China: Xi meets with HKSAR chief executive

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Xi meets with HKSAR chief executive

Xinhua
Xi meets with HKSAR chief executive

Xinhua

President Xi Jinping on Monday meets with Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam in Beijing.

President Xi Jinping on Monday met with Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam, who is on a duty visit to Beijing.

During the meeting, Xi heard a report from Lam on Hong Kong’s current situation and the HKSAR government’s work.

Xi said 2019 has been the most grim and complex year for Hong Kong since it returned to the motherland.

“In the face of various difficulties and pressures, you have stuck to the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, governed in accordance with the law, scrupulously fulfilled your duty, and done a great deal of hard work,” Xi told Lam.

Xi also said Lam has led the SAR government to actively respond to social concerns, adopt a series of policies and measures to support businesses and mitigate difficulties for the people, and carefully study solutions to deep social tensions and problems.

Xi said the central government fully acknowledges the courage and sense of mission Lam has demonstrated during this special period for Hong Kong.

Xi stressed that he had made clear the stance and attitude of the central government on Hong Kong’s situation at the 11th BRICS summit in Brazil on Nov. 14.

“We have unswerving determination to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, implement the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and oppose any external force interfering in Hong Kong affairs,” Xi said.

“We will continue to firmly support you in leading the SAR government to govern in accordance with the law, firmly support the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing the law, firmly support all people who love China and Hong Kong, and hope Hong Kong people from all walks of life will unite and work together to bring Hong Kong’s development back on track,” Xi told Lam.

Xi meets with HKSAR chief executive

Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang on Monday meets with Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam in Beijing.

Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang also met with Lam on the same day.

During the meeting, Li heard a report on the situation in Hong Kong and the SAR government’s work.

Vice Premier Han Zheng also attended the meeting.

Lam’s duty trip to Beijing this year has drawn wide attention, as the disturbances in Hong Kong have damaged the society in many ways, he said.

“The central government will continue to resolutely implement the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, resolutely support you as the chief executive in leading the SAR government to govern in accordance with the law, and resolutely safeguard Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability,” Li told Lam.

Currently, the economy of Hong Kong is experiencing an obvious decline, with many industries suffering heavy blows, Li said.

In the face of this unprecedented grim and complex situation, Lam has led the HKSAR government in sparing no efforts to maintain social stability and rolling out a series of measures to aid enterprises and ensure employment, Li said, praising Lam and the HKSAR government for “rising to the challenges and doing a lot of difficult work.”

Li said the central government fully acknowledges the efforts made by Lam and the HKSAR government.

Noting that Hong Kong is still facing difficulties, Li said the HKSAR government should make continuous efforts to bring the violence and chaos to an end in accordance with the law and restore order.

Li also urged the HKSAR government to intensify efforts to address deep-rooted issues in the economic and social development of Hong Kong so as to ensure lasting prosperity and stability in the region.

Lam said the past year has been a grim year for Hong Kong’s politics, economy and society, and the SAR government has adopted a series of measures to restore order, support businesses and mitigate difficulties for the people.

Lam expressed gratitude to the central government for its support for Hong Kong.

The SAR government will keep developing the economy and improving people’s wellbeing, take part in the development of the country, expand international cooperation and consolidate Hong Kong’s position as an international financial, trade and shipping center, said Lam.

Hong Kong leader Lam heads to Beijing as pressure mounts at home

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF AL-JAZEERA NEWS)

 

Hong Kong leader Lam heads to Beijing as pressure mounts at home

During her four-day visit, Lam is due to discuss political and economic situation in Hong Kong with President Xi.

Report says Lam will hold a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday [File: Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP]
Report says Lam will hold a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday [File: Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP]

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam left for Beijing on Saturday for her first visit to the Chinese capital since her government was handed a crushing defeat in local elections last month, prompting speculation about changes to her leadership team.

Lam is due to discuss the political and economic situation in the China-ruled city with Beijing officials during a four-day visit. She will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, news reports said.

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Hong Kong has been convulsed by daily and often violent protests for the last six months as demonstrations against a now-withdrawn extradition bill broadened into demands for greater democratic freedom.

