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A report was made about the human rights violation situation in the US.

BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday published a report on human rights situation in the United States.

 

The report, titled "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2018," was released by the Information Office of the State Council in response to the 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices issued by the U.S. State Department on March 13, local time.

 

China's report said the United States government, a self-styled "human rights defender," has a human rights record which is flawed and lackluster, and the double standards of human rights it pursues are obvious.

 

With a foreword and eight chapters, the 12,000-character report exposes the human rights violations in the United States of different areas: the severe infringement on citizens' civil rights, the prevalence of money politics, the rising income inequality, worsening racial discrimination, and growing threats against children, women and immigrants, as well as the human rights violations caused by the unilateral America First policies.

 

A 10,000-character Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2018 was also released by the office Thursday.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-03/14/c_137894457.htm
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Liu Xin has been a busy at CCTV. Here's a recent TV interview she hosted. Talking about how China is a stay at home power and such.

 

The westerner she's talking with has been a big Pro-China person for a long time. I once posted one of his long talks (a 2012 talk) in Australia about the wonderful raise of China on TN over 3 years ago. Among all the blah blah, at 1:03:31, it sums up to:

 

"Now I will say to you, you are fantastically privileged.. you are incredibly privileged because you are the pioneer western country as we move into a completely new historical era in which the West is no longer dominant, Asia is dominant, and above all, China is dominant. And you are at the cutting edge of that process. And you, falls on you, to work out and think through what historically that is going to mean for Australia. For your sense of identity. What who you are..." etc

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=30813&p=1223738

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I was deliberating between the "Peaceful Rise of China", "Because Germany" or German refugee thread, but it's probably best posted here.

 

Chinese officials tell Germany to stay out of Hong Kong affairs after wanted activists gain refugee status

24 May 2019 12:59 Holmes Chan

China’s foreign ministry has called on Germany to “respect Hong Kong’s rule of law and independent judiciary” after the country granted refugee status to two wanted pro-independence activists.

 

Ray Wong and Alan Li, who were leading members of the pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous, faced rioting charges related to the 2016 Mong Kok unrest. They fled the city in November 2017 ahead of their trials, and were granted refugee status in Germany last May.

 

The office of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Hong Kong issued a statement on Thursday expressing concern: “We call on [Germany] to uphold international laws and the basic principles of international relations, and respect the rule of law and independent judiciary of Hong Kong.”

 

“It must not tolerate criminals and must not interfere in Hong Kong and China’s internal affairs.”

 

The statement was echoed in Beijing by MFA spokesperson Lu Kang, who added that Hongkongers’ rights and freedoms are protected by law, and the One Country, Two Systems principle has been fully implemented since the 1997 Handover.

 

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has not yet responded to the incident yet, though she has reportedly cancelled an official trip to Germany originally scheduled for late June.

When pressed for answers, her security and justice ministers did not say whether Hong Kong would seek to extradite Wong and Li.

 

‘Gradual erosion of freedom’

 

The German foreign ministry said on Wednesday that it was “increasingly concerned about the diminishing space for the political opposition and a gradual erosion of freedom of opinion and the press, particularly in connection with sensitive political issues.”

 

However, the ministry also said the human rights situation in the city was “good as a whole,” and did not refer specifically to Wong and Li’s cases.

The Financial Times reported on Friday that Chinese diplomats in Germany had tried to “directly intervene” to prevent the duo from being granted asylum. In return, Berlin refused to share information with Beijing about the pair’s asylum applications.

 

‘They are fugitives’

 

Pro-Beijing lawmakers have ramped up their criticism of Germany, saying that the country was “misled” to believe the two men were refugees.

 

The Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) led around 20 people in a protest at the German consulate, with FTU lawmaker Michael Luk handing a letter to Deputy Consul-General David Schmidt.

“Please respect our justice system. [Li and Wong]… are not refugees, they are fugitives, because they are involved in the riot in 2016. It made many people injured, we have many many factual evidence [sic],” Luk said.

