Hong Kong protesters are planning to raise awareness of the suspended extradition bill among world leaders at the Group of 20 meeting this week in Japan, even though Beijing warned they would not allow any discussion of Hong Kong.
The protesters said they want to put pressure on both the Hong Kong government and the Beijing government to respond to the demands of the large number of Hong Kong protesters who want to axe the extradition bill entirely.
However, Chinese assistant foreign minister Zhang Jun said on Monday that the G20 summit was a forum to focus on global economic issues and the Hong Kong situation would not be allowed to enter the discussion.
“I can tell you with certainty that the G20 will not discuss the Hong Kong issue and we will not allow the G20 to discuss the Hong Kong issue,” Zhang said at a press briefing previewing president Xi Jinping’s G20 attendance.
“Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to intervene,” he said.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said US President Donald Trump would discuss Hong Kong with Xi at the G20 summit, which will take place in Osaka on Friday and Saturday.
In Hong Kong, anti-extradition bill protesters planned to table the Hong Kong issue to an international level even though the chief executive announced suspending the contentious bill after two massive rallies in two weeks to protest against it.
The extradition bill, if passed, would allow the transfer of fugitive criminal suspects from Hong Kong to jurisdictions with which it has no extradition deal, including mainland China.
On Wednesday night, Civil Human Rights Front, the organizers of the two massive rallies in two weeks which millions joined, will hold a “G20 Free Hong Kong” assembly at the open area of Edinburgh Place in Central.
Convenor Jimmy Shum Tsz-kit said as chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet Ngor’s has yet to respond to the five demands from society, they would call on Hongkongers to join the assembly before Friday’s G20 summit to bring the Hong Kong issue to the international stage.
Another appeal initiated by Hong Kong citizens through the Telegram app was to submit petition letters to 19 consulates in Hong Kong starting Wednesday.
The protesters were anonymous, but some had prepared petition letters and translated them into Japanese, Korean, German and other languages. They requested world leaders pressure Chinese President Xi Jinping and raise their concerns about Hong Kong maintaining high autonomy and a free business environment to protect the rights of citizens who work or live in Hong Kong.
The group called on supporters to dress in black and gather in Chater Garden in Central at 9am on Wednesday. The protesters would be divided into two groups and walk silently to the Italian consulate, the Australian consulate, the Indonesian consulate in the Wan Chai area, while the other group will go to the European Union Office, the US consulate, the UK consulate and India consulate in the Admiralty area.
Another “let the world know” idea popped up as another anonymous group of internet users on the Reddit-like online forum LIHKG started a crowdfunding campaign late Monday night to raise money for advertising placements in international newspapers on the day the world summit starts on Friday.
The crowdfunding campaign “Make the anti-extradition bill an issue for the G20 summit” aimed to raise HK$3 million (US$384,315) in two days to place a front-page open letter in the Financial Times, and if the funds are sufficient, on other international newspapers, including New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Japanese newspapers.
By Tuesday afternoon, a total of 22,062 people had backed the campaign and had raised HK$5.4 million.
On Friday night, another assembly will be held at 7pm outside the Legislative Council in Admiralty organized by the Anti-Extradition Bill Coalition to discuss political reform issues and link up with protesters in Japan.