There have also been calls from opposition politicians, activists and the Hong Kong media for Lam to resign.

Amid all the pressure, Lam has remained unbowed and said that there will no further concessions to the protesters.

Last Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people marched to protest against what is seen as Beijing undermining freedoms guaranteed when the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997.

Many young protesters are also angry at Lam’s government, charging it with failing to address social inequality issues in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

This week Lam said a cabinet reshuffle was not an “immediate task” and she would focus her efforts on restoring law and order to Hong Kong.

Still, there are doubts about how long Beijing is willing to back her. Especially after pro-democracy candidates won nearly 90 percent of the seats in district elections last month.

China has condemned the unrest and blamed foreign interference. It denies that it is meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.

In an editorial this week, the official China Daily newspaper called on Hong Kong’s government to uphold the rule of law.

Separately, police have arrested five teenagers in connection with the murder of a 70-year-old man last month and for rioting, the government said.

The man had been assaulted by someone with bricks and later died in hospital, the government said in a statement.

He was the second person in less than a week to die in protest-linked incidents.

Alex Chow, a 22-year-old university student, died on November 8 from head injuries sustained during a fall in a multi-story car park while police and protesters were clashing.

Although the events leading to his fall are unclear and disputed, protesters have blamed the police.

The past three weeks have seen a lull in the violence and vandalism after pro-democracy parties won a landslide in local council elections.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

5 Cities Most at Risk With Rising Sea Levels

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

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5 Cities Most at Risk With Rising Sea Levels

There are 570 coastal cities that could be impacted by rising sea levels by the 2050’s, affecting some 800 million people, according to C40 Cities. Cities along the Atlantic coast in the U.S. and various parts of Asia are under the greatest threat. Here’s a look at the cities most at risk if sea levels rise significantly.

Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

Credit: BackyardProduction/iStock

Located on the southeastern tip of Florida, this low-lying city will be completely inundated with flood waters if sea levels rise as some predict. With a population of over 2.7 million, the entire Miami-Dade county is only an average of six feet above sea level, making it an easy target for flooding.

The city is trying to address the problem with $500 million worth of infrastructure changes and the installation of pumps and floodgates, according to NPR.

Alexandria, Egypt

Credit: efesenko/iStock

Located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, the city of Alexandria is already feeling the effects of climate change. If sea levels continue to rise at the current rate, an estimated 3 million people would be directly affected, and millions more would eventually be displaced, according to The Guardian.

The drastic impact from rising sea levels is worsened by the Nile, the longest river in the world, which empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria. The low-lying river delta in this area continues to flood, causing the loss of much-needed crops in this heavily populated city, according to NPR. Climate change is also causing hotter temperatures and beach erosion. This is hampering tourism in the area, which is a very important aspect of the city’s economic livelihood, according to NPR. Making matters worse, the average elevation of the area is only 16 feet above sea level.

Osaka, Japan

Credit: pat138241/iStock

This large port city on the Japanese island of Honshu has been aware of the threat of climate change for a while. There has been massive coastal flooding in areas of the city, including its airport. According to The Guardian, an estimated 5 million people will be directly impacted by the rising sea levels, and an additional 6 million could be displaced in the city’s surrounding region.

Like other major coastal cities, Osaka has been updating its infrastructure in an attempt to combat the rising waters. Unfortunately, in a study by the Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science in Japan, it was found that the current designs for these walls may be insufficient against a prospective higher sea level.

Hong Kong, China

Credit: efired/iStock

The fate of this global financial hub depends on how high temperatures rise. A rise of just 2 degrees Celsius puts Hong Kong’s entire population of 7.4 million people at risk, along with many more in the surrounding coastal areas, according to The Guardian. A warm-up of more than 2 degrees could be catastrophic. The average elevation of Hong Kong varies, but it is typically only about 4 feet above sea level, worsening the situation.

Shanghai, China

Credit: chuyu/iStock

All of China’s coastal cities are at risk, according to GBTIMES. Its largest city, Shanghai, with a population of 24.2 million, is unfortunately at the forefront. Scientists have been warning the city for many years that it is already a major flood risk due to its dense population on the low-lying coast and its abundance of rivers, canals and other waterways, according to The New York Times.

