China Macro Reporter

<tr><td class="nl-post"><p><em>&lsquo;Unless the Chinese government backs down, the United States, in particular, will most likely take steps to make it pay dearly,</em>&rsquo; write Minxin Pei</p><p>Back down that is from the proposed Hong Kong extradition law that brought a million Hong Kongers into the streets..</p><p>If passed, that law will weaken the rule of law and thus vastly diminish Hong Kong&rsquo;s viability as an international business and financial center.</p><p>To retaliate, the U.S.&rsquo;s biggest weapon is revoking or unfavorably revising the&nbsp;<em>U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act</em>. It is that act, probably more than anything else, which has allowed Hong Kong to prosper since the handover in 1997.</p><p>If the U.S. does act, not just Hong Kong will suffer &ndash; so will China.</p><p>I cover this many-faceted topic in four sections:</p><p><strong>I. The Law and the Protests</strong></p><p><strong>II. Potential U.S. Backlash</strong></p><p><strong>III. Congress and the President React</strong></p><p><strong>IV. Extradition Law: Pro &amp; Con</strong></p><p>Let me know your take!</p></td></tr>

1. ‘People v power: The rule of law in Hong Kong’: The Economist

<tr><td class="bg-holder"><a href="" target="_blank"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></a></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘The bill could throttle Hong Kong’s freedoms by raising the possibility that the party’s critics could be bundled over the border.’</p><p><strong>‘The prospect of losing the legal firewall</strong> between Hong Kong and China, in a bill that is being rushed with minimal debate, is what brought out vast crowds, many dressed in white, the colour of mourning,’ <a href="" target="_blank">writes Chaguan in <em>The Economist</em>.</a></p><p><strong>‘Three things </strong>stand out about the protesters who rocked Hong Kong this week,’ <a href="" target="_blank">says <em>The Economist</em>.</a></p><ol><li><strong>‘There were a great many of them.</strong> Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in what may have been the biggest demonstration since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.’</li><li><strong>‘Most of them were young</strong>—too young to be nostalgic about British rule.’</li></ol><ul><li><strong>‘Their unhappiness</strong> at Beijing’s heavy hand was entirely their own.’</li></ul><ol start="3"><li><strong>‘And they showed remarkable courage.</strong> Since the “Umbrella Movement” of 2014, the Communist Party has been making clear that it will tolerate no more insubordination—and yet three days later demonstrators braved rubber bullets, tear gas and legal retribution to make their point.’</li></ol><p><strong>‘All these things are evidence</strong> that, as many Hong Kongers see it, nothing less than the future of their city is at stake.’</p><p><strong>‘When Chaguan</strong> last year met Benny Tai, a rumpled law professor from Hong Kong University and an Occupy Central leader, he sadly wondered when his city might witness large demonstrations again,’ <a href="" target="_blank">writes Chaguan in The Economist.</a></p><ul><li><strong>“People are concerned</strong> that it is not safe to protest, especially in the business sector,” he sighed.’</li><li><strong>He talked of “holding the line”</strong> while waiting for democracy in mainland China.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘It would be interesting</strong> to hear Mr Tai’s views now, but he is currently in prison.’</p></td></tr>

2. What is the proposed law that the protesters oppose?

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p><p>‘<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>The bill</strong></a>, introduced and sponsored by 22 Legco members, seeks to amend two ordinances: the <em>Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance,</em>’ write Minda Qui and Scott Kennedy of the Center for Strategic and International Strategy in <a href="" target="_blank">‘Whither Hong Kong.’</a></p><ul><li><strong>Those two laws</strong> ‘were introduced in 1997 right before Hong Kong was handed over to China to regulate the practices of extradition and legal assistance with other jurisdictions.’</li><li><strong>‘The two laws</strong> specifically deny the applicability of those laws to mainland China.’</li></ul><p><strong>'Under the current legal framework,</strong> Hong Kong’s government is legally bound not to respond to extradition requests from mainland China.'</p><ul><li><strong>'The amendments </strong>will change Hong Kong’s government’s extradition practice to a case-by-case scenario when such a request is made by a jurisdiction, including mainland China, that do not have extradition or legal assistance agreements with the city.'</li></ul><p><strong>'It will also modify</strong> the list of crimes that are covered under the current ordinances.'</p><ul><li><strong>'The original amendments</strong> included 46 categories of extraditable crimes, among which were commercial crimes related to bankruptcy, tax, and trading.'</li><li><strong>'In a revised bill,</strong> the government removed nine crimes on commerce and trade.'</li><li><strong>'The final proposed version</strong> covers 37 crimes that are eligible for extradition if the offenses are punishable by more than seven years under Hong Kong law.'</li></ul></td></tr>

3. ‘Plugging a loophole?’

