See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Politics

Millions take to streets of Hong Kong against extradition bill.

Hong Kong government offices remain closed on Monday amid call for strikes.


Written by

Updated: June 17, 2019

The Hong Kong government on Monday declared that central government offices would be closed for the day as the city braced itself for workers’ strikes after a record turnout at Sunday’s rally protesting a divisive extradition Bill.

An official notice released on Monday morning said: “As the access roads in the vicinity of the the Central Government Offices (CGO) are blocked, CGO will still be temporarily closed today (June 17).

“Staff working in the CGO should not go to the workplace and should work in accordance with the contingency plans of their respective bureaus or departments. All visits to the CGO will be postponed or cancelled.”

Millions took to the streets over two consecutive weekends in a show of force that prompted an apology from embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam. On Sunday, organisers said two million took part in a march whereas the police placed the figure at 340,000. The tabling of the Bill was indefinitely postponed on Saturday but many fear it could be reintroduced after public pressure has eased.

Building on the momentum, protest organiser the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) has called on Hong Kongers to go on strike on Monday in a bid to pressure the territory’s government to meet their demands.

“Should the government refuse to respond, only more Hong Kongers will strike tomorrow; citizens will take to the street, until their voices are heard,” said CHRF in a statement late on Sunday.

It did not specify how many strikers it was expecting.

Chief on the CHRF’s list of demands are a complete withdrawal of the extradition Bill, rescinding the characterisation of protesters as rioters, and Mrs Lam’s resignation.

Mrs Lam in particular has faced strong criticism for her handling of the crisis and has been accused by protesters of being arrogant, ignorant of the wishes of Hong Kongers and aloof.

She apologised in a statement on Sunday (June 16) evening, promising to adopt a “sincere and humble attitude” when serving the people.

The police have also been criticised for their heavy-handed tactics during a June 9 mass protest, which descended into violent clashes, and again last Wednesday (June 12), during which rubber bullets and tear gas were used against demonstrators.

Hundreds of protesters had massed around the legislature on Wednesday to prevent lawmakers from entering and debating the Bill.

If enacted, the law would have allowed one-off extraditions with jurisdictions with whom Hong Kong does not have a permanent agreement, including mainland China.

The government said the law was meant to prevent the city from becoming a haven for international fugitives.

But Hong Kongers are worried this is yet another sign of eroding freedom under Beijing, and fear the law could be used on political dissidents or activists.

Under the “one country, two systems” agreement, the city is guaranteed a “high-level autonomy” and has a separate judiciary and Constitution from the mainland. Its residents are also allowed freedoms unseen in the rest of China, including a free press and the right to protest.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Politics

South Korea outpaces China with 505 new virus cases

The death toll now stands at 13, while 26 patients have been discharged after recovering fully. South Korea has reported its largest daily spike of 505 new coronavirus infections, outnumbering China for the first time as the government restricted exports of face masks amid a supply shortage. China, where the central city of Wuhan is the epicentre of the country’s outbreak, recorded 450 new cases yesterday. This brings South Korea’s total tally to 1,766, as officials warn that the number will continue to grow until around March 20 – two months after its first case. Experts say South Korea’s numbers are spiking because the authorities are testing people by the thousands each day, with the aim of testing all 210,000 members o


By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020

Diplomacy, Politics

China’s coronavirus fight remains challenging

 Key Party meeting calls for full vigilance in control, prevention tasks to avoid risks. The novel coronavirus epidemic in Hubei province is still complicated and challenging, a key Party meeting concluded on Wednesday as it drew attention to the risks of the epidemic rebounding in other areas. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, presided over the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in which members listened to a report by the leading group of the CPC Central Committee on coping with the epidemic outbreak and discussed key related tasks. At the meeting, Xi and other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee donate


By China Daily
February 27, 2020

Diplomacy, Politics

UN chief hails China’s efforts to contain outbreak

Official urges all countries to ‘do everything to be prepared’ to contain the epidemic. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday praised China’s contribution to the global fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, noting that the Chinese people are making efforts for all of humanity. The UN chief expressed his gratitude to all of the people in China who are sacrificing many aspects of their normal lives to prevent the virus from further spreading, after discussing the outbreak with World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva. Guterres said the decline in the number of new cases in China since the beginning of February is a very good sign, and he expressed the hope that this trend


By China Daily
February 26, 2020

Diplomacy, Politics

WHO calls China’s anti-virus effort ‘aggressive, agile’

Control measures taken by the country offered experience in improving the global response to the disease. While the substantial recent slowdown in the spread of novel coronavirus in China is real, and it is now reasonable to restore work activities step by step, health experts warned that risks abound of the virus flaring up again and they cautioned against complacency, the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19 said at a news conference after its one-week field investigations in China. “Ambitious, agile and aggressive” control measures taken by China to control the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, bolstered by nationwide solidarity and advanced scientific research, have altered the curve of the outbreak for the better, averted a large number of potentia


By China Daily
February 25, 2020

Diplomacy, Politics

Map shows latest tally of Covid-19 cases in Taiwan, Taipei tops list

 After Taiwan reported its first confirmed cases, health authorities finally released on Monday the latest tally of Covid-19 cases in each administrative region, with Taipei being the highest.  More than one month after Taiwan reported its first confirmed cases, health authorities finally released on Monday the latest tally of COVID-19 cases in each administrative region, with Taipei being the highest. An interactive map on the website of Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows the cities and counties where the country’s 28 coronavirus patients currently reside. Marked in red, the capital city has listed sev


By Asia News Network
February 24, 2020

Diplomacy, Politics

Asean, China enhance cooperation in response to Covid-19

The Asean Coordinating Council (ACC) and the Asean-China Foreign Ministers met on Thursday in Laos to discuss to how to respond to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The ACC’s special meeting, initiated by Vietnam as Chair of ASEAN, was attended by the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN Secretary-General. Chairing the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the event aimed to implement the ASEAN Chair’s Statement released on February 14 on the bloc’s collective response to COVID-19. Minh said that in the face of the epidemic, ASEAN needed to promote its cohesive and responsive spirit, and intensify co-operation within the bloc and between the bloc and its partners to respond to ch


By Viet Nam News
February 21, 2020