According to The Guardian, 17.5 million people will be affected if sea levels rise to the current expectation. At just 13 feet above sea level, the city has been installing massive flood prevention walls in an attempt to prevent future problems. Only time will tell if these efforts help.

China: US act on Hong Kong ‘completely unnecessary’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

US act on Hong Kong ‘completely unnecessary, unjustifiable’: HKSAR chief executive

Xinhua

US act on Hong Kong 'completely unnecessary, unjustifiable': HKSAR chief executive

AFP

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on December 3, 2019.

The Hong Kong-related act recently passed by the US Congress and signed into law by the US president is “completely unnecessary and unjustifiable,” Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday.

At a media briefing before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam said the HKSAR government strongly opposes the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, and regards it as a “very regrettable” move by a foreign legislature and administration to interfere in the Hong Kong affairs through their own legislation.

Stressing that the human rights and freedom of Hong Kong residents are well protected by the HKSAR Basic Law, Lam pointed out “we enjoy a high degree of freedom in many aspects, including freedom of press, freedom of assembly and demonstration, as well as religious freedom.”

Lam noted that the major chambers of commerce here have been strongly opposing the act, adding that the act may even bring harm to US companies, considering that there are more than 1,300 US enterprises that have operation or even regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

As for the suspension of reviewing applications to visit Hong Kong by US military ships and aircraft and the sanctions against some US non-governmental organizations announced by the Chinese central government on Monday, Lam said the central government shall be responsible for the foreign affairs related to the HKSAR, and the HKSAR will cooperate and follow up in accordance.

Visitors to Hong Kong drop 43.7% on year in October

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Visitors to Hong Kong drop 43.7% on year in October

Xinhua

The number of visitors to Hong Kong dropped 43.7 percent year on year to 3.31 million in October, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

The decline has been widening since July as tourism took the major brunt of social unrest. In the first 10 months, the number of visitors went down by 4.7 percent from a year ago.

The HKTB attributed the sharper fall in the last month to continued violent incidents and a high base a year ago, when the number of visitors was boosted by the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

In October, visitors from the Chinese mainland, accounting for about 76 percent of the total, slumped 45.9 percent year on year. US and Japanese visitors fell by 38.2 percent and 44.9 percent from a year ago, respectively.

The dropping visitor number has forced major carriers to adjust their strategy.

Hong Kong Airlines said in a statement Friday that it will suspend services to Vancouver, Ho Chi Minh City and Tianjin since February to focus on operating other priority routes under the challenging business environment caused by the ongoing social unrest.

Hong Kong protesters wave Trump-Rocky photos at rally

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HILL NEWS NETWORK)

 

Hong Kong protesters wave Trump-Rocky photos at rally

Protesters in Hong Kong on Thursday night could be seen waving pictures featuring the image President Trump recently shared of his face superimposed on the body of Sylvester Stallone’s fictional boxer Rocky Balboa.

The Washington Post reports many protesters in attendance at the “Thanksgiving Rally” were draped in American flags and cheered on Trump.

The president on Wednesday signed legislation affirming the United States’s support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

Protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong shortly after the bill was signed in Washington.

The legislation made its way to Trump’s desk quickly after it cleared both the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities.

The legislation imposes sanctions on individuals who commit human rights violations in Hong Kong and blocks them from entering the United States.

Trump’s signing of the bill grew his popularity in Hong Kong, with the Trump-Rocky photo serving as a fitting symbol of the demonstrators’ approval of the president.

The Post noted that some protesters even sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the demonstration.

Pro-democracy protests have gone on for months in Hong Kong, escalating in recent weeks as demonstrators have clashed with police. The uprising was initially sparked by a bill that would have allowed some citizens to be extradited to mainland China. The bill has since been withdrawn, which did little to quell the protests.

