Hong Kong has seen months of protests sparked by a highly controversial plan to allow extraditions to mainland China. The government had argued the proposed amendments would "plug the loopholes" so that the city would not be a safe haven for criminals. But critics said those in the former British colony would be exposed to China's deeply flawed justice system, and it would lead to further erosion of the city's judicial independence.After protests that organisers said involved up to two million people at times, Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has said the bill is "dead", but has stopped short of withdrawing the bill entirely, so the protests continues. What were the proposals?The existing extradition law specifically states that it does not apply to "the Central People's Government or the government of any other part of the People's Republic of China".But the proposed changes would have allowed for the Hong Kong government to consider requests from any country for extradition of criminal … [Read more...] about Hong Kong-China extradition plans explained
Organisers say more than a million people - one seventh of Hong Kong's population - took part in Sunday's demonstration against a planned bill to allow extradition to mainland China. It was one of Hong Kong's largest ever protests, and the biggest since the former British colony was handed back to mainland China in 1997.But Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam - who was elected by a mostly pro-Beijing panel of 1,200 people - has vowed to press ahead with plans to pass the law.So do protests in Hong Kong - which has certain freedoms, but not full democracy - ever work? And what are the odds of protesters succeeding this time?Why do people in Hong Kong protest?Public protests play an important role in Hong Kong - as one local journalist has put it, for many demonstrators, protesting is "in their DNA".Since Hong Kongers have the right to protest, but cannot directly elect their government, many see taking to the streets as their way of forcing change - especially with issues they see as … [Read more...] about Hong Kong extradition protests: Do China demonstrations ever work?
When the Hong Kong protests first started, there was silence from China's state media.But that changed as violence escalated to unprecedented levels and now China is trying to match the intensity of the demonstrations with an aggressive and creative media campaign of its own.On social networks like Weibo and WeChat, there have been four key points - conveyed subtly and explicitly - that China really wants to get across: the black-clothed protesters are violent extremists who are Western lackeys there is support from many across Hong Kong for China - "the motherland" - and for the police Hong Kong needs to be reminded of China's military might Hong Kong is part of One China. It's used celebrities and even, somewhat unexpectedly, the 1980s British miners' strike to make these points. 1. A policy of silenceThe protests were sparked by a controversial and now suspended extradition bill, which would have allowed Hong Kong to send criminal suspects to the mainland. China's first reaction … [Read more...] about Hong Kong protests: Celebrities, big brands and China’s media game
Similar to the hype surrounding the release last year of Crazy Rich Asians, the first Hollywood romcom to feature an all-Asian cast, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, made for a far more modest $3m, has also generated a great wave of goodwill since its premiere at Sundance in January. The Farewell is a welcome addition to a new canon that depicts the contemporary Asian-American experience. As a mixed-race woman who was not born or raised in her parents’ home country/culture, I found the depiction of the complex east-west family dynamics highly resonant, particularly around the themes of belonging and not belonging. I also shed quite a few tears in the process. The Farewell reaches cinemas as the US-China trade war continues to send shockwaves through the global economy; it is far more political than I could have imagined. Starring Crazy Rich Asians alum Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who discovers her grandmother, or nai nai in Mandarin, has terminal lung cancer and … [Read more...] about Is The Farewell the olive branch the US-China culture war needs?
It has been a bad few weeks for anyone wanting to express approval for Hong Kong protesters online. A player of the Hearthstone online game, for example, ended a stream with a statement of support for those engaged in the protests against local police and government. While doing so, he wore a mask similar to the ones worn by many protesters. Blizzard, the owner of the game, was not amused: the player was immediately removed and banned from participation in Hearthstone esports for 12 months. In another case, Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team, tweeted – and quickly deleted – a message in support of Hong Kong’s protesters. It seems that the National Basketball Association was alarmed by the furore this caused in China, where there is a huge following for US basketball. Eventually, the tweet was restored after some US politicians became exercised about the curbing of free speech in their jurisdiction. But the point was made: don’t … [Read more...] about Western tech giants must stop kowtowing to China’s bullying