Hong Kong’s push for an extradition law with Beijing could further undermine the territory’s freedoms and rule of law and instil a climate of fear, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said on Friday.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, is trying to enact rules that would allow people accused of a crime, including foreigners, to be sent to China for trial.
Opponents of the proposal fear further erosion of rights and legal protections in the free-wheeling financial hub — freedoms that were guaranteed on the territory’s return to Chinese rule in 1997.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) has said that there is a need for arrangements to extradite offenders to China and Taiwan, and other countries that do not have extradition treaties with the territory.
The case of Hong Konger Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), 20, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan last year before fleeing back to the territory, has been used as an example.
However, Chiu said there is no need for an extradition law.
“It’s very possible that after this [extradition] law, everyone will live in fear,” Chiu said.
He urged the Hong Kong government to heed snowballing public concerns, including those of more than 100,000 people who took to the streets last weekend demanding the proposed laws be scrapped.
Chiu’s comments are perhaps the strongest yet by a foreign official toward the legislation.
There was no immediate response from the Office of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong to his remarks.
The law is seen as a test of the autonomy of Hong Kong, which is ruled under a so-called “one country, two systems” formula that China has also proposed for Taiwan.
The extradition rules come as critics say freedoms have been corroded by Chinese Communist Party leaders after a British journalist was expelled, democratic activists were jailed and barred from contesting local elections, and opposition lawmakers were disqualified from public office.
“Beijing is trying to control Hong Kong completely, and to attack Hong Kong’s democracy and freedoms, so we feel the result is to make people pessimistic about the future,” Chiu said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up