New bill sparks parliamentary chaos . . .
Hong Kong’s parliament descended into chaos over the weekend after a fight broke out between lawmakers over a proposed extradition law. The bill would allow Hong Kong’s Chief Executive to conduct case-by-case transfers of suspects to jurisdictions not covered by existing agreements, including mainland China. Opponents fear that China will use the bill to tighten control over Hong Kong, and that the law would further erode the rights and protections that were guaranteed when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Extradition law could impact foreigners transiting Hong Kong . . .
Neither Canada nor the United States has an extradition treaty with China. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists warn the new law will give the Chinese government easier access to people it may wish to imprison if they enter Hong Kong. A report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission argues that the bill will “remove legal protections in Hong Kong that preserve its well-regarded rule of law and reputation as a global financial hub.”
Long-term implications for Canadians . . .
There are more than 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, making it the largest Canadian community abroad. Global Affairs Canada has raised concernswith the Hong Kong government over the proposed bill, stating that the security of Canadians is a “top priority.” While it is too early to draw any solid conclusions about the impacts of the proposed law, this is a space we should continue to monitor as it could have direct implications for Canadians abroad.
- Asia Society: Hong Kong’s relationship with Beijing (video).
- BBC News: Hong Kong lawmakers fight over extradition law
- The Globe and Mail: Canada worried about implications of new extradition treaty between Hong Kong and China