Hong Kong has been in the news over the controversy and protests surrounding the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill proposed by the Hong Kong government. Our very own Alvin Cheung has been analyzing the situation across a number of platforms. Check out the links below to help bring you up to speed on the situation in Hong Kong, protests, and the implications of the bill itself:
Early this week, about 200 protestors broke into and occupied the seat of Hong Kong's legislative assembly. The protests began with a controversial law about extradition to mainland China. That law was withdrawn, but the protestors remain. There are hundreds of thousands of them—a small number of them violent. Today we ask: WTF, Hong Kong? To answer that question, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alvin Cheung, an expert on Hong Kong's legal system based at New York University, and Sophia Yan, the China correspondent for The Telegraph in London who has been covering the Hong Kong protests (Lawfare Podcast listeners also know her for her musical prowess). They talked about where Hong Kong is now, what's really behind the demonstrations, where the anger is coming from, and where it's all going.
Link to Podcast: https://www.lawfareblog.com/lawfare-podcast-wtf-hong-kong
On June 16, an estimated 2 million people took to the streets to protest the Hong Kong government’s handling of a proposed extradition bill. This followed two massive demonstrations against the bill earlier in the month, including one where police used pepper spray and tear gas against protesters. The controversial bill would allow Hong Kong to extraditeto the mainland those accused of crimes under the People’s Republic of China’s Communist Party-led legal system. While Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has suspended the bill, she has refused to withdraw it. What do the protests mean for the future of Hong Kong? And what do they say about Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland?
Link to entire conversation: http://www.chinafile.com/conversation/hong-kong-protest
CNN OPINION (author Alvin Cheung)
On June 9, 2019, organizers say that more than 1 million protesters in Hong Kong -- which would be nearly one in seven people in the city -- voiced their opposition to an extradition bill that would allow fugitives to be transferred to mainland China. Speaking to the Hong Kong Free Press, demonstrator and retired civil servant HK Lau said that the passage of the bill would mean the end of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle under which the city had been governed since the resumption of Chinese rule in 1997.
But speaking after the demonstration, Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged to continue with the bill, asserting that it would improve the legal system. However, describing a bill that would permit renditions to China -- a country whose leader, Xi Jinping, has categorically rejected judicial independence -- as strengthening the rule of law is not merely cynical doublespeak. Rather, Lam's statement reflects her government's strategy of abusing the city's judiciary to do its dirty work.
Link to full CNN article: https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/11/opinions/hong-kong-protests-government-abuse-judiciary-cheung/index.html
Author: Alvin Cheung
On Saturday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she would suspend consideration of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill (“the Bill”). The Bill would have, among other things, allowed mainland Chinese authorities to make extradition requests against anyone who set foot in Hong Kong, and as a result, had drawn expressions of concern from the legal profession, numerous chambers of commerce, and foreign governments. It also prompted large-scale protests within the territory (Umbrella Movement 2.0 exposes flaws in “one country, two systems”), and on 12 June police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators and engaged in violence against journalists.
Following Lam’s announcement on 15 June, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was quick to congratulate the Hong Kong government for a job “well done”. Hunt’s congratulatory message was premature and ill-advised. The Hong Kong government’s conduct throughout the abortive legislative process shows that – even without the Bill – the widespread concern about the continued viability of Hong Kong’s business environment remain valid.
Link to full article: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/deeper-malaise-hong-kongs-civil-service