The latest developments in Hong Kong and the police are banning Sunday’s planned mass demonstration.
Below is the highlight of the latest development:
Demonstration bans and a massive police presence on Saturday in Hong Kong prevented major protests from government opponents. Smaller actions, organized by Beijing-friendly forces with red Chinese national flags, in part in shopping malls like the Amoy Mall, also resulted in fights and squabbles with China-critical protesters. There was an unknown number of arrests.
The Hong Kong police have banned a planned Sunday mass demonstration. The appeal filed by the organizers of the Civil Human Rights Front was also rejected on Friday, government official RTHK reported. The reason given was that the protest was likely to end in violence again and the organizers were not in a position to control the participants. On Friday there were several smaller actions, including pro-Chinese, and human chains.
A visit by Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong to Berlin has sparked diplomatic resentments between Germany and China. Wong called on the federal government to clearly condemn police violence and abuse of power and to suspend trade talks with China and Hong Kong. The Chinese government has expressed its “deep dissatisfaction,” said China ambassador to Berlin, Wu Ken, on Wednesday. Wong arrived in Germany on Monday. He met, inter alia, with the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
On Sunday, protests in Hong Kong resulted in clashes between demonstrators and police officers. The demonstrations began peacefully, but escalated in the evening in the neighborhoods of Admiralty and Wan Chai. In the Causeway Bay district, police used tear gas at a subway station against a group of demonstrators. Several people were arrested. Previously, thousands of protesters had moved to the US Consulate in the Chinese Special Administrative Region. They sang the national anthem of the United States in the morning and called on President Donald Trump to “liberate the city.” At the American Consulate, they demanded to resist Beijing and “liberate Hong Kong.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel once again expressed her hope that the conflicts in Hong Kong will be resolved peacefully. Merkel said in Wuhan on Saturday that everything else would be ” a disaster” in her view. She had been “listened to” about this topic in Beijing. It was important to keep talking. She added that although Hong Kong is currently in the foreground. There are also other human rights issues in China. According to government officials, she also met Chinese human rights lawyers in Beijing on Friday evening.
Hong Kong’s Prime Minister Carrie Lam definitively withdraws the controversial extradition law. She did not do so at Beijing’s behest, but has his full support for the move. However, observers believe the backlash is too late to calm the escalating clashes. The law would have allowed the transfer of suspects to mainland China whose legal system does not trust the Hong Kong people. The law passed in June was shelved after protests in July, but has not yet been shelved. This has happened now.
Hong Kong head of government Carrie Lam said on demand in a televised press conference on Tuesday that she never asked Beijing to step down to end the political crisis in Hong Kong. She responded to an audio recording of a closed meeting last week published by Reuters, where she said she would give up her post if she could. “I never submitted my resignation,” Lam said. It was up to her to stay in office.
What is the Democracy Movement asking for?
The democracy movement has five demands:
- The bill on the controversial extradition law is to be completely withdrawn. On 4 September Lam complied with this request and definitively withdrew the draft.
- In the future, Hong Kong citizens will be allowed to freely choose the head of the Special Administrative Region as well as the Parliament (Legislative Council, Legco) . Today, a committee of 1200 people on behalf of the approximately seven million Hong Kongese determines the Beijing-compliant head of government. And the election of Parliament is only partially free.
- Third, the demonstrators demand that the protests so far not be rated as “turmoil”. For if those arrested during past clashes are convicted as “rebels,” they face up to ten years in jail.
- An independent commission of judges will investigate the clashes between the police and the demonstrators. The allegations in Hong Kong are increasing that the police have cracked down on the demonstrators. However, the head of government Carrie Lam wants to entrust this task to the police themselves.
- All criminal charges against those arrested should be dropped . The demonstrators are particularly angry that only 12 ringleaders have been arrested for “unlawful gatherings” in a metro station attack by Beijing-loyal members of organized crime against the protest movement on July 21.
Why are the Hong Kongers so suspicious of the Chinese government?
Until 1997, Hong Kong was a British Crown Colony. In handing over the territory to China, China’s government assured that in Hong Kong, fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of the press were maintained for at least 50 years. Hong Kong’s resurgent opposition movement, however, accuses the government of undermining this regulation known as One Land, Two Systems.
What was the extradition law?
The protests in the former British Crown Colony were originally triggered by a planned extradition law that would have allowed the transfer of suspects to mainland China. After the protests, the bill was temporarily shelved, but Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s head of government, refused to make a statement for several months to make it clear that the extradition law had died. It was not until the beginning of September that she declared that the extradition law was definitely off the table. Many Hong Kongers saw in the proposed law a further step in the erosion of “one country, two systems”.
Who is Carrie Lam?
Carrie Lam has been Hong Kong’s Chief Executive for nearly two years. This is what the head of government in the business metropolis is called. The 62-year-old is the first woman to head the Chinese Special Administrative Region. Although her rise to the Hong Kong administration began in the British era, she is considered a Beijing-loyal politician and has lost the Hong Kong’s confidence in the protests.