Hong Kong proceeds with widely-opposed extradition Bill
Scores of Hong Kong businesses have vowed to shut down as resentment builds over government plans to push through a law allowing extraditions to China despite a huge weekend protest. According to a report in The Guardian, the financial hub was rocked by a huge rally on Sunday – the largest since the city’s 1997 return to China – as vast crowds called on the city’s leaders to scrap the Beijing-backed plan. As reported previously in Legalbrief, many fear that the proposal will tangle people up in the mainland’s opaque courts and hammer Hong Kong’s reputation as an international business hub. Organisers said more than a m i l l i o n hit the streets but the record crowds have failed to sway CE Carrie Lam who has rejected calls to withdraw or delay the Bill. The proposed law will have its second and third readings in the city’s Parliament today, which is dominated by Beijing loyalists, making its passing all but assured. Protest groups have vowed to stage a fresh rally outside Parliament and have urged people to join or to go on strike. More than 100 businesses have declared plans to strike, ranging from coffee shops and restaurants to camera stores, toy shops, nail salons, yoga studios and even an adult entertainment store. Hong Kong’s leaders say the proposed law is needed to plug loopholes and to stop the city being a sanctuary for fugitives.