Re: "we need clarity on what the laws will involve before we can decide anything"
@LucreLout - "This manoeuvre from Beijing is a direct consequence of violent protests last year
I agree, and it will end them just as surely as sending in the tanks did in Tienanmen square all those years ago."
I disagree, this manoeuvre is a response to the large peaceful protests last year, and the overwhelming success of pro-democratic/pro-protest candidates in the District Council elections. There has been violence at some of the protests, but the HK Police can handle a few thousand violent people. It's the millions of non-violent people saying what they want that frightens Beijing.
"If I recall correctly the protests were brought about precisely because Beijing interfered with the HK system making it easier to extradite people to the mainland."
"Tienanmen Square was more than a generation ago, China has changed.
Not so long ago in my memory,"
Ditto. Yes, China was opening up. Then Xi Jinping got the top job and rooted out corruption... coincidentally, his opponents in the Party were all found to be corrupt. Now he's leader for life, a position last held by Chairman Mao.
"The World has changed Xi Jing Ping will NOT want to taint his legacy
Then respectfully he should see that the whole world recognizes China's strength and requires no demonstration of same."
I'm guessing Xi wants his legacy to be China as the only Superpower, restored to its "ancient borders" and all other countries subservient.
"To me this feels like a mistake, but I am not Chinese, nor have I even visited HK, so I'll bow out here with best wishes for all involved to find a peaceful resolution."
I tend to agree its a mistake. I'm not Chinese either, but I live in HK, thanks.
 The District Councils don't have a lot of power, they have some budget for local improvements and discuss bus routes and the like. They do elect a block of members to the Election Committee, a topic that would need another footnote. Previously, they've not been hotly contested, and were controlled by pro-establishment councillors. The democrats got their act together and contested every seat at the end of last year, campaigning on the protestor's 5 demands. They won a majority in 17 of the 18 Councils.