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><a href="" target="_blank"><img style="width:100%" src=",f_auto/image/11624260/16x9/991/557/ec3ff08d8081c80549a938f1a4616617/AV/hong-kong-chief-executive-carrie-lam-has-displayed-a-steely-resolve-even-in-the-face-of-mass-protests-1560414784721-6.jpg" alt="CHINADebate"></a></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘When drafting an extradition law before the handover in 1997 officials took a deliberate decision to maintain a firewall between Hong Kong’s justice system and that of the mainland,</p><p><strong>‘Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam,</strong> appointed by a panel of local loyalists of the Communist Party in Beijing, talks of “plugging a loophole” with the extradition bill,’ <a href="" target="_blank">writes Chaguan in The Economist.</a></p><ul><li><strong>‘She says opponents</strong> will leave the territory a refuge for fugitives.’</li><li><strong>‘That is to suggest</strong> that previous leaders somehow forgot to draft rules for sending criminal suspects to China.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘In fact, there was no omission,</strong> says Margaret Ng, a barrister who represented the legal profession in Hong Kong’s legislature from 1995 to 2012, under first British then Chinese rule.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘When drafting an extradition law</strong> before the handover in 1997 officials took a deliberate decision to maintain a firewall between Hong Kong’s justice system and that of the mainland, “to protect the rule of law in Hong Kong and confidence in Hong Kong as an international hub free from China’s much mistrusted system.”’</li></ul></td></tr>

4. ‘Hong Kong’s proposed extradition law puts ties with America at risk’: The Economist

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘Transferring technology to Hong Kong may increasingly be seen as equivalent to passing it to China—not the intent of the Policy Act.’ </p><p><strong>‘The framework</strong> for the U.S.-Hong Kong relationship is the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which established continued separate economic treatment for the territory beyond its handover to China in 1997,’ writes <em>The Economist </em>in <a href="" target="_blank">‘Hong Kong’s proposed extradition law puts ties with America at risk.’</a></p><ul><li><strong>‘This boosted Hong Kong</strong> as a bridge between the rich world and a booming China.’</li><li><strong>‘More recently,</strong> it has meant freedom from America’s tariffs on China.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Even before the latest troubles in Hong Kong,</strong> however, concerns were growing that it would get caught in the crossfire of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘As restrictions</strong> on China led to the diversion of more transactions via Hong Kong, its privileged position has inevitably attracted attention.’</li><li><strong>‘Transferring technology</strong> to Hong Kong may increasingly be seen as equivalent to passing it to China—not the intent of the Policy Act.’</li><li><strong>‘Last year the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission,</strong> set up by Congress to report on the security implications of trade, recommended a fresh look at export controls for sensitive technology via the treatment of China and Hong Kong as separate customs areas.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘A lot is at stake.</strong> Hong Kong is China’s conduit.’</p></td></tr>

