Judicial independence key to autonomy [China Daily]

If one person had the biggest impact on the news this year, it was Edward Snowden, former Central Intelligence Agency employee and former National Security Agency contractor. With Snowden again making the headlines in the past few weeks, perhaps it is time to use his escape to Hong Kong to examine another element of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the city’s independent judicial system.

When Snowden first escaped from the US, Washington began pressuring the Hong Kong government to extradite him under agreements the city had signed. The local government was, in turn, pressured not to hand Snowden back by both public opinion and a desire to know more about the NSA’s spying on Hong Kong organizations such as Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the end, the government let Snowden leave rather than going through all the trouble of detaining him.

However, what if the government had decided to pursue extradition? What would have happened then?

This is an excerpt from an opinion piece published in China Daily on December 23rd, 2013. The full article can be accessed here.