Over the weekend, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, was finally forced to retract a planned extradition bill that, if passed, would have required Hong Kong to turn over anyone declared an “enemy of the state” by the Chinese government, over to mainland Chinese authorities.

But citizens of Hong Kong aren’t satisifed. The retraction is only temporary, they say, and so long as Lam remains in office, the dangers of being subject to Chinese surveillance, extradition, and punishment remains.

CNN reports that the record breaking protests, which rocked Hong Kong late last week — more than 2 million people took to the streets in two separate, massive demonstrations — aren’t over. A third protest is planned for Monday, and organizers intend to send a message straight to Carrie Lam.

“Both worker and student strikes have been called for Monday, and hundreds of protesters were still around central government offices in Admiralty,” CNN reports. “Protesters have made clear that if the government does not take further action, either with resignations of key officials or fully withdrawing the bill, then they will take to the streets again.”

The Hong Kong city government used familiar, Chinese methods to try to quash the first round of protests, authorizing police and other authorities to use force — and even violence — to bring an end to massive demonstrations against the extradition bill. The effort had the opposite affect, according to reports from Hong Kong itself, and thousands more turned out over the weekend to protest not just extradition, but the treatment of fellow Hong Kong citizens.

The second round of protests were largely peaceful, and Christians hymns were more often heard than any harsh slogans about the existing Hong Kong city government

The police, operating on a Chinese-like public relations strategy, claimed “only” around 330,000 joined the protests. Organizers say the count was much higher, around 2 million each round (in a city of just around 7 million), marking the single largest series of protests since China took over the island from British rule in the 1990s. But regardless of how many showed up, their message was well-received over the weekend.

Lam suspended the extradition bill on Sunday and agreed that the city’s lawmakers would not read in or vote on the bill this year, but stopped short of permanently assigning the bill to the trash heap. Lam also refused to apologize, saying the bill was the result of “deficiencies” in her office, but not an all-out mistake, and that “substantial controversies and disputes in society,” led her to reconsider the bill — not a nearly all-out revolt on the part of Hong Kong’s residents.

China, of course, which wants the bill passed so that it can extend its long fingers into Hong Kong, where Chinese people have more freedom than on the mainland, said it would refuse to allow Lam to step down, and cautioned that forcing members of her administration to resign could cause chaos, according to Reuters.

“She’s appointed by the central government, so for her to step down requires a very high level of considered discussion and deliberation at the mainland level,” a Chinese official told Reuters media.

Hong Kong residents aren’t giving up, though. They see, clearly, that the effort is part of an expansion of Chinese governmental authority that began on the mainland and is now extending into Chinese territories. The Chinese government has greatly increased surveillance on its own citizens, and because Hong Kong is something of a place of refuge from the near constant electronic monitoring, it’s only natural that China wants to make inroads against Hong Kong policies that protect people the Chinese government believes are “dissidents.”

You Might Like
Learn more about RevenueStripe...