Hong Kong activists promise more protests

13 July, 2019, 13:13 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Hong Kong government says controversial extradition bill is 'dead'

China's top delegate in Hong Kong has said on Thursday the focal government in Beijing kept up its help for Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is thinking about the city's most prominent political emergency since it came back to Chinese guideline in 1997.

Denouncing the violent incidents and clashes that took place during the anti-extradition bill protests, Wang said the protesters trampled on the rule of law of law, threatening Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the People's Government in Hong Kong, criticized the violence that has broken out at some of the protests, including the July 1 break-in and ransacking of the territory's legislature.

Opposition was fuelled by widespread public sentiment that this represented the latest and most significant erosion of Hong Kong's established "one country, two systems" of governance - a legacy of Britain's 1997 handover of the colony to China, with an expiration of 50 years.

Most protests centered on the central business district, but demonstrators have recently begun to look elsewhere to widen support by taking up narrower, more domestic issues.

On Saturday, the focus again turned away from downtown Hong Kong to Sheung Shui, a town close to the border where so-called "parallel traders" from the mainland buy bulk quantities of duty free goods which they then carry into China to sell.

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"We don't want to stop travel and buying, but please, just make it orderly and legal", he added.

The small-time mainland traders have always been a source of anger among some in Hong Kong who argue that they have fuelled inflation, dodged taxes, diluted the town's identity and caused a spike in property prices. Many street-level shops were shuttered ahead of the march.

Hong Kong media mogul and democracy advocate Jimmy Lai met with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence this week over the extradition bill, while singer-activist Denise Ho gave a speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council on suppression of rights and freedom in Hong Kong and called on it to eject China as a member. Beijing-appointed Lam, who is not directly elected, and her government haven't acted in the people's interest, he said.

Similar protests have included a march last week by almost 2,000 people in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women.

Tens of thousands of protesters staged an anti-extradition march the next day through one of the most popular tourist shopping areas in Kowloon, where they tried to win support from mainland Chinese tourists. The parents of a Hong Kong man who plunged to his death after putting up banners against divisive extradition bills have urged young people to stay alive to continue their struggle.

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