Hong Kong’s massive Anti Extradition Amendment Protest on Sunday caused widespread concern in the German media. Media, including Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Das Erste, Deutschlandradio, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel, and Handelsblatt immediately reported on the protest.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that the protests expressed the Hong Kong people’s distrust of the mainland’s justice system. The people in Hong Kong believe that the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Bill will be a tool that the mainland will use to intimidate Hong Kong. Over one million Hong Kong people took to the streets and expressed strong protests. This is the biggest protest march that has happened in Hong Kong for many years. Critics believe that China’s judiciary is not independent and does not meet international standards. It persecutes political dissidents and 99 percent of those who are accused end up being sentenced. There are concerns that the new regulations are going to damage Hong Kong which is known to be the cornerstone of Asia’s economic and financial metropolis. As the public has strongly opposed the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, this created a dilemma for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Lin Zhengyue, who is loyal to Beijing.
Le Monde reported that there was mixed information on the number of demonstrators. The organizer estimated that there were over one million people, and the police estimated that there were only 240,000 people. Sunday’s parade was the biggest parade since Hong Kong’s return to China. China intends to strengthen its political influence in Hong Kong through the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. However, citizens of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have expressed their protests on the streets and demanded that the government withdraw this evil law.
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen pointed out that the parade that took place on Sunday in Hong Kong was the biggest parade since the Tiananmen Square gathering in 1989. On July 1, 2003, there was a similar parade in Hong Kong, when 500,000 people took to the streets to oppose the establishment of the national security law. After the demonstration, the law was withdrawn. In 2014, demonstrations in Hong Kong demanding democracy led to a partial shutdown in Hong Kong. To this end, Beijing is intent on tightening its control. However, many demonstrators strongly criticized the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, saying that this was the worst law and it will trample on Hong Kong’s fundamental freedoms.
Das Erste stated that the demonstrations showed that the Hong Kong people are worried that the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance will not only affect Hong Kong citizens; it will also affect tourists who might come to Hong Kong because they could be taken to China. The status of Hong Kong as a financial center would also be weakened. What worries the Hong Kong people the most is that the freedoms of news, speech, and assembly that are not common in China and are only unique to Hong Kong would be undermined.
Source: Radio France Internationale, June 10, 2019