New law would allow extraditions to mainland China . . .
More than one million people in Hong Kong marched in the streets Sunday to protest a new extradition bill that would allow officials in Hong Kong to process extradition requests from mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau on a case-by-case basis. Critics of the law say it will further erode Hong Kong’s judicial independence and expose its citizen to political prosecution.
Growing dissent in Hong Kong . . .
While police said there were 240,000 marchers at the peak of the protest on Sunday, organizers peg the number at over one million, or one in every seven Hong Kong residents. If that estimate is correct, the march was double the number of protesters at the July 1 Protest in 2003 over Hong Kong's National Security Bill, and the largest demonstration since the 1997 handover. The protest reflects growing dissent among Hong Kongers over China’s tightening control. Despite the historic turnout, Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, said she is determined to pass the extradition bill.
Canadian reactions . . .
Hong Kong Canadians, many of whom immigrated to Canada following the handover, have expressed concerns over the new law as they fear it would potentially allow China to arbitrarily arrest political dissidents in Hong Kong as well as other 'suspects' transiting the Special Administrative Region. Canada-Hong Kong Link’s president argued that, “[The bill is] going to jeopardize the security and interests, not just of citizens of Hong Kong, but also the citizens of all countries. This is particularly the case when we have more than 300,000 Canadians living and working in Hong Kong.” In support of the Sunday protest, many marched at the Chinese consulates in Toronto and Vancouver over the weekend.