Hong Kong extradition bill issue

Hong Kong extradition bill issue
Question: Consider the following statements in reference to the recent Hong Kong unrest and choose the correct option:
(1) There had been a violent protest over the proposed extradition bill by the Chinese government.
(2) This bill allowed the person in trial to be extradited to mainland China for further proceedings.
(3) Hong Kong was taken over by China in 1997 after an agreement with Portugal.
(4) The leader of Hong Kong is Carrie Lam.
Correct Option:

(a) 1, 2 and 4
(b) 1, 3 and 4
(c) 1 and 4 only
(d) All of the above.
Answer: (a)
Related facts:
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  • China administered Hong Kong had witnessed a mass protest since months. It reached its 13th week recently.
  • The protests started in the month of June against an extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government.

Point of contention; the Extradition Bill:

  • The extradition bill which proposes to allow the city government to extradite any suspect to places with which Hong Kong does not have extradition accords.
  • With this, the suspects can be extradited to mainland China. It was brought in April 2019 since when the protest erupted.
  • The current extradition agreements had left mainland China and Taiwan as these regions have fundamentally different criminal justice systems.
  • As per the government, this rule helped the criminals to avoid trial elsewhere by taking refuge in the city.
  • This bill would close the loophole so that suspects wanted elsewhere, including in mainland China, could be extradited.
  • The extradition plan applies to 37 crimes, including murder, sexual offences, abduction, drug peddling and corruption, with retroactive effect.
  • People opposed the bill as it can increase the cases of unfair trials and violent treatment.
  • People are worried of the growing instances of Beijing’s meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs and rising authoritarian traits of the city’s rulers.
  • This bill could have allowed China to target the pro-democracy activists and active critics of Chinese policies.
  • It would have practically broken the existing legal barriers between Hong Kong and mainland China that are guaranteed under the “   ” model.

One Country Two System Model:

  • Hong Kong was a British colony for more than 150 years. It was taken over by China in 1997 under this model.
  • Hong Kong and Macau are the two Special Administrative Regions under which they can have different economic and political systems from that of mainland China even being part of the People’s Republic of China.
  • The One Country Two Systems policy was originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping shortly after he took the reins of the country in the late 1970s allowing the parts to have a separate system of administration.
  • The island has since been run as a separate entity from the mainland China with more autonomy than mainland China, except in foreign and defence affairs.
  • This autonomy helped in establishing Hong Kong as an economic hub with massive flourish of business and trade making it the business centre of Asia.
  • Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, says it should ultimately both the leader, and the Legislative Council, should be elected in a more democratic way.

Current scenario:

  • Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced on September 5, 2019 that the government has decided for the withdrawal of the city’s controversial extradition bill.
  • Still a large part of protest is going on demanding full-fledged democracy in the island with regular elections and representative government.

Links:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49589440

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48607723

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/what-are-the-protests-in-hong-kong-all-about/article27950931.ece

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-what-is-chinas-one-country-two-systems-policy/article29279828.ece

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49317695

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