Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥 Lín Zhèng Yuè’é) announced yesterday that the much-detested extradition bill that kicked off mass protests in Hong Kong over the summer will formally be withdrawn. But the announcement “has left many protesters cold,” per Jeffie Lam of the South China Morning Post.
And in the words of activist Joshua Wong (黃之鋒 Huáng Zhīfēng) on Twitter:
1. Too little and too late now — Carrie Lam’s response comes after 7 lives sacrificed, more than 1,200 protestors arrested, in which many are mistreated in police station.
2. The intensified police brutality in the previous weeks have left an irreversible scar to the entire HK society. And therefore, at this very moment, when Carrie Lam announced withdrawal, people would not believe it is a ‘sincere’ move.
3. Instead, HK people are well-aware of her notorious track record. Whenever there are signs of sending a palm branch, they always come with a far tighter grip on exercising civil rights. Earlier today Ronny Tong has already advised using secret police.
4. We urge the world too to alert this tactic and not to be deceived by HK and Beijing Govt. They have conceded nothing in fact, and a full-scale clampdown is on the way.
5. In short, Carrie Lam’s repeated failure in understanding the situation has made this announcement completely out of touch – She needs to address to ALL Five Demands [which also include] STOP PROSECUTION, STOP CALLING US RIOTERS, INDEPENDENT INQUIRY OF POLICE and FREE ELECTION!
Initial response to Carrie Lam:
1. Too little and too late now — Carrie Lam's response comes after 7 lives sacrificed, more than 1,200 protestors arrested, in which many are mistreated in police station.
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 (@joshuawongcf) September 4, 2019
As the SCMP points out, Wong is not alone in calling for the “five demands”:
LIHKG, the Reddit-like site which has been the de facto virtual command centre of the protest movement, was flooded with messages saying: ‘Five key demands, not one less’ [五大訴求，缺一不可 wǔ dà sùqiú, quē yī bùkě].
A reminder that the five demands are:
1. Formal withdrawal of the extradition bill
2. An independent commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality
3. Retraction of classification of protesters as “rioters”
4. Amnesty for those arrested
5. Universal suffrage for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive
Expect protests to continue.
- Hong Kong leader fully withdraws extradition bill, but protesters say it’s not enough / Washington Post
- Pacific’s chairman resigns as China pressures Hong Kong business / NYT (porous paywall)
- Hong Kong officials offer firms caught in US-China trade war and city protests fast tracked access to government funds worth up to HK$35 billion / SCMP
- Recent stresses could push Hong Kong home prices, retail sales down up to 30 percent: JPMorgan / Caixin (paywall)
- Hong Kong was once passionate about China. Now, it’s indifferent or contemptuous. / NYT (porous paywall)