Extradition doo-doo

While you can ignore the vacuous opinion column beneath it, the headline in the South China Morning Post asks a serious question: is the Hong Kong government getting into deep doo-doo with its proposed new Mainland extradition arrangements?

See this good run-down of officials’ lame handling of the plan (includes the nicely impertinent observation that the government would have more credibility if it said the new system will replace Communist Party agents’ extra-legal abductions on this side of the border).

As that thread says, much of the serious opposition to this proposal comes from legal bodies. But it’s misgivings from the business sector that are grabbing attention. The American Chamber of Commerce fears the impact of easier cross-border rendition on international executives, who could fly into town and get nabbed as part of Beijing’s latest hostage-taking tantrum. Local tycoons, whose past co-option by the CCP inevitably involved murky Mainland deals, fear shake-downs, exposure to factional infighting or other nastiness.

The SCMP goes off on a rather bizarre tangent, claiming that the local business community are criticizing the extradition proposals as protest/revenge for the Hong Kong government’s moves to use part of their precious golf course for housing.

To make the theory fit, the SCMP story maintains that the extradition proposals are the work of the Hong Kong authorities alone, and that Beijing has no opinion or input. If you believe that Chief Executive Carrie Lam and team would unilaterally think up and announce a reform with major symbolic or practical implications for Hong Kong-Beijing and Hong Kong/Beijing-Taiwan relations – like it’s news to Mainland officials! – you are seriously gullible. (To use the hip phrase these days, the local administration cannot/does not have ‘agency’.)

You can safely assume that Beijing officials are happy to stand back and pretend it’s all Carrie’s idea. They do with most Mainlandization measures – and this one’s more-than-averagely pushing it. You can also very easily believe that the pitiful and anxious shoe-shiner tycoons will claim they are stepping out of line out of concern for a golf-course rather than for their own clammy skins.

 

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4 Responses to Extradition doo-doo

  1. Stephen says:

    Considering what has happened to two Canadian nationals in China this is something the various international Chambers of Commerce, Multinational Corporations etc (who couldn’t give a stuff about democracy etc) will be concerned with. Will their members conclude that they are better off in the benign dictatorship that is Singapore? The sun may soon set a damn sight quicker on Asia’s greatest city.

  2. Chris Maden says:

    Is the entire extradition thing self-parody or intentional farce? The government has used rule-of-law and “public consultations” (the quotes because there’s nothing either public or consultative in them) in pretty much the same way as crusaders who put a Bible on the tip of their lance before – a nod to the higher good before charging into joyful destruction – so the latest red faces can’t be anything to do with those.

    Perhaps the plan is to extradite the alleged murderer via PRC to Taiwan – applying the extradition with retroactive effect – to show the Taiwanese what they’re missing in China’s take on rule of law?

    In fairness to Curry Lamb, though, if the extradition thing really is a home-grown initiative, it brings ineptness to a new nadir. Hats off!

  3. Old Newcomer says:

    Maybe Taiwan should consider adopting the Swedish bookseller strategy to bring the alleged killer to trial?

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    Wouldn’t extradition be out of the purview of the HKSARG portfolio since it’s technically foreign affairs? Or does the Taiwan angle make it “domestic” (ha ha!)

    Not a good time to be an ethnically Han citizen of a foreign country, working in CCPChina. But then again, it never really was.

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