Trump signs bills backing Hong Kong protesters

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC)

 

Trump signs bills backing Hong Kong protesters into law, in spite of Beijing’s objections

KEY POINTS
  • President Trump signs two bills backing Hong Kong protesters, the White House says in a statement.
  • The president says he “signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong.”
  • He also says he hopes “Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences.”
GP 191127 President Trump Pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey
U.S. President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump looking on in the Rose Garden of the White House November 26, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

President Donald Trump has signed two bills supporting the Hong Kong protesters into law on Wednesday, despite Beijing’s repeated objections.

“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.

Congress sent the bills to the president’s desk last week, after both chambers passed the legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The first bill would require the State Department to certify once a year that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to retain its special U.S. trading consideration — a status that helps its economy. Under that designation, the city is not subject to the tariffs that have been levied on China. The bill also sets up the potential for sanctions on people responsible for human rights abuse in Hong Kong.

The second measure would bar the sale of munitions such as tear gas and rubber bullets to Hong Kong police.

Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, has been engulfed in months of anti-government protests. Initially sparked by a bill that would have enabled extradition to mainland China, the protests have morphed into broader anti-government demonstrations, including a wider range of demands such as greater democracy and universal suffrage.

VIDEO03:36
China decries House bill, calls it the ‘Support Violence in Hong Kong Act’

As the protests more frequently lapsed into violence, U.S. lawmakers increasingly criticized China’s response to the protests.

Trump’s Wednesday statement echoes his earlier comments that China should handle the situation itself. Though he has also warned that harsh treatment of the people in Hong Kong could derail trade negotiations.

Trump signed the bills into law as he tries to reach a “phase one” trade deal with Beijing, which has repeatedly condemned the legislation as meddling in its domestic affairs. The Hong Kong government has also spoken out against the bills, saying they are “unnecessary and unwarranted.”

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the sponsors of the Hong Kong rights bill, said he applauds Trump “for signing this critical legislation into law.”

“The U.S. now has new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong’s internal affairs. Following last weekend’s historic elections in Hong Kong that included record turnout, this new law could not be more timely in showing strong U.S. support for Hong Kongers’ long-cherished freedoms,” Rubio said in a statement.

VIDEO01:54
Hong Kong markets jump following pro-democracy candidates’ landslide victory

Over the weekend, Hong Kong democrats swept district council elections as 2.94 million cast their ballots, a record turnout of about 71.2%. While those seats largely focus on local issues like bus routes, some district councilors will also join the Election Committee which nominates and votes on candidates for the city’s leader.

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said the legislation is an “important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights.”

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

Hong Kong elections: Record numbers vote in district council polls

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Hong Kong elections: Record numbers vote in district council polls

Hong Kong voters queue to cast their ballots in district council electionsImage copyright EPA
Image caption There were long queues at polling stations even as night started to fall

Voters have turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots in Hong Kong’s district council elections.

Nearly 2.9m people had voted an hour before polls shut, a 69% turnout. Just 1.47m voted at the last such poll.

The election is seen as a test of support for embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Pro-democracy protest groups hope the vote will send a message to the Chinese government after five months of unrest and anti-government protests.

In the run-up to the election, pro-democracy protest groups had urged people not to cause disruption. No trouble has been reported so far.

Long queues formed on Sunday amid fears polls might be closed by authorities if violence disrupted the election.

Media caption The identity crisis behind Hong Kong’s protests

A record 4.1 million people had registered to vote, or more than half the population of 7.4 million.

Pro-democracy campaigners hope they will be able to increase their representation on Hong Kong’s district council, which traditionally has some influence in choosing the city’s chief executive.

Pro-Beijing candidates are urging voters to support them in order to express frustration at the upheaval caused by continuous clashes between protesters and police.

What’s happening?

Polls opened at 07:30 local time (23:30 GMT) and closed at 22:30 on Sunday. Counting of ballots has now begun.

By 21:30 almost 2.9 million people had voted – or more than 69% of all registered voters.

