Ex­tra­di­tion bill death elic­its com­plex replies

Trou­ble-mak­ing for­eign, do­mes­tic forces doomed to fail in Hong Kong: FM

Global Times US Edition - - TOPNEWS - By Yang Sheng

The ex­tra­di­tion bill is dead, Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Tues­day, prompt­ing some ob­servers to urge pro­test­ers to end the vi­o­lence and let the gov­ern­ment fix the prob­lem while oth­ers warned of the dan­gers to so­ci­ety of ap­peas­ing ex­trem­ists.

The Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion (HKSAR) gov­ern­ment has halted the fugi­tive law amend­ment, and so the Fugi­tive Of­fend­ers & Mu­tual Le­gal As­sis­tance in Crim­i­nal Mat­ters Leg­is­la­tion (Amend­ment) Bill 2019 is dead, Lam made the state­ment ahead of an ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil meet­ing on Tues­day.

Lam sought to al­lay con­cerns the bill might be re­sub­mit­ted to the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil (Legco).

“I have al­most im­me­di­ately put a stop to the amend­ment ex­er­cise, but there are still lin­ger­ing doubts about the gov­ern­ment’s sin­cer­ity or wor­ries whether the gov­ern­ment will restart the process in the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil.

Lam said that the cause of “re­cent griev­ances and con­fronta­tions in so­ci­ety was the gov­ern­ment’s bid to amend the fugi­tive of­fend­ers or­di­nance.”

“So I re­it­er­ate here, there is no such plan. The bill is dead.”

On Lam’s re­marks, Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Geng Shuang said Tues­day that af­ter the bill’s post­pone­ment on June 15, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment ex­pressed their sup­port, re­spect and un­der­stand­ing for the HKSAR gov­ern­ment. “On this is­sue, I have noth­ing new to add.”

Vic­tor Chan Chi-ho, vice chair­man of the Hong Kong As­so­ci­a­tion of Young Com­men­ta­tors, told the Global Times on Tues­day that since Lam al­ready said the bill is dead, op­po­si­tion groups and rad­i­cal pro­test­ers who strongly op­pose the bill should now stop their vi­o­lent and il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties to avoid fur­ther dam­age to the city’s le­gal sys­tem and so­cial or­der.

Even af­ter the storm­ing of the Legco on July 1 dam­aged the com­plex so se­ri­ously that no meet­ings are sched­uled un­til Oc­to­ber, Hong Kong op­po­si­tion groups and rad­i­cal pro­test­ers haven’t ceased in­volve­ment in con­flicts with the po­lice.

On Sun­day night, five peo­ple were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of as­sault­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer or ob­struct­ing of­fi­cers in Mong Kok, a ma­jor shop­ping area in Kowloon district, and an­other was ar­rested ear­lier for fail­ing to pro­duce proof of iden­tity, me­dia said.

Com­pro­mis­ing with such pro­test­ers by an­nounc­ing the death of the bill could even­tu­ally harm the sta­bil­ity of the city, warned Hung Kam-in, a mem­ber of the Kwun Tong District Coun­cil in Hong Kong.

“We un­der­stand why the gov­ern­ment made a con­ces­sion as it’s fac­ing heavy pres­sure from the op­po­si­tion groups and pro­test­ers,” Hung said. But he wor­ried that such a com­pro­mise would “en­cour­age rad­i­cal­ism” and em­bolden op­po­si­tion groups into launch­ing more protests that dam­age the so­cial or­der in their be­lief that vi­o­lent trou­ble mak­ing gets re­sults.

Mean­while, the Of­fice of the Com­mis­sioner of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs of China in the city warned on its of­fi­cial web­site Tues­day that “any col­lu­sion by forces in and out of Hong Kong to desta­bi­lize the city and dam­age peo­ple’s in­ter­ests is doomed to fail.”

The of­fice made the re­marks af­ter US Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo met Hong Kong anti-china busi­ness­man Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, a main founder of Hong Kong op­po­si­tion groups and owner of some anti-china me­dia out­lets in Tai­wan and Hong Kong.

Denise Ho Wan-see, a Hong Kong-se­ces­sion­ist of Cana­dian na­tion­al­ity, as an “NGO rep­re­sen­ta­tive,” de­liv­ered a speech at the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil (UNHRC) to chal­lenge China’s sovereignt­y over HKSAR.

In re­sponse to Ho’s de­mand that the UNHRC ex­pel China, Geng said she was “hav­ing a wish­ful think­ing, and she has se­ri­ously over­es­ti­mated her­self.”

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