VIDEO: [China Uncensored] Massive one-million-strong Hong Kong protest could change everything. [Jun 11, 2019]
The bill “could undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and negatively impact the territory’s long-standing protections of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic values,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters Monday in Washington. Opponents of the legislation on Sunday staged one of the largest protests since the former British colony’s return to China: Organizers said more than 1 million participants showed up, while police put the figure at 240,000.
Tensions are only heating up, with activists calling for strikes and vowing to surround the city’s Legislative Council on Wednesday, when lawmakers debate scores of proposed amendments. Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, defended the bill in a 45-minute news briefing Monday, saying it was necessary to prevent the city from becoming a “haven” for fugitives and vowing to press ahead with its passage. China endorsed her government’s efforts later in the day.
Lam said at a briefing Tuesday that a letter sent to the legislature by Hong Kong’s Security Bureau includes a new measure that would give the chief executive final say on extraditions, with veto power over any transfers approved by Hong Kong’s court. A change in circumstances and humanitarian grounds are among the factors that would be considered in such a decision, she said.
“The two sides seem to be on a collision course, so it is hard to see a satisfying conclusion,” said Jeffrey Wasserstrom, professor and China historian at the University of California, Irvine. “Whether or not the new law is enacted, the people of Hong Kong have made an important statement.”
This article continues at [Bloomberg News] U.S. Warns Hong Kong on Extraditions as Fresh Protests Planned