In total, 1.467 million people voted in the last poll in 2015, when 3.1 million people were registered to vote.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks to the press after casting her vote during the district council elections in Hong Kong on November 24, 2019Image copyrightAFP
Image captionChief Executive Carrie Lam welcomed the “peaceful environment” for the vote

More than 1,000 candidates are running for 452 district council seats which, for the first time, are all being contested. A further 27 seats are allocated to representatives of rural districts.

Currently, pro-Beijing parties hold the majority of these seats. Counting will start immediately after polls close at 22:30, and results are expected to start coming in before midnight.

Police were seen outside some polling stations and on the streets but correspondents said they kept a low profile.

“Facing the extremely challenging situation, I’m pleased to say… we have a relatively calm and peaceful environment for [the] election today,” Carrie Lam said after voting.

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Ballots send a message

By Jonathan Head, BBC News, Hong Kong

This was a local election, for largely powerless district councils, yet it felt far more significant.

Queues formed early at Taikoo Shing in beautiful sunny weather, and by the time voting began they snaked around the block. The picture was similar at other polling stations. Local issues were on the minds of some voters, but the importance of this election as a clear test of support for the government and its opponents was lost on very few.

Some voters were uneasy about expressing any opinions in front of others. The sight of Democratic Party candidate Andrew Chiu sitting outside, chatting to reporters, and showing the bandaged left side of his head where an assailant bit off part of his ear earlier this month, offered a grim reminder of how far Hong Kong’s crisis has divided communities and families.

Andrew Chiu, a candidate in Hong Kong's district council elections in November 2019, sat outside a polling station chatting to voters
Image captionAndrew Chiu spoke to reporters outside a polling station amid voting in the district council elections

Nonetheless some told us they treasured this opportunity to send a message with their ballots, a free vote with a wide choice of candidates they said they were all too aware is not available in other parts of China.

Ten out of thirty-five seats in this district were uncontested at the last local council election, where pro-government parties have long enjoyed the advantage of better funding. This time every seat is being contested.

The opposition pan-democratic alliance has adopted the five demands of the protest movement as its slogan, and hopes public sentiment over the five-month crisis will give it an opportunity to take control of many of the district councils for the first time.

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Why are these elections important?

District councils themselves have very little actual power, so usually these elections take place on a very local level.

But this election is different.

Election officials empty ballot boxes to count votes in Hong Kong (2011)

Getty
Hong Kong district elections

  • 479seats across the territory
  • 1,090candidates – all seats being contested for the first time
  • 4.13mregistered voters – the highest number ever
  • 117councillors sit on committee that elects chief executive

Source: Hong Kong government

They are the first elections since anti-government protests started in June, so they will act as a litmus test, reflecting how much support there is for the current government.

“People in Hong Kong have begun to see this election as an additional way to articulate and express their views on the state of Hong Kong in general and the government of Carrie Lam,” Kenneth Chan, associate professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, told Reuters news agency.

Then there is the issue of Hong Kong’s chief executive. Under Hong Kong’s electoral system, 117 of the district councillors will also sit on the 1,200-member committee that votes for the chief executive.

So a pro-democracy district win could translate eventually to a bigger share, and say, in who becomes the city’s next leader.

Who is running?

There are some notable names running in the elections, including pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho, one of the most controversial politicians in the city. He was stabbed earlier this month by a man pretending to be a supporter.

Media captionJoshua Wong says Beijing can’t keep him down

The lawmaker has openly voiced his support for Hong Kong’s police force on multiple occasions. He was in July filmed shaking hands with a group of men – suspected of being triad gangsters – who later assaulted pro-democracy protesters.

Jimmy Sham, a political activist who has recently risen to prominence as the leader of the Civil Human Rights Front – a campaign group responsible for organising some of the mass protest marches – is running for the first time.

Mr Sham has also been attacked twice, once apparently with hammers. Photographs showed him lying on the street covered in blood.

Who is not running is also notable. Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was barred from running in the elections, a move he referred to as “political screening”.

Hong Kong: China deploys troops and warns SURRENDER is only option

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK EXPRESS NEWS)

 

Hong Kong chaos: China deploys troops and warns SURRENDER is only option

CHINA has sent troops to Hong Kong in a bid to restore order following the months of violent riots, warnings it will not allow the city to spiral into chaos.

