The everyman of Hong Kong has won a great battle against the system, but it may not be the end of the war.
According to Reuters, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill that set off months of unrest and demonstrations.
Introduced in June, the bill would have allowed extraditions to mainland China (which would operate according to Chinese courts), but it’s worth mentioning that the demonstration has evolved beyond that single issue, with many seeking greater independence and freedoms.
After the British handover of 1997, Hong Kong has been governed by a “one country, two systems” formula, which allows freedoms not permitted in China, hence the visceral reaction to further Chinese influence.
So, is it a win for the protestors? Yes, but it certainly is not the end. It may be an entree for greater discussion and further demonstrations as withdrawing the bill was one of five demands the protestors made. The other four were the resignation of Carrie Lam, an inquiry into police brutality, for those who have been arrested to be released, and greater democratic freedoms. Reuters notes that it is not “immediately clear if the announcement would help end the unrest.”
Lam has previously mentioned that the bill was “dead” but she did not withdraw it. Whether she chooses to step down, is another thing entirely.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 4, 2019