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Protests in Hong Kong



2019년 봄, 홍콩은 시위로 뜨거웠다. 시위는 사그라들 줄 몰랐고 점점 더 많은 사람들이 거리와 공원으로 나와 목소리를 높이고 있다. 도화선이 된 사건은 대만에서 발생한 살인사건이었다. 2019년 2월, 한 홍콩인 커플이 대만으로 여행을 갔다가 홍콩에서 남자친구가 여자친구를 살해하는 사건이 발생했고, 사건 이후 홍콩인 남성은 홍콩으로 도피해버렸다. 이에 대만 당국은 홍콩에 이 살인범을 인도해달라고 요청했지만, 홍콩 입장에서는 대만과 범죄인 인도조약이 체결되지 않았으며 속지주의를 적용하는 홍콩형법상 홍콩 밖에서 일어난 살인사건의 범인을 살인죄로 처벌할 수가 없는 상황이었다. 그래서 범죄자의 외국 송환을 쉽게 만들기 위한 법률 제정을 추진하게 되는데, 이는 형사사건 해결을 위해서가 아닌 중국으로의 정치범 송환에 쓰일 가능성도 있기에 홍콩시민들은 분노했다. 게다가 인도 절차에서 입법회의 감독 권한도 사라지며 홍콩으로 입국, 환승의 이유로 홍콩 땅을 밟게 되는 외국인들조차 중국 공산당에 대한 비하 발언을 하거나 인권운동가나 정치범으로 분류된다면 체포될 수 있다는 점도 많은 사람들을 분노하게 하고 있다.

Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region. Formerly a British Colony, it is officially known and recognized as a territory of the People’s Republic of China. It has a unique governance of “one country, two systems,” implemented since its handover from the British rule to China in 1997. Hong Kong has since been under the governance and directive of China’s Central government, which “Hongkongers” have vocally expressed dislike and protested against for several decades.

The one country, two systems deal was to guarantee a level of autonomy outlined in Hong Kong’s de facto constitution Basic Law. The Basic Law gave a degree of governing independence from the executive, judiciary and legislative levels to the distinctions of public servants in Hong Kong’s system.

The current protests have spurred from the controversy over an extradition law. The series of unrest and peaceful protests by pro-democracy demonstrators dawned on the 22nd anniversary of the handover. Hong Kong has been no stranger to this level of protest. In 2014, there were pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s decision to vet officials for Hong Kong’s elections.

The newly introduced bill in question would allow Chinese authorities to extradite criminals to Mainland China. With increased Beijing oversight in Hong Kong’s affairs - the extradition bill has tipped to the point of protestors forcing their way into the central chamber of Hong Kong’s parliament. Thousands of protestors had joined Monday morning until a small group had broken off to storm the parliament building.

After an hour-long siege, demonstrators broke through the glass of the Legislative Council building in which hundreds entered the building, vandalizing with messages of freedom and independence. Police had given warnings to all protestors to clear the building by midnight, in which they charged to take back the complex. Protestors had been warned that they would face “appropriate force” had they not dispersed and cleared the building.

The relentless protests had raised concerns from critics and demonstrators alike of the bill being implemented to target opponents of the Central government. Fearing this could lead to Hong Kong coming under further Mainland control, the demonstrations have pushed the government for a formal apology and suspension of the planned extradition bill. While the bill has been put on indefinite hold, many protestors have expressed dissatisfaction until it has been completely withdrawn, citing that it is no longer about a bill but about Hong Kong.