Hong Kong

Hong Kong Dissidents Win 1 Demand—Now There's 4 More to Go

Today, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the controversial extradition bill that set off protests.

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Earlier today, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the controversial extradition bill that set off protests 13 weeks ago.

The bill would have allowed Hong Kong to extradite suspected criminals to both Taiwan and mainland China. Since 1997, Hong Kong has technically been considered part of China, but was granted significant autonomy through the "one country, two systems" policy, which allows Hongkongers to enjoy basic democratic freedoms. The extradition bill, which was tabled several months ago but not formally withdrawn until now, would have winnowed away at Hong Kong's autonomy.

Though full withdrawal of the extradition bill is a genuine concession, Lam's decision fulfilled only one of the protesters' demands and many pro-democracy dissidents warn that this is not a full victory, but partial appeasement.

The protesters still want the Hong Kong government to address the increasing use of force by police and the lack of free and fair elections. They also want Hong Kong to release people who have been arrested in connection with the protests, and for Lam, who the protesters see as a puppet of Beijing, to step down.

The protesters' additional demands—notably the calls for fully free and democratic elections—were at the core of the 2014 "umbrella movement" protests. Yet Lam is still in charge and candidates for chief executive are still pre-screened and approved by mainland China.

The conflict over mainland China's influence on Hong Kong will pop up again in the future, particularly since Hong Kong's semi-autonomy rests on a 50-year-long treaty that expires in 2047.

"Incidents over these past two months have shocked and saddened Hong Kong people,"  Lam said in a broadcast. "We are all very anxious about Hong Kong, our home. We all hope to find a way out of the current impasse and unsettling times."

More Reason coverage of the Hong Kong protests here.

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  1. Today, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the controversial extradition bill

    No she didn’t. Beijing gave her permission to withdraw it.

  2. Even after all the draconian crack-downs (inspired by Mainland China) in Hong Kong, ALL of the residents of Hong Kong (along with the residents of North Korea and EVERY other nation on the planet) are “free” to blow on cheap plastic flutes, WITHOUT the permission of a Government-Almighty-sanctioned Doctor of Doctorology! ONLY in the USA, are we so fortunate as to be FREE from the incompetent, DANGEROUS blowing upon cheap plastic flutes, that inevitably goes along with unsupervised cheap-plastic-flute blowing!!!

    The “freedom” to blow on unapproved-for-you-individually, cheap plastic flutes, of course, is a FALSE freedom… Kinda like making your OWN charity choices, while others are NOT “free from want”!!! Or deciding for your UNSUPERVISED self, which church or mosque or temple to go to (or not go to), which leads to a FALSE freedom… The REAL freedom is “freedom from sin”, where Government Almighty makes those choices for you!

    Anyway…

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

    1. You prefer the skin flute?

      1. I’m looking for a “siren song” of an individual freedom flute… Like the old mythical dude with the lantern, looking for one honest man, I am still looking and seeking…

      2. “You prefer the skin flute?”

        I prefer the bass flute. The music it makes sounds absolutely cool and it’s this giant curved flute as thick as your forearm.

        1. You’ve come to the right place, my friend.
          [unzips]

    2. Jesus Christ. This is serious shit, shit that anybody concerned with human rights and freedom, libertarians especially, should be paying attention to, and supporting the people of Hong Kong in any way they can.
      Along comes Nuts for Brains, and decides it’s a great time to pound his tiny little square peg into a hole. And he wonders why he’s treated with contempt.

      1. Government Almighty thinking that we’re too stupid and helpless to supervise ourselves when blowing on a cheap plastic flute… USA being the ONLY nation on the planet that does this… Is indicative of a VERY severe lack of personal individual freedom in the USA. It is just ONE example out of many! This, while we send our soldiers overseas to “fight for the freedoms” of foreigners! We should bring our soldiers home and have them fight our own petty despots at home!

        Can anyone defend the USA Government Almighty requiring me to get a physician’s permission to blow on a cheap plastic flute? One that is less intrusive into my body than a toothbrush? What next, prescriptions for tooth brushes?

        People who whine and cry about me bitching up a storm about this ONE example of the petty tyranny that we have accepted here in the USA, rather than bitching, themselves, about our continuing incremental enslavement, are part of the problem, not the solution.