5. ‘China Is Courting Disaster in Hong Kong’: Minxin Pei

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘If the US decides to withdraw Hong Kong’s privileges on the grounds that Chinese actions no longer justify treating it as a separate entity, the city’s value as a financial center will be fatally impaired.’</p><p><strong> ‘China’s leaders</strong> should be aware that the outside world is watching current developments with great alarm, ’ <a href="" target="_blank">writes Minxin Pei</a>.</p><ul><li><strong>‘Unless the Chinese government</strong> backs down, the United States, in particular, will most likely take steps to make it pay dearly.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Since Hong Kong returned</strong> to Chinese rule in 1997, Western governments have maintained special economic privileges to help bolster confidence in the city.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘In 1992, the US Congress passed</strong> the US-Hong Kong Policy Act, in order to continue treating the city as a separate entity from mainland China.’</li><li><strong>‘The law grants Hong Kong</strong> economic and trading privileges, such as continued access to sensitive technologies and the free exchange of the US dollar with the Hong Kong dollar.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘But such benefits are contingent</strong> upon China fulfilling its commitments under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong, which set out the terms of the city’s future handover.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Among other things,</strong> China pledged to maintain Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, freedom, and rule of law for 50 years.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The US-Hong Kong Policy Act</strong> has teeth to deter China from violating its commitments.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘In particular</strong>, it <a href="" target="_blank">explicitly empowers</a> the US president to issue an executive order suspending some or all of Hong Kong’s privileges if he or she determines that “Hong Kong is not sufficiently autonomous to justify treatment under a particular law of the United States.”’</li><li><strong>‘In making such a determination,</strong> the president should consider “the terms, obligations, and expectations expressed in the Joint Declaration with respect to Hong Kong.”’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Even a cursory reading</strong> of the US-Hong Kong Policy Act should make it clear to China’s leaders that their actions in recent years have already seriously jeopardized the city’s status as an autonomous entity.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Such actions include</strong> the abduction of five Hong Kong-based book publishers, the disqualification on dubious grounds of democratically elected city legislators, and the imprisonment of pro-democracy activists.’</li><li><strong>‘For the US,</strong> the passage of the extradition law could well be the last straw.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The unfolding confrontation</strong> between China’s leaders and Hong Kong’s citizens will provide fresh ammunition to US hardliners who have been advocating an aggressive stance against the Chinese government.’ </p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>'Revoking Hong Kong’s privileges</strong></a> would advance that goal, because it would significantly hurt China.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘After all,</strong> as the Sino-American economic cold war escalates, and rising regulatory and legislative hurdles make it harder for Chinese companies to raise capital in the US, Hong Kong will become immensely valuable to China as an offshore financial center.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘But if the US decides</strong> to withdraw Hong Kong’s privileges on the grounds that Chinese actions no longer justify treating it as a separate entity, the city’s value as a financial center will be fatally impaired.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Even if the US</strong> does not take this punitive step, China will reap what it has sowed.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The likely passage</strong> of the extradition law will irrevocably tarnish the rule of law in Hong Kong and its attractiveness as an international commercial hub.’</li><li><strong>‘Unless China’s leaders</strong> are prepared to accept these disastrous consequences, they should withdraw the bill before it is too late.’</li></ul></td></tr>

6. CONGRESS | ‘The reaction that really matters is in Washington, D.C.’: The Economist

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘The deepening strategic rivalry between America and China will bring greater scrutiny of Hong Kong.’<br/>‘Under the Policy Act the president can suspend specific privileges by executive order if he deems Hong Kong insufficiently autonomous.<br/>‘In the midst of a trade war with China, a big blow to Hong Kong’s future may be only a tweet away.’ </p><p><strong>‘The reaction</strong> that really matters is in Washington, D.C., where the response could have big implications for Hong Kong’s future,’ writes <em>The Economist </em>in <a href="" target="_blank">‘Hong Kong’s proposed extradition law puts ties with America at risk.’</a></p><ul><li><strong>‘Nancy Pelosi,</strong> the Speaker of the House, said on June 11th that if the “horrific” extradition bill passes, Congress would have to reassess whether Hong Kong was “sufficiently autonomous” to justify its current status in trade with America, which sets it apart from China.’</li><li><strong>‘But support</strong> for Hong Kong’s protesters is bipartisan. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and fellow Republicans such as Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, have joined a chorus of condemnation.’</li><li><strong>‘Plans are afoot</strong> to legislate for a review of America’s relationship with Hong Kong.’</li></ul></td></tr>