 

The duo are set to appear at a commemorative event for the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, which will be held at the German parliament on June 4.

 

Wong told the foreign press that he has softened his political stance and no longer advocated Hong Kong independence, instead he wanted to draw attention to the human rights situation in the city.

 

“There are now too many uncertainties for the Hong Kong independence movement. The suppression is too strong,” he told the Financial Times.

 

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/05/24/chinese-officials-tell-germany-stay-hong-kong-affairs-wanted-activists-gain-refugee-status/

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This thread is best because its the shortest of the mentioned :D

 

There's also this:

 

 

Adrian Zenz is a researcher at the European School of Culture and Theology in Korntal, Germany. Last year, he played a pivotal role in documenting the massive expansion of detention facilities in China’s Xinjiang region — what the government calls “vocational training centers,” but which function as political indoctrination camps. Zenz’s groundbreaking research estimating that as many as 1 million Muslims had disappeared into the facilities was published in the Jamestown China Brief, and then in the peer-reviewed journal Central Asian Survey.

Today, at the 40th Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zenz defended an updated estimate on just how far the mass internment campaign has gone. Reuters has the report: 1.5 million Muslims could be detained in China’s Xinjiang: academic.

Adrian Zenz, an independent German researcher, said that his new estimate was based on satellite images, public spending on detention facilities and witness accounts of overcrowded facilities and missing family members.

“Although it is speculative it seems appropriate to estimate that up to 1.5 million ethnic minorities — equivalent to just under 1 in 6 adult members of a predominantly Muslim minority group in Xinjiang — are or have been interned in any of these detention, internment and re-education facilities, excluding formal prisons,” Zenz said at an event organized by the U.S. mission in Geneva, home of United Nations human rights bodies.

“The Chinese state’s present attempt to eradicate independent and free expressions of the distinct ethnic and religious identities in Xinjiang is nothing less than a systematic campaign of cultural genocide and should be treated as such,” Zenz added.

The U.S. Department of State is also issuing statements about Xinjiang that are far more specific and condemn the human rights abuses in much stronger terms than anything in 2018. Reuters reports:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo highlighted abuses in Iran, South Sudan, Nicaragua and China in the department’s annual “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,” but told reporters that China was “in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations.”

“For me, you haven’t seen things like this since the 1930s,” Michael Kozak, the head of the State Department’s human rights and democracy bureau, told the same briefing, referring to abuses of China’s Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region.

“Rounding up, in some estimations…in the millions of people, putting them into camps, and torturing them, abusing them, and trying to basically erase their culture and their religion and so on from their DNA. It’s just remarkably awful.”

“It is one of the most serious human rights violations in the world today,” he said.

Beijing has been on the defensive in recent months, and most recently defended the Muslim detention camps as being “like boarding schools,” though the chairman of the Xinjiang government, Shohrat Zakir, declined to disclose how many are in the system. The government has also been inviting waves of foreign diplomats, mostly from non-Western countries, on carefully organized tours of Xinjiang.

Two more notes:

As Adrian Zenz says on his Twitter feed — which you should keep an eye on for updates on this story — the British and German governments have added to calls for UN access to Xinjiang to conduct an independent assessment of alleged human rights abuses.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on March 6 that her office continues to seek access to Xinjiang “to carry out an independent assessment of the continuing reports pointing to wide patterns of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions.” She has been seeking access for over three months now, after initially announcing that her office had been seeking access on December 5, 2018.
https://supchina.com/2019/03/13/1-5-million-muslims-are-in-chinas-camps-scholar/
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Number of demonstrators have reached over 1 million. For a little place like Hong Kong, that's massive.

