In 2018, a Hong Kong man fled back to Hong Kong after being suspected to have murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan. Since there is no extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Hong Kong government proposed an amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, for the alleged purpose of extraditing the suspect to Taiwan to stand trial.
However, the amendment would not enable extradition to Taiwan but would instead subject anyone in Hong Kong, including permanent residents and visitors, to possible extradition to China.
Once the amendment is adopted, anyone could be accused to have violated Chinese laws in Hong Kong and extradited to China. Hong Konger and those staying in Hong Kong would then face unfair trials.
- FOO Amend will affect everyone in Hong Kong, including the businesses, journalists, and foreign visitors.
- Once FOO Amendment is adopted, any foreigners visiting Hong Kong will be subjected to the new law and can be extradited to China Mainland. Moreover, when journalists report on politically sensitive news stories in China Mainland, even if they were not taken away by PRC police, they could be extradited to China after they made it back to Hong Kong.
- China often uses non-political charges against political dissidents.
- Causeway Bay Books owner Gui Minhai was accused of hit and run in a traffic incident and was arrested.
- Ai Weiwei, an artist active in rights advocacy, was accused of tax evasion before his exile and was detained.
- Anti-establishment Councilors in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council reject extraditions, given thelack of fair trials in China.
- The amendment is not a solution to the case of Chan Tong-kai
- Taiwan has no obligation to extradite murder suspects to China Mainland.
- It is absolutely possible for Hong Kong to enter into a one-time or long term extradition arrangement with Taiwan. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council has stated that the amendment opens the possibility of Taiwan citizens traveling to, or staying in, Hong Kong to be extradited to China.
- Before that threat is eliminated, Taiwan would not request the extradition of Chan Tong-kai. In other words, even if the amendment is adopted, it would not be possible for the Hong Kong government to extradite Chan to Taiwan.