions to political groups in Hong Kong and the same reason for the earlier Yellow Umbrella protests, or Umbrella Revolution. The Umbrella movement campaigned against perceived infringements on Hong Kong's Basic Law, designating Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region as agreed between China and the UK in 1984. British-Chinese diplomacy should not be viewed as resolved or void regarding the situation in Hong Kong, as these wide-scale protest movements stem directly from this divergence of position between Mainland China, Hong Kong and indeed the United Kingdom.

On the 9th July 2019 HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam pronounced the extradition bill dead calling it a total failure, however protests have continued against policing and press limitations. But issues still remain whether the bill will be withdraw or not, and protest have meanwhile descended into violence as Beijing has seemingly hired gangs to physically abuse protesters. The question now is not what will happen with the protests but what will happen to core values in Hong Kong, and how the government will move on issues such as rule of law, an independent judiciary, free press, impartial police, and a neutral civil service. More should be done by the UK and the international community at large in a direct attempt to diplomatically curb the mainland government's aggressive attitude to both legal matters and civil disobedience in Hong Kong.

theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/30/china-attacks-boris-johnson-ncorrect-views-hong-kong telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/30/china-says-legally-binding-hong-kong-handover-treaty-britain washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/11/why-are-there-massive-protests-hong-kong thesun.co.uk/news/9554262/hong-kong-protest-triad-mob-latest-news

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 23
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DH edited this paragraph
On the 9th July 2019 HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam pronounced the extradition bill dead calling it a total failure, however protests have continued against policing and press limitations. But issues still remain whether the bill will be withdraw or not, and protest have meanwhile descended into violence as Beijing has seemingly hired gangs to physically abuse protesters. The question now is not what will happen with the protests but what will happen to core values in Hong Kong, and how the government will move on issues such as rule of law, an independent judiciary, free press, impartial police, and a neutral civil service. More should be done by the UK and the international community at large in a direct attempt to diplomatically curb the mainland government's aggressive attitude to both legal matters and civil disobedience in Hong Kong.
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