FPI / September 4, 2019
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Sept. 4 that the government would withdraw an extradition bill which sparked massive pro-democracy protests which have continued daily for three months.
However, the leader’s acquiescence to one of protest organizers’ demands is “too little, too late,” and the demonstrations will continue in what leaders called a “revolution of the free world.”
The bill would have allowed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to extradite to the mainland anyone present in Hong Kong, not just Hong Kong residents or Chinese citizens, if accused of “crimes.”
“Carrie’s response comes too late and too little, failing to address our 5 demands,” Demosisto, one of the major pro-democracy organizations backing the protests, said in a statement on its Twitter page on Sept. 4. “Protests of the past three months have left irreversible scar on #HongKong, especially the escalating #PoliceBrutality. #Democracy, right here and right now, is the only way out.”
Hong Kong National Party founder Andy Chan Ho-tin, who was released after being arrested at the airport on Aug.31 while on his way to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Japan, called on the international community to “join the revolution” which he said must once and for all put an “end to communism.”
Chan said in a statement: “ I am now urging everyone of you to join the revolution. We need you. … To make things clear, it is not just the revolution of Hong Kong people but the revolution of the free world, the revolution of our time. We are now in the 21st century, the year of 2019. It is ridiculous to me that there is still such a massive communist country in the world. What was not finished by our predecessors now falls upon our shoulders. It is time for us to end communism. It is time for all of us to join the revolution. When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a duty.”
Chan met with leaders of the American Conservative Union (ACU) and the Japan Conservative Union this week in a “Pop-Up CPAC”. He released the statement he had planned to give at the Japan conference over the weekend.
Demosisto Secretary-General Joshua Wong issued a separate statement on Twitter following Lam’s announcement: “Too little and too late now – Carrie Lam’s response comes after 7 lives sacrificed, more than 1,200 protestors arrested, in which many are mistreated in police station [sic]. We urge the world too to alert this tactic and not to be deceived by HK and Beijing Govt. They have conceded nothing in fact, and a full-scale clampdown is on the way.”
Agnes Chow, another Demosisto activist, wrote a statement in Japanese saying she was “not pleased” by the extradition bill withdrawal: “During the last three months, 8 people committed suicide. Three people lost sight due to police violence. Over 1,000 people were arrested, over 100 people were indicted. There are countless injured people. I will continue to fight.”
Chow and Wong, both 22-years-old, were among several high-profile activists arrested in a police sweep last week. They were charged with “inciting … unauthorized assembly.”
Others arrested on the same day included student leader Althea Suen, lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai, and Hong Kong National Party leader Andy Chan.
The Civil Human Rights Front, which ensures that protests have legal permits and remain peaceful and orderly, rejected Lam’s remarks on Facebook alongside a poster reading in English, “Five Demands Not One Less.”
“… this entire political storm, created by the government of Carrie Lam, has had no consequences for the people in leadership so far,” the group noted. “Yet standing at the front of the [movement], young people defending their home have been rounded up again and again. The consequences of even one of these young people being charged with rioting, their bodies beaten, is not one we are willing to accept.”
Lam also appeared to castigate the police, who have driven the almost all of the violence during the protests. But she equally blamed the protest movement.
“Our citizens, police and reporters have been injured during violent incidents. There have been chaotic scenes at the airport and MTR stations; roads and tunnels have been suddenly blocked, causing delay and inconvenience to daily life,” Lam said. “For many people, Hong Kong has become an unfamiliar place.”
The Global Times, a Chinese government propaganda outlet, applauded Lam while threatening protesters who were celebrating her moves as a victory.
“Though the move is meant to show the SAR [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region] government’s sincerity in addressing the political crisis, it should not be seen as a concession by Lam that could lead to a slippery slope,” the Global Times warned, “and radical forces should not have any illusion of winning ground on matters related to the ‘one country, two system’ [sic] principle that governs Hong Kong and China’s sovereignty.”
In his statement, Hong Kong National Party’s Chan also said:
“The first action that you may take part in is to acknowledge China as Chinazi. We Hong Kong people want the world to know that the Chinese regime is a Nazi regime. We want that to be circulated on media, on the Internet all over the world.
“Secondly, a humanitarian crisis is happening in Hong Kong. There was another terror attack committed by the Hong Kong police yesterday. They attacked innocent citizens randomly with batons, pepper spray, and even iron bars in a train compartment and metro station. Hundreds of people were hurt, but they could not simply go to the hospital. Otherwise, they will be arrested by the police at the hospital. Our medical team has been overloaded and will collapse soon. Therefore, we need medical support. We need INGOs to step in.
“Thirdly, please bring full-scale of sanction on to Hong Kong. The sanctions brought on China must [be] brought on Hong Kong because China can escape sanctions through Hong Kong. I would like to take the chance to reiterate my advocacy again: to revoke the 1992 Hong Kong Policy Act passed by the United States Congress. It allows Hong Kong to enjoy a special status apart from China. However, it turns out to be a back door of the free world that could be accessed and manipulated by China. Moreover, over 70% of foreign direct investment goes in to China through Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the main window that China obtains U.S. dollars from. Therefore, shut it down.
“We Hong Kong people are ready for and welcome all kinds of sanctions. Out of the many sanctions, we are desperately wanting two of them. First, stop selling equipment to Hong Kong police. Second, restrict the entrance of Hong Kong police into your country. There are already PLA and paramilitary police undercover in the police force.
“Hong Kong is already burning, we need China to burn with us. Freedom is not free. There is always a cost for freedom and dignity. It is our glory to burn with China. Give us liberty or death. Please bring sanctions on to Hong Kong.”
FPI, Free Press International
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