A former British colony in southeastern China, Hong Kong has long possessed a special status under the principle “one country, two systems”. It has its own currency, flag and constitution and is well-known for law and order, the standard of life, freedom of press and speech, and prosperity. It is the financial hub of Asia and has grown and is a thriving economy. But the environment of violence, destruction and damage has been prevailing in Hong Kong since last few months.
Where did this all begin!
The most critical cause was an offensive case where a teenage Hong Konger, Chan Tong-kai, who murdered his pregnant girlfriend on a trip to Taiwan in 2018 and fleeing back to Hong Kong. He had admitted to the killing in a Hong Kong court. However, because there is no pre-existing extradition agreement with Taiwan, he cannot be sent to face trial there. Since Hong Kong courts have no jurisdiction over crimes committed in Taiwan, Chan can’t be tried for manslaughter here either. He has alleged guilty to money-laundering concerning using his girlfriend’s ATM card on his return and was sentenced to 29 months in prison.
What were the reasons for this Havoc in Hong Kong?
Besides the root cause, the introduction of Extradition bill, the protesters also think their leader should be elected in a more democratic way that indicates the choice of the voters.
What is this extradition bill?
This bill enabled local authorities to deport people of the respective territory and visitors, who are charged with any illegal or unlawful activity. It also empowered the authorities to place them under Chinese jurisdiction, where legal protection is not guaranteed.
This bill undermined the factors for which the territory is known for; it weakened the autonomy of the semi-autonomous region where the citizens of the territory couldn’t enjoy freedom on legal ground.
Supporters of the bill say that amendments are a way to ensure that the city does not become a place for a criminal to escape. However, critics say that government authorities would use it against political opponents to deport them. Moreover, it could be used against others from whom they sense any risk and would hand them to China where their legal protections cannot be guaranteed.
Alleged misconduct by police forces against protestors provoked them and intensified violence. In the due process, many protestors got arrested. An off duty police officer was attacked and got injured by a knife.
So much for being a responsible citizen?
The protestors attacked the police force as well as assaulted the citizens, sabotaged shops, used petrol bombs and attacked official institutions like the Hong Kong legislative council building. In the heat of protest, they defaced the regional emblem of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and China’s national emblem.
According to some sources, other countries and diplomatic agencies are interfering and instigating the people to carry on and intensify the protest. They are blaming police for disturbing public order and social peace by enforcing the law on people but ignores the atrocities and deeds committed by protestors against police.
It is reported that they are even funding and guiding these protestors secretly. Thus, the situation in Hong Kong is getting more unstable. Moreover, this matter can be put to criticise the respective government authorities.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday declared that the government would formally withdraw the extradition bill.
But she stated the government would not accept other demands. These include an independent inquiry into alleged police misconduct against protesters and the unconditional release of those detained.
The central government is trying to take the things forward lawfully and sustainably. They are supporting the Hong Kong police to restore order and stability in the territory without undermining its prosperity and development at the same time.
Citizens of Hong Kong and governmental authorities need to work together and support each other to stop vandalism, chaos and violence. Furthermore, to make a decision that aids in the developmental process without undermining people’s rights and territory’s pride and which restore social order, peace and maintain equity, law and justice.