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Hong Kong leaders backpedaled, but here's why opposition movement continues: NPR



Democrats demonstrate outside the CEO Monday in Hong Kong.

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Democrats demonstrate outside the headquarters Monday in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam apologized publicly twice to propose a bill to allow extradition to mainland China, and now other senior officials have followed suit.

But a week after the legislation dismissed massive protests, the largely young-run opposition movement is ceasing its claims. Protest organizers encourage Lam to permanently withdraw the bill and step down.

Yet, the issue has laid a wider crisis beyond the extradition bill. Hong Kong expects its difficult relationship with the Chinese authorities in Beijing in a clash between two very different systems.

Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997 under an agreement – "one country, two systems" – allowing the city to keep its capitalist economy and common legal system untouched until 2047.

Initially, after the agreement, China acted on Hong Kong with light pressure due to the city's economic power. "You wouldn't kill the guy who laid the golden egg," says Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian from China at the University of California, Irvine.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's CEO, speaks at a press conference on June 15.

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Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's CEO, speaks at a press conference on June 15.

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A great appeal for doing business in Hong Kong is its special event that connects it to mainland China and other Asian markets, but with its own legal protection. It imposes a ban on the extradition of criminal suspects to other parts of China, a vital part of what guarantees Hong Kong from the country's Communist Party controlled courts.

But after a murder in Taiwan, Lam tried to change the rule by proposing the extradition bill – triggering some of Hong Kong's greatest protests for decades. Under public pressure, the manager charged the bill, but did not kill it. Protest organizers say they will allow democracy to plan their next step.

Many Hong Kong people realize the territory's semi-autonomous system not only protects them but has contributed greatly to China's rapid economic growth.

"We have delivered the largest amount of foreign direct investment to China" in most of the last four decades, notes Hong Kong's opposition lawyer Alvin Yeung. He tried unsuccessfully to meet Lam last week to persuade her to cut out the extradition bill.

The pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to the media shortly after he was released from prison Monday in Hong Kong.

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The pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to the media shortly after he was released from prison Monday in Hong Kong.

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But decades ago, other Chinese cities began to enter Hong Kong when Western economies reeled from the 2008 financial crisis. Hong Kong's economy as a share of China's GDP fell from 27% in 1993 to less than 3% in 2017.

Much of the capital flow turned around: Mainland Mainland money began to flood in Hong Kong real estate and its stock market, one of The largest in the world.

Beijing has been working to integrate Hong Kong, Macau and the rest of the Pearl River Delta into an economic mega region. Chinese leaders argued that as demand from the Western markets worsened, Hong Kong's best bet was to get closer to Chinese mainland markets.

These developments reinforce the hand of China's leader Xi Jinping when he consolidated power, black-out deviant voices modernized the military and expanded the country's global reach through diplomacy and infrastructure projects.

During Xi, Beijing insisted on showing candidates for Hong Kong leadership. The Hong Kong government meanwhile imprisoned the leaders of protest democracy protests in 2014, disqualified opposition lawmakers, banned an independence party and effectively exhibited an editor of the Financial Times hosting an independence champion at a speaker union.

The Hong Kong government also gave no explanation as five political book sellers disappeared from Hong Kong and Thailand in 2016, to resume only in Chinese custody.

The Hong Kong people very much perceived girls' hands as behind these movements despite the lack of hard evidence.

China under Xi has emphasized state authority while reflecting Hong Kong's autonomy. When one country, two system policies expires in 2047, it seems that Beijing intends to take control of a city that has already been emptied and emptied of serious opposition.

Beijing has long invented Hong Kong as a base for anti-communist subversives and a paradise for refugees from the mainland, often abhorrent sums of money.

In a speech in November, a Chinese army general and defense university professor named Xu Yan told fellow educators about what he seemed to be [19659013] Hong Kong's threat. A video of Xu's speech has been widely seen in Hong Kong and interpreted as a sign of Beijing's intention to submit to Hong Kong.

Referring to military investigations, Xu said that two-thirds of Hong Kong's population fled revolution, famine and poverty on mainland China, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, and are therefore hostile to communist party.

Edmund Cheng, a lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University, notes that the Chinese have sought refuge in the city from authoritarian regimes in China for centuries, dating back to Song (960-1279) and Qin (221-206 BC). ) dynasties.

"They came here to the periphery to experience and enjoy another lifestyle," he says. China has long considered Hong Kong to be on the periphery of the empire and on the edge of civilized world, like other borders such as Tibet, Manchuria and Xinjiang.

Xu & # 39; s recipe: replaces British colonial textbooks with Chinese, to infuse Hong Kong youth with Beijing's views. Xu asked his audience of educators in Chengdu, China: "How can we not decolonize" Hong Kong? "

Cheng believes that Xu has a point." Unless you change the education system, you will not completely change Hong Kong, "he says.

Instead of trying to win over the hearts and minds of Hong Kong people, Beijing has in Highly accused foreign governments and media of inducing turmoil in Hong Kong in an attempt to inhibit China's growth – an argument that protesters against the extradition bill generally scoff at.

In addition, Cheng argues that the people of Hong Kong do not really have to intent to subvert the mainland.

Hong Kong people "wanted to spread liberalism, perhaps in the 1990s and early 2000s," he says, "but because of the shift in political and economic power between mainland and hong kong, i think most hong kong people think this is not going to be possible. "

Many young people in Hong Kong do not identify with the mainland or even as Chinese, according to polls. Some of them claim that mainland Chinese themselves show little interest in democracy, so Hong Kongers should focus on defending their own threatened freedoms – which is exactly what they have done in response to the extradition law.

In Cheng's opinion, Hong Kong's need no organizer or agitators to react instinctively to Pant's assault on their values. "People certainly know what they are fighting for, and why they have to fight for it, "he says." And that is precisely because [it is] embedded in Hong Kong people's culture and history. "


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