Hong Kong: Police fire tear gas at protesters

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This comes after police said the demonstrators inside the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong had no option but to come out and surrender. The protests began peacefully in June and were sparked by proposed legislation that would have meant criminal suspects could be extradited to the mainland. Although the bill was withdrawn, the protests had broadened into a resistance movement against the territory’s government and Beijing.

Many of the protesters wear masks to shield their identities for protection.

China’s ambassador to Britain accused the UK and the US of meddling in the country’s affairs and warned that the Chinese government “will not sit on our hands” if the Hong Kong situation “becomes uncontrollable”.

Cheuk Hau-yip, the commander of Kowloon West district, said: “These rioters, they are also criminals. They have to face the consequences of their acts.

Hong Kong protester

China has warned they will cease control of Hong Kong (Image: GETTY )

Hong Kong protests

The protests kicked off in June and have strengthened in size (Image: GETTY )

“Other than coming out to surrender, I don’t see that there’s any viable option for them.”

China’s ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaming has said that China has the “resolution and power” to end Hong Kong unrest amid protests.

Liu said that the People’s Liberation Army could be deployed in Beijing, warning: “They are already there in the Hong Kong garrison. They are there to show sovereignty and are responsible for defence purposes.

SEE MOREHong Kong protests: 800 students under siege in university

Hong Kong protesters

Protesters do not want Hong Kong to lose its autonomy (Image: getty )

“If the situation becomes uncontrollable, the central government certainly would not sit on our hands and watch. We have enough resolution and power to end the unrest.”

This comes as China has denounced a Hong Kong court ruling declaring the government’s mask ban unconstitutional.

This decision has been seen as “seriously weakening” the power of the Hong Kong chief executive.

Chris Tang, Hong Kong’s new police commissioner, said in an interview that police alone are not able to end the violence.

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Hong Kong Protests

Protesters have worn masks to protect their identities (Image: GETTY )

Protesters believe the extradition bill is an example of Hong Kong’s eroding autonomy under Beijing.

They worry China is taking back the freedoms given to Hong Kong when the UK returned the territory to China.

Hong Kong police have laid siege to a university, pinning 800 students inside and threatened to use live ammunition on them, as the latest round of anti-government protests escalates.

Hong Kong Protests timeline

The Hong Kong Protests – how they happened (Image: EXPRESS )

China said it is committed to the “one country, two systems” formula granting Hong Kong autonomy, while the city’s police deny accusations of brutality and say they show utmost restraint.

The UK has urged an “end to the violence and for all sides to engage in meaningful political dialogue”.

China Is Concerned About HK Court Ruling

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS NETWORK ‘SHINE’)

 

Central gov’t spokesperson expresses strong concern over HK court judicial review related to mask ban

Xinhua

A central government spokesperson on Tuesday expressed strong concern over the serious negative social impact of the ruling on the judicial review related to the anti-mask regulation by the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Emergency Regulations Ordinance in force in Hong Kong was confirmed to be in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law by the relevant decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in February 1997 and adopted as a law of the HKSAR, said Yang Guang, spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.

“This shows all the provisions of the ordinance are in accordance with the Basic Law,” Yang said.

The HKSAR Chief Executive in Council invoked the power under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to put in place the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation, which was an exercise of the Chief Executive’s functions in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the NPC Standing Committee, he noted.

“The regulation has played a positive role in curbing violence and chaos since its implementation,” he added.

The Court of First Instance of the High Court of the HKSAR ruled that the provisions of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance which empower the Chief Executive to make related regulations under certain circumstances were inconsistent with the HKSAR Basic Law and that the main elements of the anti-mask regulation failed to meet the proportionality test.

“This is a blatant challenge to the authority of the NPC Standing Committee and to the power vested in the Chief Executive by law to govern. It will have serious negative social and political impact,” said Yang, adding that the central government will closely follow the development of this case.

The spokesperson expressed the hope that the HKSAR government and the judiciary will perform their duties strictly in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law and jointly shoulder the responsibility of ending violence and chaos and restoring order.