U.S. Weighs in On Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill, Has Grave Concerns; China Tells U.S. to Butt Out; Mass Demonstrations Continue

  • With Hong Kong changing its extradition law, the U.S. has weighed in with what China calls “irresponsible and erroneous comments.”
  • China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: “We demand that the U.S. side… be cautious and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs in any form.”
  • Under the new extradition law, Hong Kong citizens who have been accused of a crime can be sent to mainland China, Macau or Taiwan to stand trial since Hong Kong currently has no treaties with these nations.
  • Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous city and was promised civil liberties would be protected for 50 years under the “one country, two systems” plan in 1997 when Hong Kong went from British to Chinese rule.
  • President Trump’s administration “has expressed grave concern” over the bill and said the bill puts Hong Kong’s special status at risk.
  • A State Department spokesperson said “the U.S. was worried that the lack of procedural protections in the bill could negatively impact the territory’s longstanding protections of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic values.”
  • Hong Kong is given special status by the U.S. under the 1992 Hong Kong Policy Act, “which allows the semi-autonomous territory to be treated as a non-sovereign entity distinct from China for trade and economic matters under US law.”
  •  One observer said: “President Trump has been unwavering in his indifference to developments in greater China concerning human rights, democracy and rule of law. I don’t expect Trump’s brand to change as a result of protests in Hong Kong.”
  • There have been massive demonstrations in Hong Kong in protest of the bill with many critics accusing China of “extensive meddling, denying democratic reforms, interfering with local elections.”
  • Human rights groups have pointed to China’s “alleged use of torture, arbitrary detentions, forced confessions and problems accessing lawyers in China, where the courts are controlled by the Communist Party,” as evidence of why the extradition bill shouldn’t proceed.

Reference Links

  • RT: Beijing demands US ‘stops intervening’ in Hong Kong and Chinese ‘internal affairs’ READ
  • Reuters: Hong Kong braces for new mass protests against planned extraditions to China READ
  • Financial Times: US warns Hong Kong ‘special status’ at risk over extradition bill READ

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