7. CONGRESS | Actions by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC)

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><a href="" target="_blank"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></a></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘If the extradition bill moves forward and Hong Kong’s autonomy and democratic institutions continue to erode due to interference from the Chinese government, the Congress has no choice but to reassess whether Hong Kong can receive preferential economic and trade benefits under U.S. law.’</p><p><strong>Commissioners Reintroduce </strong><strong> ‘</strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong><em>Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act</em></strong></a><strong><em>’</em></strong></p><p><strong>On June 13 the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC)</strong> ‘reintroduced the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act</em></a>, bicameral and bipartisan legislation that reaffirms the U.S. commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law at a time when these freedoms and Hong Kong’s autonomy are being eroded through interference by the Chinese government and Communist Party.’</p><p><strong>“We introduce this legislation today</strong> because democracy and freedom are under assault in Hong Kong, and it is critical for the Congress to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Hong Kong’s autonomy, to the human rights guaranteed the people of Hong Kong, and to those peacefully protesting the Chinese government’s increasingly rough oversight of Hong Kong,” <strong>said Chris Smith, Republican Congressman from New Jersey.</strong></p><ul><li><strong>“It is in everyone’s interest</strong> that Hong Kong remain a free and prosperous bridge between China and the world.”</li><li><strong>“But if Beijing</strong> intends to force Hong Kong into becoming just another mainland Chinese city under authoritarian rule, we must reevaluate whether Hong Kong warrants the special status granted under U.S. law.”</li></ul><p><strong>The CECC</strong> ‘sent a letter yesterday [May 23] to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressing “concern” that proposed amendments to Hong Kong’s extradition law would “negatively impact the relationship between the United States and Hong Kong” and asked that the amendments be “withdrawn from consideration.”’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Full text of the letter</strong> can be found <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.’ </li></ul></td></tr>

8. PRESIDENT TRUMP | ‘So I hope it all works out for China and for Hong Kong.’

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src=""></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘But when you look at this demonstration - they said it was a million people, that was a million people. That was as big a demonstration as I've ever seen.’</p><p><em>(President Trump’s complete comments)</em></p><p><strong>Reporter: </strong>‘How do you react to the demonstrations in Hong Kong. Is China overplaying its hand?’</p><p><strong>President Trump:</strong> ‘Well, they're massive demonstrations. I looked today, and that really is a million people.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘A lot of times people talk</strong> about they had 2,000 people, but it was really 1,000, or was it was 200. I see it all the time. I see it all the time.’</li><li><strong>‘But when you look</strong> at this demonstration - they said it was a million people, that was a million people. That was as big a demonstration as I've ever seen.’</li><li><strong>‘So I hope</strong> it all works out for China and for Hong Kong.’</li></ul><p><strong>Reporter:</strong> ‘Are they sending a message to China with these demonstrations?’</p><p><strong>President Trump:</strong> ‘I don’t know what they’re sending them.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘That’s a</strong> demonstration they’re having.’</li><li><strong>‘I understand</strong> the reason for the demonstration.’</li><li><strong>‘But I’m sure</strong> they will be able to work it out.’</li><li><strong>‘I hope</strong> they will able to work it out with China.’</li></ul><p>[from <a href="" target="_blank">‘Watch: Trump meets with Poland's president at White House,’</a> starting at 48:30, <em>Washington Post </em>video, June 12, 2019]</p></td></tr>

