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BANGKOK 17 June 2019 13:41
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Hong Kong protesters storm key road next to government offices amid chaotic scenes

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Hong Kong protesters storm key road next to government offices amid chaotic scenes

By James Pomfret and Greg Torode

 

2019-06-12T013411Z_1_LYNXNPEF5B06J_RTROPTP_4_HONGKONG-EXTRADITION.JPG

Protesters rally against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

 

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chaotic scenes erupted in Hong Kong early on Wednesday as thousands of demonstrators stormed a key road next to government offices to protest against a proposed extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

 

Television pictures showed thousands of protesters rallying in and around Lung Wo Road, an important east-west artery near the offices of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, as hundreds of riot police warned them to stop advancing.

 

Some protesters erected barricades to block traffic in the heart of the Asian financial centre, with many defying police calls to retreat, in scenes reminiscent of pro-democracy protests that rocked the city in late 2014.

 

Embattled leader Lam said she would press ahead with the controversial legislation despite deep concerns across the Asian financial hub that triggered on Sunday its biggest political demonstration since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

 

Demonstrators from across a wide spectrum of Hong Kong society began joining the overnight protesters earlier on Wednesday as businesses across the city prepared to go on strike.

 

The bill, which has generated unusually broad opposition at home and abroad, is due for a second round of debate on Wednesday in Hong Kong's 70-seat Legislative Council. The legislature is controlled by a pro-Beijing majority.

 

Lam has sought to soothe public concerns and said her administration was creating additional amendments to the bill, including safeguarding human rights.

 

In a rare move, prominent business leaders warned that pushing through the extradition law could undermine investor confidence in Hong Kong and erode its competitive advantages.

 

Sunday's protest, which organisers said saw more than a million people take to the streets, in addition to a snowballing backlash against the extradition bill could raise questions about Lam's ability to govern effectively.

 

STRIKES, GO-SLOWS

Protesters rallied just a stone's throw from the heart of the financial centre where glittering skyscrapers house the offices of some of the world's biggest companies, including HSBC.

 

HSBC and Standard Chartered, in addition to the Big Four accounting firms, had all agreed to flexible work arrangements for staff on Wednesday, Hong Kong media reported.

 

Strikes and transport go-slows were also announced for Wednesday as businesses, students, bus drivers, social workers, teachers and other groups all vowed to protest in a last-ditch effort to block the bill.

 

The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong called on the government not to pass the bill "hurriedly" and urged all Christians to pray for the former British colony.

Embattled leader Lam, who warned against "radical action" at the latest protest, is a Catholic.

 

Britain handed Hong Kong back to China 22 years ago under a "one-country, two-systems" formula, with guarantees that its autonomy and freedoms, including an independent justice system, would be protected.

 

However, many accuse China of extensive meddling since then, including obstruction of democratic reforms, interference with local elections and of being behind the disappearance of five Hong Kong-based booksellers, starting in 2015, who specialised in works critical of Chinese leaders.

 

Beijing rejects those accusations and official Chinese media said this week "foreign forces" were trying to damage China by creating chaos over the extradition bill.

 

Sunday's protest rally plunged Hong Kong into political crisis, just as months of pro-democracy "Occupy" demonstrations did in 2014, heaping pressure on Lam's administration and her official backers in Beijing.

 

Human rights groups have repeatedly cited the alleged use of torture, arbitrary detentions, forced confessions and problems accessing lawyers in China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, as reasons why the Hong Kong bill should not proceed.

 

China denies accusations that it tramples on human rights.

 

(Reporting By James Pomfret, Greg Torode, Jessie Pang, Twinnie Siu, Felix Tam, Vimvam Tong, Thomas Peter, and Joyce Zhou; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Paul Tait)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-06-12

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The people have a voice and they speak

 

Reminds me on Germany 30 years ago when they shouted "WE are the people"

Edited by sweatalot

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5 minutes ago, sweatalot said:

The people have a voice and they speak

 

Reminds me on Germany 30 years ago when they shouted "WE are the people"

They've spoken in the UK too.