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG -- Just days after an estimated 1 million people took to the streets in Hong Kong to demonstrate against a proposed extradition law that would allow suspects to be handed over to mainland Chinese authorities for prosecution, attention now turns to the city's Legislative Council, or Legco, which resumes debate on the bill on Wednesday. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Monday said that the government will continue to push for the bill's passage without delay, and a vote is scheduled for next week.

While the Hong Kong government maintains the bill aims to plug a legal loophole, many fear that the proposed amendments could undermine the city's autonomy and damage the financial hub's competitiveness. The proposed law also has drawn international attention, with some foreign governments openly expressing concern over the potential erosion to the city's rule of law, which makes Hong Kong a magnet for multinational companies.

Many small businesses, including dentist offices, restaurants and book stores, have said they will not open on Wednesday in a show of support against the bill, and some labor unions are calling for strikes, local media reported. On Tuesday, Lam warned against "radical actions" by businesses, and by teachers and students who plan to boycott classes, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

As Legco continues to debate the extradition bill, here are five things you need to know about the controversial proposal.

What is the bill?

In February, the Hong Kong government revived a motion shelved some 20 years ago to amend its extradition law. The move will allow fugitives in the city to be transferred to jurisdictions beyond the 20 countries with which Hong Kong already has extradition treaties. Hong Kong currently does not have an extradition treaty with mainland China.

The move was prompted by a recent legal dilemma, in which the government was not able to transfer a Hong Kong man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan for trial because the two governments do not have an extradition treaty. The suspect was sentenced to 29 months in prison in Hong Kong for the lesser offense of money laundering, and he could be released as early as October.

The Hong Kong government said the legal loophole needs to be closed to uphold justice and align the city's laws with international standards. But the law would also pave the way for fugitives to be sent to mainland China, where many legal experts believe suspects will not receive a fair trial given the Communist Party's control over the courts and prosecutions.

Why is the bill controversial?

The proposed legislation has sparked strong opposition among pan-democratic political parties, business groups, legal experts, religious organizations and ordinary citizens. They argue that allowing fugitives in Hong Kong -- or people passing through the city -- to be extradited to China will damage the city's reputation as a financial hub that is safeguarded by an independent judiciary system, something mainland China lacks. Hong Kong's high-degree of autonomy was guaranteed under the "one country, two systems" legal framework when it was handed over to China from Britain in 1997.

The extradition bill also comes at a particularly sensitive time, as China's government has been exerting its influence over Hong Kong and publicly criticizing anti-government and pro-democracy rallies. The city's authorities also have taken a strong hand against political activism.

The little public consultation on the proposed bill and what many perceive to be the hurried manner of its passage has prompted many to call for a comprehensive review of the extradition law and to include additional safeguards.

 

What is the reaction in the business community in Hong Kong and among foreign governments?

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has called on the government to drop or delay the bill, as its passage would come at the expense of the city's business community. "It would be irresponsible for the government to just brush this off," Tara Joseph, president of the chamber, told Nikkei. Australian Chamber of Commerce Chairman Andrew Macintosh said this week that the bill could cost Hong Kong's reputation as a stable international business center.

The bill also drew rare open criticism from pro-Beijing business groups. The response has prompted the government to make concessions on the bill, including dropping some white-collar crimes from the list of offenses that would make suspects eligible for extradition.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said this week that the proposed amendment puts at risk the city's long-established special status in international affairs, and will negatively impact Hong Kong's protection of human rights and democratic values. Under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, Washington treats Hong Kong as an entity distinct from mainland China in matters of trade and economic systems. Hong Kong's economy could suffer if the policy is rescinded.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland also recently have expressed their concerns over the erosion of the city's freedoms.

Does China have any direct involvement in the legislation?

It is not known whether the move to enact the law comes under direct influence from authorities in Beijing. But several high-profile officials, including Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, who is a member of the powerful seven-member Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party, have openly voiced their support for the extradition bill.

Following Sunday's demonstration, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing will continue to support the Hong Kong government in advancing the amendment. He also condemned what he described as "irresponsible remarks" made by some foreign countries on the issue.