9. PRO | ‘There Are Huge Misconceptions About Extradition Bill.’: Ronnie Tong

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src=""></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><strong>Ronnie Tong</strong> is a non-official member of the <a href="" target="_blank">Executive Council of Hong Kong</a>.</p><ul><li><strong>And the convenor</strong> of the pro-Beijing political group and think tank <a href="" target="_blank">Path of Democracy</a></li></ul><p><strong>Q:</strong><strong>‘We keep hearing </strong>from a lot of guests here that the public doesn't completely understand the revisions behind this extradition bill.'<ul><li><strong>‘We have a viewer comment:</strong> “Is the government overly arrogant in believing that some of these international groups, the business community, the lawyers out there have misunderstood it all.”’</li></ul><p><strong>Tong: ‘Well, I do think so.</strong> We are at a loss as to why there is such a huge misconception about the purpose in the effect of the bill,’ says Ronnie Tong in a <a href="" target="_blank">Bloomberg video interview</a>.</p><ul><li><strong>‘First of all</strong> we just discovered that a leading newspaper did a survey of the mass march on Sunday, and they discovered that 90 percent of the people who took part in the March thought that the bill would mean people criticizing Beijing will be sent back to China to be tried.’</li><li><strong>‘That’s a huge</strong> misconception.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘What the bill does</strong> - it's like any other extradition arrangement all over the world - it deals with people committing serious crimes outside Hong Kong.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Those serious crimes</strong> are well defined under the ordinance.’</li><li><strong>‘Not just any crime</strong> but serious crimes - crimes that do not involve any political element, and it doesn't involve political statements for sure.’</li><li><strong>‘It’s purely enacted</strong> for the purpose of fighting cross-border crime.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Now the Hong Kong model</strong> - the Hong Kong law - in fact was enacted by the British colonial government just before the handover in April 1997.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘It was modeled</strong> after the United Nations Model Treaty on Extradition.’</li><li><strong>‘It is basically contains</strong> the same safeguards – the same terms - as the US arrangement, the UK arrangement, Canadian arrangement, the Australian New Zealand arrangement.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘We are at a loss</strong> as to why the UK and the U.S. can consider an extradition application from China, but we in Hong Kong cannot.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘We are part of China,</strong> but we have no such arrangement with our own country with which we have the closest contact.’</li><li><strong>‘Each day</strong> we have over a million people travelling across the border, and yet we have no legal tool to fight cross-border crime here.’</li></ul><p><strong>Q: ‘Ronnie, the point I think</strong> is that people are concerned that if they are returned to China they would not receive a fair trial. It's a legal system which is opaque - and I'm being kind.’</p><p><strong>Tong: ‘The more meaningful concession, </strong>which has been overlooked by the media, is that we would ensure - insist on - the minimum fair trial guarantees provided under Article 14 of the ICCPR - the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The gatekeeper</strong> basically is our own judiciary - we don't look to China or their judiciary to be the gatekeeper here.’</li><li><strong>‘If we are not satisfied</strong> that the prisoner would receive a fair trial or his human rights would be well respected, we simply would not accede to the application for extraction.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Our judiciary</strong> is famous for being independent and consists of very able judges with integrity.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘We have judges</strong> from the UK, from Canada, from Australia sitting on our court of final appeal.’</li><li><strong>‘And I don't believe</strong> you can seriously suggest these judges can easily be bought by Beijing.’</li></ul><p><strong> ‘I fully appreciate</strong> that people who are being apprehensive about you know China and China's influence on Hong Kong - that is perfectly understandable.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘But this bill</strong> was not initiated by China.’</li><li><strong>‘In fact</strong> the Chinese ambassador to the UK made it clear that the initiative came from our own chief executive Carrie Lam.’</li></ul><p><strong> ‘We only have</strong> extradition arrangements with 20 countries in the world.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘That means</strong> that we have no arrangement with over a hundred countries to deal with this matter of cross-border crime.’</li></ul></td></tr>

