U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 4 issued a statement on the withdrawal of Hong Kong’s extradition bill. She said “much more must be done to fully realize the legitimate aspirations of the Hong Kong people, as guaranteed under ‘One Country, Two Systems.'”
She also said Congress looks forward to “swiftly advancing the bipartisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in the face of Beijing’s crackdown.”
During a Congressional hearing the same day held by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, scholars spoke about Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s announcement.
Associate Professor Victoria Tin-bor Hui from the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame said, “The chief executive Carrie Lam suspended the bill on June 15th. She refused for two and a half months to withdraw the bill until early this morning. This concession is too little, too late.”
Professor Tin-bor Hui believes that the most important demand of the Hong Kong people is now an independent investigation of police use of force against the protesters.
Tin-bor Hui said, “Because the most important demand for Hong Kong people now, it’s not just that the bill is formally withdrawn.
“For two and a half months, she’s (Carrie Lam’s) been hiding behind police officers who have been beating up people, breaking the bones, so then the second demand among the five is to have an independent investigation of police abuses.”
Pro-democracy activists are insisting on the remaining four of their five demands, saying that they will not accept any less. Their four demands are for the government to:
1. Set up an independent inquiry to probe police brutality
2. Withdraw the characterization of protests as “riots”
3. Release those arrested at protests
4. Implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong
Syaru Sherry Lin, an adjunct associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong said, “We have lost a chance. The situation in Hong Kong is very serious now. It is because the government has led us to this grim situation.”