Hong Kong is bracing for a large-scale protest demonstrations which include strikes, transport go-slows and rallies in protest against a proposed extradition law that would allow people to be sent to China for trial.
As the Hong Kong leader has vowed to proceed with the proposed extradition law, the groups opposing the law are stepping up their campaign against it.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would push ahead with the bill despite deep concerns across vast swaths of the Asian financial hub.
In a rare move, prominent business leaders warned that pushing through the extradition law could undermine investor confidence in Hong Kong and erode its competitive advantages.
China says Hong Kong matters purely an internal affair
The extradition bill, which has generated unusually broad opposition at home and abroad, is due for a second round of debate on Wednesday in the city’s 70-seat Legislative Council. The legislature is controlled by a pro-Beijing majority.
An online petition has called for 50,000 people to surround the legislature building at 10 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Tuesday and remain until Wednesday.
Britain handed Hong Kong back to China under a “one-country, two-systems” formula, with guarantees that its autonomy and freedoms, including an independent justice system, would be protected.
But many accuse China of extensive meddling, denying democratic reforms, interfering with local elections and the disappearance of five Hong Kong-based booksellers, starting in 2015, who specialized in works critical of Chinese leaders.
Sunday’s protests plunged Hong Kong into political crisis, just as months of pro-democracy “Occupy” demonstrations did in 2014, heaping pressure on Lam’s administration and her official backers in Beijing.