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I told my wife today.  Even if Xi Jinping was gone tomorrow another one would just take his place.

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

HSBC and Standard Chartered, in addition to the Big Four accounting firms, had all agreed to flexible work arrangements for staff on Wednesday, Hong Kong media reported.

 

It looks like some very serious Hong Kong people are not happy about the proposed bill.

 

I don't know that much about business in China and HK.  Still, I do wonder how much leverage these same people, including their connections outside HK, can have on China.  China may want this bill to pass, but business is important as well. 

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Xi and the Communists will end up massacring these people. It will probably take this to bell the cat. Unfortunately, too many countries have been willing to sell their souls to China and it has allowed the PRC to grow arrogant and murderous. And they will murder these people.

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11 minutes ago, zydeco said:

Xi and the Communists will end up massacring these people. It will probably take this to bell the cat. Unfortunately, too many countries have been willing to sell their souls to China and it has allowed the PRC to grow arrogant and murderous. And they will murder these people.

No they won't. They didn't in 2015, why would they today? Who is China murdering?

 

The legislation will go through and the protest will fizzle out. Then the leaders will go on a world tour like they did last time and accept their awards in America.

 

It's so transparent it's laughable.

 

The report above says ' against a proposed extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.' The legislation also includes Taiwan and Macau. There is no mention of that or the case that spurred the debate.

 

A Hong Konger murdered his Taiwanese girlfriend and fled back to HK. With no extradition agreement in place, all they could charge him with was money laundering. Talk about muddying the waters.

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Unfortunately this might be an issue of principle for China....ie has Honk Kong actually been returned to them after 99 years of British rule? If so, then they know exactly what to do with 1 million protesters.....like they did with the Uighurs.

I have no dog in this fight, so don't much care who comes out on top, but I admit to being surprised that they would even need an extradition treaty with a piece of their own territory. And who is the lack of extradition intended to benefit? Criminals (certainly should be extradited) and protesters against the Chinese? This is more complex. The Chinese have an allergy against dissent and rupturing the harmony that they have spent decades perfecting. Personally, I would prefer harmony than the anarchy which will result if the protesters win...but that's a personal opinion....I might think differently if I was an HK leader with a shot of gaining personal power from this anarchy.

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Seriously, guys, as a porn connoisseur, I am teary-eyed as I report this to you:

 

Austin H. Wang (‪@wearytolove‬)

12/6/19, 04:47

 

Two major #HongKong porn websites, #AV01 and #ThisAV, shut down today and ask their users to "go to the Legislative Council #Legco to find out what is happening."

 

 

- -

If this is not Defcon One, I don’t know what is.

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4 hours ago, Thakkar said:

That is not going to happen. 

Xi does not need the negative attention in the midst of various social problems at home, a slowing economy, and escalating trade tensions. 

 

Xi is meticulous and calculating, not reckless. Better to withdraw and try a different tack. Back home, with total control of information, he can spin it any way he wants and most Chinese will shrug and accept. 

 

Carrie Lam, on the other hand will be out on her ears soon as things settle down. She has lost the confidence of both Beijing, and Hongkongers

you have no idea what XI and his associates are doing behind the scenes, no reporters allowed, they don't care about negative attention, if ""smashing the pumpkins"" is necessary thy will do without blinking....remember 30 years ago Tian Men Square, taking peasants life for the Chinese elite it's as simple as drinking a glass of water, when balder full they take a leak and start again

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All the dragon races later this month; a huge tourist attraction; have been cancelled. Many tourists will be looking for an alternative destination. Step up Thailand.

The Chinese Government fear that the appetite for protest spreads to the mainland. Many mainland Chinese interact with Hong Kongers, in Hong Kong itself and in universities and tourist hot spots around the globe. Is this the last hurrah for the older generation used to being the ruling class? Many parallels with Thailand today.

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