  3. The important news item of the day is that the new Tool album is on track to knock Taylor Swift from the top of the charts.

  4. Between what they are doing in Hong Kong and to the Weigers in the far west of China right now, and what they previously did in Tibet, I say fuck China.

    The Chinese government sucks so much, they put other authoritarian regimes to shame.

  5. “Today, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the controversial extradition bill that set off protests.”

    To be sure, it’s probably more like Emperor Xi gave Carrie Lam orders to withdraw the controversial extradition bill that set off protests.

    Meanwhile, within the last few hours . . .

    “Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone on Thursday morning Beijing time and agreed meet next month for high-level trade talks, state-run China Central Television said.

    The U.S. side confirmed the phone call and said a high-level meeting would take place in Washington in the coming weeks. Both sides said deputy-level officials would work together in mid-September to lay the groundwork.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-and-the-u-s-will-hold-trade-talks-in-washington-in-october-11567651064?

    Emperor Xi seems to be in the mood to compromise today.

    I hope Trump can manage to find a way to keep his mouth shut and his fingers off the keyboard and Let the Emperor save face–if that’s what it takes to normalize trade with China. I’m not sure Trump can, but I hope he does.

    1. Meh.

      If Trump could be convinced to re-sign and ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I’d be happy enough to see him continue and escalate the trade disputes with China.

      The glory of trade is that it makes both sides better off, but I’m not sure making Xi’s China better off is good. I’d be perfectly happy to see industrial supply chains moved to source as much as possible from Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, and Peru as alternatives to China. Better and more stable access to the US, Japanese, Canadian, and Australian markets would be quite an incentive for such chains to be so moved.

      1. https://www.businessinsider.com/president-trump-vietnam-tariffs-trade-war-target-2019-6

        Trump threatens to expand his trade war by slapping tariffs on Vietnam

        As soon as USA businessmen jump through endless hoops to move some operations to some other nation (like Vietnam), Our Savior-Protectionist Trump will AGAIN save us from free markets! If Vietnam succeeds in the wake of China, then Vietnam, too, must be PUNISHED (by punishing Americans with more taxes)!

        Face it, Trump is a protectionist and an economic ignoramus!

      2. Yep so many chess pieces to be managed by the government. One person doing in by executive order and tweets is what we have.

      3. “The glory of trade is that it makes both sides better off, but I’m not sure making Xi’s China better off is good. I’d be perfectly happy to see industrial supply chains moved to source as much as possible from Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, and Peru as alternatives to China.”

        I’m most interested in making the United States better off.

        It’s important to remember that the reason so much manufacturing shifted to China was because China was the best place for it–for a number of reasons. Why didn’t it go to India? The answer is that it would have if it could have.

        Manufacturing jobs require a certain level of education. You need to be able to read signs and instructions. You need to be able to do some basic math. India still has a big problem with illiteracy. They invested big in educating the elite to be some of the best mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers in the world–at the expense of educating their poorest people. The Communists in China didn’t go that route. Instead, they taught every peasant kid in the countryside how to read, write, and do some basic math.

        One of China’s biggest problems right now is the demographic results of their one-child system. Right up until the trade war, they were having issues with labor shortages. That’s okay! We’ll just “unskilled” labor in other countries, right?

        No.

        Manufacturing moved to China, specifically, because that was the best place for it. The reason companies manufacture in China rather than those other countries is because China was a superior option to those other countries. Companies didn’t move manufacturing to Vietnam, Mexico, Malaysia, or Peru because they didn’t want to move their manufacturing to those countries. They chose the benefits of manufacturing in China instead, and it’s folly for us to assume that those advantages can be transferred to other countries and get the same benefits to the same extent.

        Plenty of things simply aren’t manufactured because doing so is too expensive or difficult. If it weren’t for trade with China, we’d simply go without more of those things. Those manufactured goods wouldn’t simply materialize from elsewhere. Plenty of them would just never be manufactured.

        If putting up an office building in Los Angeles is more expensive to build than I can get for it on the market or it takes too long to get the plans approved, I don’t just build the same office building Las Vegas instead. The office building just never gets built.

    2. Emperor Trump how he orders I will find out when I check the news tomorrow Ken.

  6. Its a good start.
    Time will tell if the people of Hong Kong will still have their freedom which I hope they will.

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