Hong Kong has been in the throes of protests regarding a Chinese extradition bill.
As we deal with several hot button political issues here in
the United States, the citizens of Hong Kong have been peacefully protesting
policies that mainland China has been trying to implement. Ongoing since March,
residents of Hong Kong have taken exception to a Chinese bill that would allow
for the trade of fugitives between mainland China, Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong
The backlash to China’s attempt to exert more control over
these territories actually began after the British relinquished control of Hong
Kong. While Hong Kong is ostensibly a part of China, it enjoys a separate governing
body and economic systems. Hong Kong also maintains its own legal system, a
system that the proposed extradition bill would presumably violate.
Since the inception of the protests regarding this bill, demonstrations
in the streets has seen spikes in the number of participants, reaching over a
quarter of a million individuals. The protests have also seen support from
cities outside Hong Kong.
While the protesters themselves have been peaceful, police
crackdowns on the rallies has caused cries of police brutality and an ever-increasing
number of arrests. Protesters have made it clear that they will not stop until
their requests are met, which includes the resignation of the Hong Kong Chief Executive
and the withdrawal of the extradition bill.
However, the protesters found good news today (h/t Axios):
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a news conference Tuesday a controversial extradition bill that triggered a wave of weeks-long mass protests “is dead.” But protesters have vowed to continue with demonstrations, AP reports.
Details: Lam admitted the bill was a “total failure.” Protesters have called for her to resign. They remain worried the extradition bill could be reintroduced. At the news conference, Lam did not address whether the proposed law had been officially withdrawn.
This is positive, albeit cautious, news for citizens of Hong Kong. Whether the Chinese government and the Chief Executive keep to this course will remain to be seen. Any group that protests against iron-fisted rule from governments that abuse their power and achieve any sort of headway should be applauded and their example followed. Hopefully the media here can find some time to cover some actual peaceful protests.