What happens next?

The bill, which begins its second reading, or debate, in Legco on Wednesday, needs to go through three reading sessions in the chamber before it advances to a vote, which is scheduled for June 20. To become law, the bill will need to secure a simple majority, or 35 votes from 69 lawmakers.

While it is unclear how Legco members will vote, the pro-establishment camp, including pro-business lawmakers, currently holds more than 40 seats.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Five-things-to-know-about-Hong-Kong-s-extradition-law

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HK2019.jpg

 

Tomorrow might be a big day.

 

 

 

Over a hundred Hong Kong employers from across industry sectors have pledged to either suspend business or support employees who choose to strike on Wednesday against a controversial extradition bill.

The walkout comes after a mass rally on Sunday that organisers said drew around 1.03 million people to the streets over the government’s planned amendments to its rendition laws. Police said 240,000 attended at the protest’s peak. Chief Executive Carrie Lam refused to back down on proposals the next day, prompting calls for further protests and industrial action.

Those who have decided to suspend business on Wednesday to oppose the extradition bill include Craft Coffee Roaster, transportation service CALL4VAN, retailer AbouThai – which said it will close all 13 of its stores – and NGO Life Workshop, in a move that aims to hit the core of the bustling financial hub.

Jimmy Sham, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) which organised Sunday’s march, said that he is pleased to hear about the labour strike, although the group did not explicitly call for such an action. He added that CHRF will host rallies every day until the Legislative Council debates the extradition bill.

Hong Kong’s government first proposed legal amendments in February to allow the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements, most notably China and Taiwan. The plan would enable the chief executive and local courts to handle extradition requests without legislative oversight. The bill could pass before July, with democrats, lawyers, journalists, foreign politicians and businesses raising concerns over the risk of residents being extradited to the mainland.

‘Radical action’

Chief Executive Carrie Lam warned against “radical action” on Tuesday morning.

“No civilised society would want to see young people pushed to commit radical action for such an important legal and policy issue,” she said. “I urge schools, parents, organisations, enterprises, unions to consider carefully – what good does it do for Hong Kong society, and our young people, by calling for such radical action?”

Lam was also referencing an episode late on Sunday when the largely peaceful rally turned violent as police tried to move protesters from around the legislative complex.

‘Refusing to back down’

The pro-democracy Civic Party on Monday called for a general strike and for people to attend a rally organised by CHRF on Wednesday.

Bleak House Books, an independent bookshop participating in the strike, said their employees stand in solidarity with other businesses who plan to strike: “Ah that pesky Hong Kong spirit is rearing its ugly head again. Refusing to back down in the face of adversity,” their statement read.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said at a CHRF press conference on Monday that the group were not urging people to risk their jobs when deciding to strike: “We’re not specifically making a call on anyone to just ignore his or her job. All we’re saying is that we wish Hong Kong people will do whatever they think appropriate, including calling in an ‘unavailability for job’ on Wednesday. Free will, free mind, after all,” she said.

Additionally, pro-democracy lawmaker Fernando Cheung said he is calling for social welfare sector workers to come out on Wednesday to stop the “terrible, draconian law.”

“We take the wellbeing of our users, many of them are in the vulnerable groups, as the first consideration. We would not want to adversely affect the wellbeing of those who we serve in the welfare sector.”

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/06/11/100-hong-kong-employers-pledge-strike-action-extradition-bill-chief-exec-warns-radical-action/

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After the protestors surrounded the government legislature building and blocked roads, they decided to postpone the decision on the extradition bill. They made themselves a small win for now.

 

 

HONG KONG -- Protests in Hong Kong against a proposed law that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China turned violent on Wednesday afternoon, with police firing rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray to disperse crowds that had surrounded the city's main government compound.

Some demonstrators attempted to break through police barricades after thousands earlier occupied a main road in the city and blocked lawmakers from entering their complex, prompting the postponement of a scheduled debate on the bill by the Legislative Council.

