On June 12, 2019, thousands of proactive Hong Kong citizens surrounded the Legislative Council buildings, the Maoist fiefdom where the repressive policies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are woven.
The citizens protested against the extradition order of pro-democracy activists who confronted the totalitarian reaction of the CCP and the betrayal of CCP’s commitments to the United Kingdom when Hong Kong was handed back to the CCP in 1997. The “one country two systems,” was only a dream.
It can be said without a doubt that the anti-extradition movement, arch enemy of the CCP, reorganized civic life in the city.
For Alex Chow Yong-Kang, who was a student leader of the umbrella movement in Hong Kong during 2014, and now director of the Washington-based organization Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC), the key focus is on preventing enforced disappearances of Hong Kong citizens that the CCP captures and transfers to secret prisons.
Chow commented, “The chapter of one country two systems in Hong Kong has ended, however, the overseas Hong Kong community has not given up for the Hong Kong they once knew and loved.”
On June 12, three years after the beginning of the anti-extradition movement, HKDC set out to celebrate the founding of such an important civic space and they joined online social audio app Clubhouse.
The before, and after, of the anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong
There are 50 human rights organizations in Hong Kong among them are the Democratic Party, the Civic Party, and the Social Democratic Alliance, making political life within the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), whose motto is: “Build a democratic China.” These groups seek to negotiate with the Communist Party, that is why they are called pro-democracy, because they want democracy but with the the CCP also participating.
However, not everything is rosy, the young locals oppose the idea of a democratic China with CCP participation, and point to the Communist Party’s crimes. The young locals are against communism. They declare the road map of pro-democracy group an impossible project.
The anti-nationalist (local youth) movement was founded in 2012, then came umbrella movement in 2014, which after its demise gave way in 2016, to the “Fishball Revolution”, and finally, the anti-extradition movement prevailed in 2019 as the champion of freedom and the unification of the entire civic struggle in Hong Kong. Their guiding principles are: “reason, harmony, peace, and nonviolent struggle.”
The roadmap against extradition has succeeded in uniting almost half of Hong Kong citizens in the struggle against the CCP. Among its leaders, Huang Zhifeng, Zhou Ting, Luo Guancong, Liang Tianqi and Zhang Kunyang stand out.
For Li Yi, an important reporter in Hong Kong, “Everything remains the same, people still have no rights and the government is leaning more toward the CCP.”
She added, “The democrats in the Legislative Council are still all the older generation of the Greater China faction. They ostracize the local faction, which is mainly young people, in elections and public opinion, and often vilify the local faction as CCP spies.”
But Li also added in favor of the change taking place. She pointed out that the old and the new generation of democrats have different positions, and it caused the democratic camp to split. Under the current situation, with the archenemy the CCP, young generation has set aside their differences with the older democrats and united to fight against the power of the Chinese Communist Party. After the Hong Kong government proposed to amend the Fugitive Felon Law in 2019, the youth ignored their previous suspicions and once again participated in a march to fight against the CCP. Schools and even, high schools have established anti-extradition concern groups, and Chinese anti-extradition associations have emerge.
For Li, a veteran of anti-CCP struggles, after the actions against extradition, she insisted, “There are no longer any divisions, whether ideological divisions, means of resistance or generational divisions. And this kind of change is something I have never seen before.”
Hong Kong’s national security law curtails freedom
For Amnesty International, the national security law (NSL) has created a human rights emergency.
According to the U.N. Human Rights Committee’s report on NSL, “charges of terrorism and sedition are being misused to stifle the exercise of fundamental rights, which are protected under international law, including freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, and the right to participate in public affairs.”
To understand what the anti-extradition movement is all about and its importance in the search for consensus among the various areas of Hong Kong society, one must take into account the evil and terrible NSL. The law states that a citizen can be abducted and forcibly transferred to the mainland, to secret prisons without due process, a very dangerous matter amid the wave of forced removal of vital organs from Falun Gong practitioners for China’s huge CCP organ transplant market.
For Simon Manley, the UK’s representative to the U.N., the report of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) is a very dangerous report.
Simon Manley said, “The report confirms Britain’s concerns about Hong Kong, including the forced silencing of the opposition, the condemnation of dissidents, and the disappearance of civil society.”
This is enough for the UN to call on the Hong Kong government to guarantee habeas corpus for dissidents and their views.
Nabila Masrali, a representative of the European Union issued a statement on July 28, 2022, in support of the U.N. Human Rights Committee’s report on Hong Kong. It means that at the global level also the anti-extradition movement enjoys the necessary consensus, and leads to unthinkable alliances between the different pro-democracy actors at the international level.