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Protests have consequences for Hong Kong – and the world



The popular unrest in Hong Kong is one of the world's major human rights issues today. The weeks-long, record-breaking protest against the extradition laws, to make it easier to extradite accused individuals to China, indicates the irreconcilable tension between Beijing and the Hong Kong people. It may mark the end of Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" framework and the start of a protracted war between freedom and dictatorship.

The implications of the protests are even more drastic than the drama of the unrest. Hong Kong and the international community:

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief Xi Jinping to give the law. The aim is to control Hong Kong and ensure the CCP's regime security. This profoundly affects the Hong Kong people's political and civil rights, as well as the future of Hong Kong. In fact, the extradition laws are only excused to carry out this campaign.

Although the Hong Kong government uses Taiwan's request for surrendering a Hong Kong suspect in a Taiwan homicide case, the proposed changes open the door to gross human rights violations. It would allow the Hong Kong government to handle extradition requests on a case-by-case basis and from jurisdictions with which there were no agreements, such as China. It would enable Lam's Government to repatriate secretly accused individuals without the Legislature's oversight. Of course, this is not only because anyone in Hong Kong could be "legally" taken to the party-state to do so, […]

Second, Beijing now sees the Hong Kong Democracy Moves As A Security Threat And Will Move To Crush It. This is reflected in the aggressive, rapid response by Hong Kong Police who fired rubber bullets, tear gas and bean bag rounds, and used batons and pepper spray. Beijing and the Hong Kong government ruled the protest to be a "riot" after being clashed on June 1

2. Those charged with rioting could face a decade behind bars.

Third, the repressive acts expose the CCP's willingness to breach China's promises made to international community, the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong. Hong Kong's autonomy, its independent executive, legislative and judicial powers; Hong Kong people to rule Hong Kong; The Fourth Sentence of the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984.

Fourth, on the heels of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, the protests manifested a palpable desire of Hong Kong citizens to preserve their rights. The fact that they face down their government deserves to be applauded by supporters of democracy. Since 2013, when Xi Jinping came to Hong Kong, he has begun to change the status of Hong Kong, including "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong" and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" Kong.

Xi has set up a "red line" for Hong Kong: He said he would not allow "activity that jeopardizes the sovereign security of China, challenges CCP authority, or uses Hong Kong to infiltrate and undermine the mainland." As a consequence, any Hong Kong's 'criticism of the CCP could have disastrous results for the individual.'

Fifth, the extradition laws are making another step towards making Hong Kong an integrated part of the mainland. It is one issue among many Hong Kong's independent status, as guaranteed by the 1984 agreement. The steady incorporation of Hong Kong Into China has been arrested for the moment, but it will require vigilance and willingness to protest once again when, inevitably, the government of Hong Kong acts as Beijing's tool. And Hong Kong's people want to get more support from the international community.

Sixth, Hong Kong is the canary in the coal mine for Taiwan. The abuses that China conducts against Hong Kong are star reminders for Taiwan that is human rights. What is happening in Hong Kong? What is happening in Taiwan?

The international response is alarming. China regularly commits human rights against its citizens, and now is doing so against the Hong Kong people. Yet, within the international community, China pays little cost for human rights that would be a massive, sustained campaign by other states, human rights organizations, the United Nations, global media, and others.

Erosion of the rights of Hong Kongers wants to continue. The effort has suffered a short-term reverse because of the brave acts of its people. But Xi does not want to tolerate dissent, democracy, or any challenge to his regime. The protests revealed, once again, the Communist China depends upon repression to rule.

Bradley A. Thayer, Ph.D., is a professor of political science at the University of Texas, San Antonio. He is co-author of "How China Sees the World: Han Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics."

Lianchao Han is vice president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, dr. Han was one of the founders of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars. He worked in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, as legislative counsel and policy director for three senators.


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