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Bring back the Brits to Hong Kong | by Can Pac Swire
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Bring back the Brits to Hong Kong

The status of Hong Kong is an emotional and controversial one. People in China saw the Opium Wars (1830s) and the surrender of Hong Kong to Britain in 1839 as a national shame, yet Hong Kong under British rule became one of the wealthiest and most successful cities in the world. People who lived and grew up in Hong Kong between the 1950s and 1997 have fond memories of the good old British colonial era. In anti-Communist China protests, it's not uncommon to see ex-Hong-Kong expats using the old British colonial Hong Kong flag purposely to snub and insult China. It's the people's way of saying "HK would be better as a British colony than as a Communist Chinese colony."


I went to the first (of two) protests and marches outside of the Chinese General-Consulate in Toronto to oppose a proposed extradition legislation in Hong Kong to send alleged "suspects" to China upon their request. Even though Hong Kong has been part of China since 1997, Hong Kong for now maintains its own laws (which are based on the British Common Law), economic and political systems, currency, government, citizenship and high degree of freedom.


Currently Hong Kong has extradition agreements with over 30 countries, typically jurisdictions with "credible" judicial systems such as the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, most of Western Europe, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Hong Kong has never had an extradition agreement with China because the Communist regime's judicial system and framework are considered corrupt, unethical, biased, opaque, and abusive to basic human rights.


Communist China's push to pass the extradition legislation in Hong Kong will lead to the demise of Hong Kong's current judicial independence, and allow China to request arrests of people in Hong Kong whose only "crime" may be political dissent opposing or criticizing China's communist and authoritarian system.


The extradition bill proposal led to several massive protests in Hong Kong, during one of which over 2 million people participated, as well demonstrations also happened overseas in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Toronto, Vancouver, London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne and Taipei.


Following the massive outcry in Hong Kong, the Communist-China-backed Hong Kong government backed off from rubber-stamping the extradition bill for the time being, but many are worried that it would only be a matter of time before China tries again.

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Taken on June 9, 2019