The first of July Hong Kong celebrated its 22th anniversary of democracy and the liberation from the British colonial power. At that day in 1997, China promised to give 50 years of freedom to the special administration area Hongkong. That might be the reason why people of Hong Kong are concerned about the “Extradition Bill” which would have allowed the administration to extradition political activists to China. The bill is indefinitely delayed; the protests are still continuing.
The story of the “Extradition Bill“
The reason for introducing the bill starts from a Hong Kong national murder case in Taiwan, Tong-Kai Chan, admitted killing his girlfriend. While the murder case occurred in Taiwan and there is no judicial cooperation agreement between Taiwan and Hong Kong. Therefore, Hong Kong can neither sue him on murder-related cases nor respond to Taiwanese candidacy requirements. He is currently imprisoned in Hong Kong on the grounds of “stolen credit card” accusation.
Why such a strong concern?
The “Extradition Bill” exists to amend the existing mutual legal assistance for fugitive offenders and criminal cases so that the Hong Kong Government can hand over fugitives to China, Taiwan and Macao.
The so-called Extradition Bill, if approved, would allow extradition of people not only to China but to any jurisdiction in the world with which Hong Kong has no formal agreement. The fear of the protesters is that the government of Mainland China could imprison different thinking politicians from this law. To give you an uncovered insight into what is going on, we interviewed several Hong Kong people.
Interview with a person from Hongkong
This interview was held anonymously in the 4th week of the protests. For reasons of source protection we do not give any personal information.
Click here for the Chinese (mandarin, traditional) version of the interview.
1. Do you think the previous Sun Flower Movement held in Taiwan has an effect to the Extradition Bill?
The Sun Flower movement has evoked more young people into politics. University students represent the voice of youth and wisdom, they can participate in political issues from different aspects. Taiwan and Hong Kong’s political situations are similar to some extent. Taiwanese and Hong Kong people believe that they have faced the same issue, therefore, most of them decided to ally together against the Bill. To sum up, the Sun Flower movement has contributed to the Extradition Bill movement.
2. Will the Bill be harmful to Hong Kong in the future?
The main problem of Hong Kong recently would be the mistrust on both judiciary and administrative system of the government. Moreover, it also exposes their lack of trust to Mainland China government.
Along with the Hong Kong government’s legislative agenda and the police’s enforcement actions being doubted, it is hard for me to imagine how a city can be governed nicely. As for the “Mainlandization” of Hong Kong’s judicial system. Frankly speaking, this idea is chilling and infuriating.
In the past, China was governed by the rule of man, they did not have the precise rule of law like in Western countries. It seemed like as convict by their will, but is this really true in Mainland China? I do not know because I do not live in China and have not received their educations so I am not sure whether my points above are biased because of my fears?
From this aspect, currently Hong Kong exalts “Hong Kong people rule Hong Kong”, the main fear of the protesters is that society will face the rule of man in the future.
3. What is your thought of Carrie Lam?
I sensed our chief executive is very doubtful of herself and she is in an awkward predicament. This amendments need to be done. In the past, due to the bad living standard and traffic condition, there were less inter-regional crime. However, things are different nowadays, with the increasing use of the internet, crimes which are committed these days can cross borders. If this amendment is not done, the judicial organization will face the difficulty to track the crime activities which makes Hong Kong turn into the bed of criminals.
On the other hand, the lack of understanding and fear of the ordinance or even China maybe the possible reason of those who opposed the legislation act vigorously. This made Carrie Lam very scared because it showed that the government are not able to calm the people down nor gain their trust.
4. Does the police attack the protesters?
I will not phrase it as an attack since ATTACK is a verb which takes initiative. The police had injured the protesters and the protesters also brought a lot of umbrellas for the march. I was not there so I did not know what happened at that moment. The clips that aired on media are all edited. It is hard for me to believe since I did not see the conflict with my own eyes. I can not tell you whether the police are attacking or self-defending.
5. Do you feel this movement will bring any insecurity to Hong Kong?
I feel that Hong Kong does not give me a warm feeling anymore as there are too many tearing at different levels of Hong Kong. That cause me to lose my sense of security to Hong Kong.
I do not think it is safe to stay in Hong Kong because the police can effectively and forcefully enforce the law when they are bullied and mistrusted.
For their own safety, the opponents seem to think that those who are against the bill are bad guys even though those who are neutral. I am also afraid that after I finish talking to you, I will be taken out of the flesh and be called a “traitor”. This is not a joke, the opposition is now very radical, others with different political ideas and even the chief executive (Carrie Lam) who holds a different opinion have been harassed and threatened at home.
If we do not tell the foreign media what is going on in Hong Kong, it is like being beaten up behind closed doors. This is chilling and infuriating.
Update (02.08.19, Oliver): After particularly violent acts, like the attack of civilians by probably triads, the violence beside this social movement gains more attention.
The police plans to use water throwers, because the protesters have their tactics to deal with teargas quite well. After 8 consecutive weeks of protests an end of the rumors seems far away.