Friday, June 14, 2019

Space to breathe -- and reasons to hope? -- in troubled Hong Kong

Peng Chau's Tung Wan last Friday

View from Victoria Peak the day before that

This is all on top of the additional room to breathe that comes courtesy of the announcement that the earliest that the Legislative Council will continue their discussion of the hated extradition bill will be next Wednesday.  And while we continue to await confirmation that there will be no official objection to another anti-extradition bill protest march this Sunday, the sense is not only that it will be granted but that the tide might be turning against the proposed bill itself and also 777, with: the Chinese ambassador to Britain denying in a BBC interview that Beijing was behind the efforts to introduce the China extradition proposal; and a senior government official and pro-establishment legislator as well as 27 former government officials and politicians coming out today to indicate that support for the clearly deeply unpopular bill is wavering even among Carrie Lam's supposed allies.

Of course, it may well turn out to be wishful thinking -- but I am feeling the likelihood that this extradition bill will be passed actually being lower now than it was just two days ago.  More than incidentally, remember the saying that a week is a long time in politics?  Well, it sure feels like it when I look back at the week that has just past; with my having spent a good part of last Friday enjoying watching dragon boat races out on Peng Chau, and my having talked to a Danish visitor I met up on the Peak the day before about dragon boat festivals, like the one that was due to take place this weekend in Victoria Harbour but was cancelled as a result of the current political unrest.  Those were happier times and goodness knows that I dearly hope we can experience them again in Hong Kong.  

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