10. CON | ‘My take on Hong Kong's extradition bill’: Jerry Cohen

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><strong>Jerry Cohen</strong> is one of the leading China law scholars and lawyers.</p><ul><li><strong>He serves</strong> as the co-director of NYU’s <em>S.-Asia Law Institute</em> and a professor at the New York University School of Law.</li><li><strong>And, as </strong>adjunct senior fellow for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations</li><li><strong>Before that,</strong> he was Jeremiah J. Smith professor, director of East Asian legal studies, and associate dean at Harvard Law School.</li><li><strong>And,</strong> a partner at the Paul Weiss and Coudert Brothers law firms, focused on China.</li></ul><p><strong>‘For many decades,</strong> every democratic government in the common law world has successfully resisted efforts by the People’s Republic of China to conclude an extradition treaty,’ <a href="" target="_blank">writes  Jerry Cohen.</a></p><ul><li><strong>‘These democracies</strong> have refused to commit to forcibly delivering, for trial in China, people whom Beijing claims have violated Chinese criminal law.’</li><li><strong> ‘Even 22 years</strong> after its return to the motherland, the special administrative region (SAR) has made no extradition-type agreement with the central people’s government.’</li></ul><img style="display:block; width:100%; padding:10px 0;" src="" alt="CHINADebate"><p></p><p><strong>Why?</strong> Even though the PRC has promulgated laws, regulations, and rules for its criminal justice system, ‘its criminal justice system can still not assure alleged offenders <a href="" target="_blank">a fair trial</a>.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Despite the Chinese system’s</strong> legendary non-transparency, its failures to meet international standards of due process are well known.’</li><li><strong>‘Arbitrary,</strong> often lengthy, secret and incommunicado detention, widespread existence of <a href="" target="_blank">torture</a> and frequent denial of the effective help of defense counsel are hallmarks of the process.’</li><li><strong>‘The police,</strong> more powerful than prosecutors and judges, dominate China’s criminal justice officialdom, and all three departments operate subject to the dictates of the Communist Party political-legal committee and the new National Supervision Commission that control them.’</li><li><strong>‘A single party leader’s brief instruction</strong> can determine guilt or innocence, the duration of a sentence or even the death penalty.’</li><li><strong>‘This is true in cases</strong> not only of those perceived to be political opponents of the party-state but also those suspected of bribery and related offences in the context of an economy, government and society where <a href="" target="_blank">corruption is endemic</a>.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Even more distorting</strong> to the legal system is the impact of guanxi, the network of interpersonal relationships that exercises far more influence over the administration of justice than even politics and corruption.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘In my own experience</strong> practicing law relating to China for over 20 years, I often encountered situations where powerful local interests procured police cooperation in detaining and charging business personnel, foreign as well as Chinese, to compel hapless detainees to surrender their property or suffer serious punishment.’</li><li><strong>‘Key performance indicators</strong> also drive prosecutors and judges to fear the damage that not-guilty verdicts will do to their careers.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘In these circumstances,</strong> is it any wonder that independent, democratic and knowledgeable foreign governments and legal experts resist extradition agreements with Beijing?’</p><p><strong>‘Why, then,</strong> should Hong Kong succumb to its demand for legislation authorizing extradition?’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The argument</strong> that the proposed legislative amendment is required to extradite an <a href="" target="_blank">alleged murderer</a> to Taiwan for trial is specious.’</li><li><strong>‘That issue can be negotiated</strong> without changing arrangements relating to the mainland, and Taiwan <a href="" target="_blank">does not support</a> the proposed amendment.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Once the amendment</strong> goes into effect, it will be easy for mainland authorities to extract from Hong Kong those who have drawn their ire.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘There will be no</strong> further incentive for <a href="" target="_blank">kidnapping</a> and its costly consequences for social stability and Beijing’s reputation.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Beijing need only</strong> file an extradition request claiming that the person sought is suspected of committing bribery, for example, and an affidavit alleging the existence of facts that, on their face, appear to contain the elements of the crime.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Hong Kong courts</strong> will not be allowed to hold a trial to determine the truth of those “facts”.’</li><li><strong>‘That will be the task</strong> of China’s party-controlled courts, which lack the procedural protections Hong Kong people take for granted.’</li><li><strong>‘Hong Kong courts</strong> will only confirm the legal formalities, including whether prescribed procedures have been followed, whether the SAR also punishes bribery (it does), whether bribery falls within the nine offences excepted from extradition (it does not), and whether the bribery alleged should be deemed a political offence and therefore excluded from extradition.’</li><li><strong>‘Some of the affidavits</strong> filed in support of extradition may well be false.’</li><li><strong>‘A regime willing to use</strong> kidnapping to arrest its prey will not cavil at lying to do so.’</li><li><strong>‘As too many cases</strong> on the mainland – involving foreigners as well as Chinese – attest, long, incommunicado detentions marked by torture often yield false confessions, and the multiple pressures exerted on mainland witnesses and lawyers often produce <a href="" target="_blank">false testimony</a>.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Perhaps the most frightening aspect</strong> of the impending amendment is its application, not only to all SAR citizens and foreign and Chinese residents of the SAR, but also to anyone who passes through Hong Kong.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘This will lead</strong> to more than the reciprocating of Canada’s recent detention of <a href="" target="_blank">Huawei’s CFO</a> at Vancouver airport for extradition based on alleged violations of American law while in Hong Kong.’</li></ul></td></tr>

