Changes in the extradition policy of Hong Kong might very well inflict damage to the autonomy that has made the city one of the major economic hubs of Asia besides Singapore. The Government in Hong Kong is looking forward to bring in changes in its extradition policy, allowing convicts to be extradited to the Chinese mainland, on the ground that it will make the city a safer place to stay and do business.
However, the proposed changes have caused an eruption of widespread protests all across the city, which has also triggered off some of the worst violence in several decades. A major portion of the population is of the opinion that the change in the policy is going to ruin the status of the city as one of the most coveted financial centers of the world.
Nicholas Lady, a senior fellow of Washington-headquartered Peterson Institute for International Economics, which is a non-profit private think tank working on international economics thinks, the proposed change in the legislation will for sure undermine the status of Hong Kong as a center for global film producers and a major financial center of the world.
If implemented, the changes will enable the authorities in mainland China, Macau as well as Taiwan to ask for the extradition of those convicted in various criminal activities including murder and rape.
Amidst widespread protests that ran throughout the week, the officials have stated that the Courts have the authority to pass on the final verdict. They will also decide whether those held for suspected or proven political or religious crimes are to be exempted from the proposed treaty. Commercial offenses, including the likes of tax evasion, have already been exempted from the list of extraditable offenses.
Antony Dapiran, a Hong Kong-based lawyer has said that the new proposal does not mean that people doing business will be safe. People committing white-collar crimes could be in trouble as well.