Hong Kong leader pulls extradition bill that sparked massive protests


And now to Hong Kong where the leader Carrie lam today has fully withdrawn a controversial bill that allowed extradition to mainland China sparking three months of often dramatic protest in the financial help of Hong Kong the decision to cave in to the protesters one of five core demands marking a dramatic U. turn for Carrie lam for months she refused to withdraw the bill the refusal to give ground to protesters on four other demands including greater democracy for the city and an independent commission into police conduct though saying all investigations would be carried out by the existing independent police complaints council known as the I. P. C. C. we'll get some background on all of this from The Washington Post Asia editor but first carry lands announcement. of the five two months raised by the public we have in fact responded on various locations. best on withdrawing the bill. on June fifteenth I announced that the bill was expended. and later re iterated that the bill is that. and that all the legislative work had come to a complete halt. second on setting up a commission of enquiring. the government believes that matters relating to police enforcement actions are best handled by the existing and well established independent police complaints council I. P. C. C. which was set up for exactly this purpose. in addition to handling complaints against individual police officers the I. P. C. C. has undertaken a fact finding study under its power. on the handling of large scale public all the events that took place after June nine. one focus will be the UN long incident on July twenty first which attracted Sears public concern. this study aims to ascertain the facts to assess the police handling of protest and to make recommendations to the government. the I. P. C. C. has established a panel of international experts to assist in its work I will make its findings and recommendations public. but on the metal of the protest being a riot. we have explained that in fact there is no legal effect on how such incidents are described all categorized. the department of justice has a show to the public that each and every prosecution decision is based on the evidence collected as in strict accordance with the relevant local and the prosecution cult. full on dropping charges against protesters and riot and shelving prosecutions. I have explained that this is contrary to the rule of law and it's not acceptable. it also goes against the basic law which states that criminal prosecutions must be handled by the department of justice free from any interference those comments by Carrie lam Hong Kong's leader those remarks on local television earlier today but the Washington post is reporting that that today's move was widely seen as falling short on many fronts including a deep concern over the use of force by riot police Brian Murphy is the Asia editor for The Washington Post. well it's been a rather dizzying twenty four hours will begin with very violent and disruptive protest on the weekend today Carrie lam then withdrew a proposal which had been pretty much put on hold anyway but now it's officially withdrawn and this would have allowed extradition to mainland China this is what triggered the protests back in the spring of but the demands of the protesters have gone far beyond this now and they're saying this this isn't close to even being enough to to get them off the streets CSP from some have given the analogy of Tiananmen Square that this is a modern day Tiananmen Square isn't that. I do think that analogy is a little bit flawed in the sense that this is not really a protest to try to change much what this is trying to do is preserve at least in the minds of the protesters the freedoms that political openness and other special status considerations that Hong Kong has had since ninety eight since nineteen ninety seven when it was returned to Chinese control so it's it's different in a fundamental sense it isn't protesters demanding change as much as seeking a kind of assurance that China isn't going to accelerate or rolled back what they already have we're talking with Brian Murphy he is Asia editor for The Washington Post if you could explain the title special status with that is meant for Hong Kong and how China has dealt with Hong Kong. yeah okay the special status is rather broad but in in the the pillars of it would be a pretty much open western style press much less state control on the financial sector certainly much more political openness and all that radiates from most retailers but those are kind of the the mainstays what China has been doing is in small ways but significant ways to the protesters has been exerting its pressure on the former British colony the idea of the extradition bill was was certainly one of these things saying that they would be able to prosecute crimes that happened in in Hong Kong and this special status like I described before is enshrined at least in the deal to hand over from Britain isn't trying for fifty years so that brings us to twenty forty seven the protesters of course fear that that China is impatient to to on that time line and and is and is. in a systematic way trying to a road some of these some of the things that make Kankan different and you mentioned the Hong Kong leader Carrie lam who is she what's her background and how much authority does she ultimately have the ultimate question of of everyone she is a a career politician in the sense that she was hand picked by Beijing she has been very much a vetted by Beijing which would lead many people to think that she takes all her cues from from the Chinese leadership there is some level of autonomy but. this is again one of the pivot points of of all the arrests now the protesters are saying that she is more or less a puppet of Beijing the Hong Kong administration says no we have the ability to to set our own agenda and but the truth probably lies somewhere in between all that and bottom line the protesters message to Hong Kong and to China too little too late exactly in in those exact words as she was announcing the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill social media came alive with it at that exact message the protesters have essentially a five point. list of demands this was just one of them and the other four are are far from being resolved and in fact some members of Carrie lam his own cabinet say this is as far as they can go in concessions so it doesn't really look like it's going to cool down anything we will follow the development into the evening at a Washington post dot com Brian Murphy Asia editor here in Washington thank you for being with us my pleasure.

Coming up next