11. CON | ‘A convenient legal tool to grab individuals deemed to be “enemies” of the Chinese state’: Minxin Pei

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘If the proposed law is adopted, the mainland authorities will be able to arrest anyone in Hong Kong easily, by charging the target with an extraditable crime.’ </p><p><strong>Minxin Pei</strong> is the Tom and Margot Pritzker Professor of Government and director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College.</p><ul><li><strong>And,</strong> non-resident senior fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.</li></ul><p><strong> ‘The proposed extradition law</strong> would violate China’s pledge to adhere to the model of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong,’ <a href="" target="_blank">writes Minxin Pei</a>.</p><ul><li><strong>‘And by giving the authorities in Beijing</strong> a convenient legal tool to grab individuals deemed to be “enemies” of the Chinese state, the legislation would imperil the liberty of Hong Kong’s citizens – and that of foreigners residing there.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Although the draft law</strong> does not formally apply to political offenses, this will offer no protection in practice.'</p><ul><li><strong>‘Under the Chinese legal system</strong> – which is controlled by the Communist Party of China – the distinction between political offenses and conventional crimes is hopelessly blurred.’</li><li><strong>‘Increasingly,</strong> in fact, the Chinese party-state persecutes human-rights activists by accusing them of criminal, not political, offenses.’</li><li><strong>‘Common charges</strong> include “running an illegal business” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”’</li></ul><p><strong>‘If the proposed law is adopted, </strong>the mainland authorities will be able to arrest anyone in Hong Kong easily, by charging the target with an extraditable crime.’</p><ul><img style="display:block; width:50%; float:right; right:20px; padding-left:20px; padding-top:10px;" src="" alt="CHINADebate"><li><strong>‘Given the low threshold of proof</strong> – prosecutors would not need to provide evidence beyond probable cause – the protection against politically motivated extradition requests is frighteningly slim.’</li></ul></td></tr>

12. CON | President Xi Needs to tell Carrie Lam ‘no amendment now’ : Michael Pillsbury

<tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src=""></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt">‘Let's think of the larger picture, the larger context of U.S.-China negotiations over trade issues and other issues.'<br/>‘I just wonder if Carrie Lam is taking into account these larger geopolitical factors, and if she's listening to the right messages from Beijing.’</p><p><strong>Michael Pillsbury </strong>is Senior Fellow and Director for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute.</p><ul><li><strong>He is a </strong>distinguished defense policy adviser, former high-ranking government official, and author of numerous books and reports on China. </li></ul><p><strong>‘Rule of law,</strong> extradition to a country that doesn't really have fair trials - this all suggests the President Xi needs to resolve this somehow,’ <a href="" target="_blank">says Michael Pillsbury </a> in a Bloomberg video interview.</p><ul><li><strong>‘He needs</strong> to get on the phone directly or through intermediaries with Carrie Lam and say, “Look we don't really need this amendment right now.”’</li><li><strong>‘That will help</strong> U.S- China relations, and it will help the trade talks.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘In my book,</strong><em>The Hundred Year Marathon</em>, I talk about the Hawks versus the Reformers.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The Hawks</strong> have very strong views up in Beijing about Hong Kong.’</li><li><strong>‘They want</strong> PRC textbooks, they want patriotic education.’</li><li><strong>‘They love</strong> the extradition concept.’</li><li><strong>‘They don't want Hong Kong</strong> to become a model – a model of economics and the rule of law.’</li></ul><p><strong> ‘So you've got</strong> this debate going on in Beijing.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Carrie Lam</strong> frankly has to decide who is she going to listen to - the Hawks or the Reformers - I hope she listens to the Reformers.’</li><li><strong>‘And I hope President Xi</strong> sends a signal fairly soon that he doesn't want this kind of demonstration to go on.’</li><li><strong>‘He wants</strong> successful trade talks with his friend President Trump.’</li></ul><p><strong> ‘I don't think</strong> there's a Cold War with China now.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘But I can see how</strong> a series of events starting with major demonstrations that are suppressed in Hong Kong - that's my nightmare.’</li><li><strong>‘If the demonstrations</strong> are suppressed and the vote goes through, then we'll start to see more pressure here in Washington on the President to get tougher with China.’</li><li><strong>‘He's not really been tough with China</strong> in the sense of a cold war – he seems to want to get to zero tariffs, more trade, more investment, much better relationship with China - that's what he's been saying for two years, and he's written onto this topic even before he became president.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘A violent crackdown</strong> is certainly one scenario.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘There's also an optimistic,</strong> happy ending scenario in which Carrie Lam gets new guidance - receives some sort of signal from Xi Jinping - that, “Hey, you don't have to do this right now.”’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Let's think of the larger picture,</strong> the larger context of U.S.-China negotiations over trade issues and other issues.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I mean</strong> we are testing their territorial claims in the South China Sea with our armed Navy warships going through their claims; we're talking about a major armed sales package for Taiwan - there's just a number of things that are at stake in the overall U.S.-China relationship.’</li><li><strong>‘I just wonder if Carrie Lam</strong> is taking into account these larger geopolitical factors, and if she's listening to the right messages from Beijing.’</li></ul></td></tr>