Police said some protesters hurled objects -- including bricks, iron bars and road barriers -- at the police, injuring some officers. Television footage showed at least one police officer as well as other people being treated for injuries. Exact figures on the number and seriousness of injuries was not yet known.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo said the demonstrations had developed into a "riot" and that officers were "forced" to fire tear gas and rubber bullets to push back protesters who had tried to break the police blockade.

Many businesses, including major financial service companies such as HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered, Deloitte and Ernst & Young, had earlier told their employees to work from home due to safety concerns. Many small shops in the area also were closed.

Wednesday's protests were reminiscent of the 2014 Occupy Central movement, also known as the Umbrella Movement, when activists blocked and camped out on major roads in Hong Kong's major government, business and commercial areas for 79 days to press the government to implement universal suffrage for the election of the city's leader.

The latest round of protests came as Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam continued to push for passage of the extradition bill. The president of the legislature, Andrew Leung, announced on Wednesday morning that debate on the bill had been postponed. Leung did not say how long the delay would last or whether a vote on the bill, which had been expected on June 20, would be affected.

The bill has been at the center of Hong Kong's political debate in recent months as the government moved to plug what it calls a loophole exposed by a homicide case. The government was not able to transfer a Hong Kong man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan because of the lack of an extradition agreement with the island. Hong Kong currently has extradition treaties with roughly just 20 jurisdictions around the world, and mainland China, Taiwan and Macao are not among them.

Opponents of the legislation say the bill would pave the way for fugitives to be sent to mainland China, where many legal experts believe suspects will not receive a fair trial given the Communist Party's control over the courts. Opponents also say the proposed law would undermine Hong Kong's autonomy and damage its competitiveness as a financial hub.

The Chinese government on Wednesday reiterated its support for the extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, Reuters reported from Beijing. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news conference that any actions that harm Hong Kong are opposed by public opinion in the city.

The mostly young protesters say they are angry that the government is ignoring the voice of the people following a massive march on Sunday that organizers say drew more than 1 million people into the streets.

"I was little when Occupy Central happened," said 18-year-old Tracy Wu, who joined Wednesday's demonstration. "I don't know if protesting now will make a difference, but I'll regret it if I did not do it."

Frances Eve, deputy director of research at Chinese Human Rights Defenders, criticized the lack of independence in China's legal system.

"The Hong Kong government has legal obligations to protect human rights, which would be impossible if the planned amendments to the extradition bill go ahead," Eve told the Nikkei Asian Review, adding that the government should "listen to the overwhelming chorus of voices" speaking out against the bill and "halt this undemocratic push."

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Hong-Kong-protests-against-extradition-law-turn-violent

 

Taiwanese media at the protests spot.

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A young Hong Kong demonstrator talking about the situation at the Japan National Press Club in Japanese on June 11th.

 

 

Tokyo should put pressure on the Hong Kong government to withdraw a controversial bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China, given Japan’s strong economic ties with the former British territory and the large number of mutual visits by tourists, a high-profile pro-democracy activist told a news conference in Tokyo.

Agnes Chow, a 22-year-old member of Demosisto, a Hong Kong party calling for the democratic self-determination of Hong Kongers, arrived in Tokyo on Monday after participating in Sunday’s massive protest march against the bill in the semi-autonomous region.

Chow, a college student with an affinity for Japanese pop culture, served in 2014 as a spokesperson of a student organization that participated in the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.

“This time I came (to Japan) to draw attention to the amendments bill,” Chow said in fluent Japanese during the news conference at the Japan National Press Club on Monday.

“I want the Japanese government to pay more attention to this dangerous bill and put up guards (against it),” she said.

The extradition bill would allow the Hong Kong government to extradite certain criminals to mainland China, although the special administrative city government has claimed political prisoners would not be handed over to Beijing.

