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18 Jun 2019
Political systems
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Massive protests in Hong Kong against the extradition bill

What are the reasons for the massive protest in Hong Kong against the extradition bill?

There are several underlying reasons:

a) Economic reasons
Someone said that there is an underlying economic reason. He did not explain his point clearly. I guess he meant that Hong Kong now enjoys the economic benefit of the inflow of large sums of money from rich fugitives from China. If the extradition law is passed, the money will leave Hong Kong and it will create a large economic impact.

b) Fear of China
There is a fear that critics and dissidents of China, now seeking refuge in Hong Kong, may be extradited. The wider fear is that "anybody" can be targeted and sent back to Hong Kong. My common sense tells me that the risk is real for prominent critics who continues to criticize China from the safe refuge of Hong Kong, but ths does not affect the large numbers of ordinary people who came out to join the massive protest.

c) Unfair court system in China
Some people said that ordinary people from Hong Kong who do business in China who are involved in business disputes in China are likely to be unfairly treated by the court system. I am doubtful about this allegation. I searched the Internet and found this article from the Economist Magazine published in 2017. It explained the progress made in China towards fair judgments for economic matters. Click here

d) LGBT community
Someone observed that the LGBT community took the opportunity to participate actively in the protests. They have their own agenda to be anti-establishment.

e) Young people
A high proportion of the protesters are young people. Some observers commented that the young people are unhappy about the high cost of housing, the large inequality and the stress of making a living in a high cost city. They are easily motivated to join the protest to preserve the "limited freedom" now enjoyed by Hong Kong.

f) Foreign involvement
There is the suspicion that foreign powers are actively involved in funding the organization and the actual operation of the protests. Several views are posted on this allegation.

My conclusion is that there are many factors involved in getting large numbers of people that come out in protests.

What the protestors did not realize or consider is the economic consequences that can follow from a possible decision that can be made in China by bypass Hong Kong in their future economic strategy. That could be a big disaster for Hong Kong.

Tan Kin Lian

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