Chow pointed out that the extradition bill could be applied to foreign residents and visitors to Hong Kong as well, claiming that it would severely compromise freedom in Hong Kong and also damage its status as an international financial center.

Unlike other Chinese cities, Hong Kong is allowed to maintain a high level of autonomy under Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policy until at least 2047.

But the city’s political autonomy has been considerably compromised in recent years under the growing influence of the mainland’s central government.

During a regular news conference on Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the Japanese government is “paying close attention” to the extradition bill, and it hopes the one country, two systems policy will stay in place and that Hong Kong maintains its “free and open social system.” But he didn’t elaborate further.

On May 16, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Hong Kong pro-democracy leader Martin Lee in Washington and expressed concerns about the bill, which the State Department says threatens Hong Kong’s rule of law.

The organizer of Sunday’s protest march claimed 1.03 million people joined the demonstration, while the Hong Kong government put its estimated number at 240,000. The population of the city is about 7.48 million.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/11/national/politics-diplomacy/hong-kong-activist-urges-japan-extradition-bill/#.XQDcklUzbcs

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Standard political damage control: "We haven't explained it well enough".

 

Hong Kong’s Leader, Yielding to Protests, Suspends Extradition Bill

 

By Keith Bradsher and Alexandra Stevenson

 

June 15, 2019

 

HONG KONG — Backing down after days of huge street protests, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said on Saturday that she would indefinitely suspend a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.

 

It was a remarkable reversal for Mrs. Lam, the leader installed by Beijing in 2017, who had vowed to ensure the bill’s approval and tried to get it passed on an unusually short timetable, even as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against it this past week.

 

But she made it clear that the bill was being delayed, not withdrawn outright, as protesters have demanded.

 

“I believe that we cannot withdraw this bill, or else society will say that this bill was groundless,” Mrs. Lam said at a news conference.

 

She said she felt “sorrow and regret” that she had failed to convince the public that it was needed, and pledged to listen to more views.

 

“We will adopt the most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements,” Mrs. Lam said.

 

City leaders hope that delaying the legislation will cool public anger and avoid more violence in the streets, said people with detailed knowledge of the government’s plans, including advisers to Mrs. Lam.

 

But leading opposition figures and protesters said a mere suspension of the bill would not satisfy the protesters, who had been planning another large demonstration for Sunday. Organizers confirmed the protest was still on.

 

“Postponement is temporary. It’s just delaying the pain,” said Claudia Mo, a democratic lawmaker. “This is not good enough, simply not right. We demand a complete scrapping of this controversial bill.”

 

“We can’t accept it will just be suspended,” Minnie Li, a lecturer with the Education University of Hong Kong who joined a hunger strike this past week, said on Saturday morning, as word of Mrs. Lam’s plan to suspend the bill was emerging. “We demand it to be withdrawn. The amendment itself is unreasonable. Suspension just means having a break and will continue later. What we want is for it to be withdrawn. We can’t accept it.”

 

But Mrs. Lam and her superiors in Beijing were reluctant to kill the bill outright, said the people familiar with city officials’ thinking. They insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the government.

 

A full withdrawal of the legislation would recall the Hong Kong government’s reversals in the face of public objections to other contentious bills that were seen as infringing on the city’s liberties — national security legislation, in 2003, and compulsory patriotic education legislation, in 2012.

 

A team of senior Chinese officials and experts met on Friday with Mrs. Lam in Shenzhen, a mainland Chinese city bordering Hong Kong, to review the situation, one of the people with knowledge of the government’s policymaking said.

 

[...]

 

City officials hope that delaying the bill will weaken the opposition by draining it of its momentum, without giving the appearance that the government was backing down entirely, according to the people familiar with the leaders’ thinking.

 

Asked several times by reporters at the Saturday news conference whether she would resign, as protesters have demanded, Mrs. Lam indicated that she had no plans to do so, saying she would continue her work and improve efforts to communicate with the public. The people familiar with the government’s thinking said officials in both Beijing and Hong Kong had dismissed the calls for Mrs. Lam’s resignation.

 

In statements issued by several official agencies, the Chinese government said it supported, respected and understood Mrs. Lam’s decision to shelve the bill.

 

Underlying opposition to the extradition bill is a growing fear that the freedoms that people in Hong Kong enjoy under the “one country, two systems” policy, put in place when the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, are rapidly shrinking.

 

Emily Lau, a former lawmaker and chairwoman of the city’s Democratic Party, said that she doubted the public would be quelled by the shelving of the bill.

 

“People are asking for the bill to be withdrawn; if you just delay it that means they can just resume the second reading whenever they like,” Ms. Lau said. She added that a suspension would simply result in another big turnout for the march on Sunday.

 

“There is always a sword hanging over our heads, and I don’t think the public will accept it,” she said.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-extradition-law.html

 

June 14, 2019 / 1:16 PM / Updated 7 hours ago

Exclusive: Hong Kong police 'trapped in the middle' by polarizing extradition bill
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Several senior Hong Kong police officials feel caught between a rock and a hard place as city leader Carrie Lam tries to ram through contentious extradition laws that have triggered violent clashes between police and protesters.

Police fired tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullets at young protesters who gathered this week around the Chinese-ruled city’s legislature and government headquarters in the tens of thousands.

 

The clashes wounded 22 police and more than 60 protesters, as demonstrators advanced toward the legislature, hurling bricks, iron poles and sticks, while barging their way forward with metal barricades.

 

“We are definitely restrained and we wouldn’t indiscriminately use weapons,” police chief Stephen Lo told reporters a day after the clashes, describing them as a “riot”.

 

“We were facing tens of thousands of protesters. The pressure was very great.”

 

[...]

 

Over one million people, or one in seven people in the city, marched on Sunday against the bill. Less than a day later, however, a stern-faced Lam told reporters she wouldn’t back down.

 

Some senior police officers say Lam’s refusal to heed public opinion is sowing resentment in the force, which was already battered by accusations of police brutality during the 2014 pro-democracy “Umbrella” civil disobedience movement.

 

“There are a significant number that blame her for this crisis,” said a senior law enforcement officer in a command position. “It’s madness.”

 

He said the demands of the protesters weren’t unreasonable, given an inherent mistrust of mainland China’s legal system.

 

“There’s definitely a feeling that we’re trapped in the middle,” said a senior police officer who declined to be named as he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

 

“We can’t solve this. The protesters can’t solve this. But Carrie can.”

 

[...]

 

The protesters this time, unified for a very specific goal - to prevent a policy seen as an existential threat to Hong Kong’s unique global position - have pledged not to back down.

 

A hardcore element, numbering in the tens of thousands, has not shied away from violence, while being highly organized and tech savvy, using encrypted phone apps like Telegram to mobilize swiftly through multiple group chats, and more strategically, with less risk of police infiltration.

 

“Telegram is a big breakthrough from the old traditional strategies,” said Jason Chan, a 22-year-old protester. “Since there were no leaders in this movement, Telegram facilitates the communication across protesters by allowing different channels or groups to set up and thereby unite the people.”

 

Another senior law enforcement officer acknowledged greater risks going forward.

 

“The protesters are a lot more determined this time,” he said. “The violence will keep escalating if the government doesn’t back down.”

 

Steve Vickers, a former commander of the police’s Criminal Intelligence Bureau who now runs a risk consultancy, said in a report that there was a risk of further violence.

 

“An unfortunate polarization has occurred, where demonstrators perceive the police to be the enemy (rather than the government, in their absence), and many junior police officers see both the media and protesters as the main protagonists.”

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-extradition-police-exclusive/exclusive-hong-kong-police-trapped-in-the-middle-by-polarizing-extradition-bill-idUSKCN1TF1BU

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