Hong Kong is set to test its entire 7.5 million population for Covid-19, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced.
The massive effort will be launched in March, and is going to take about a week.
Covid infections have been on the rise in the city for months, and now threaten to overwhelm its healthcare system, with mainland China having to send extra resources and personnel to Hong Kong’s aid.
Hong Kong officials are killing hamsters by the thousands after declaring the rodents responsible for spreading COVID-19. Meanwhile, in China’s mainland, the blame has been put on international mail packaging. Continue reading “Hong Kong to Kill 2,000 Pets as Chinese Authorities Blame COVID-19 Spread on Imported Animals, Packages..”
Britain’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom on Monday imposed financial penalties on Chinese state broadcaster CGTN for airing forced confessions and biased coverage of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Continue reading “UK Fines Chinese Broadcaster CGTN Over Forced Confessions…”
China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi warned the Biden administration not to cross Beijing’s “red line” in a half-hour speech on the evening of Feb. 1.
“The United States should stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang,” Yang said, calling the issues regarding the three regions China’s “internal affairs.” He made the remarks while speaking at a virtual event hosted by New York-based nonprofit the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Yang added: “They constitute a red line that must not be crossed. Any trespassing would end up undermining China-U.S. relations and the United States’ own interests.”
He also told the United States that it should “strictly abide by the One China principle” with regards to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims is part of its territory.
Hong Kong authorities are seeking to arrest six pro-democracy activists living abroad, including one US citizen. Experts say that China’s security law for the city doesn’t just pose a threat to locals.
SINGAPORE: BIGO Technology, a smaller rival of embattled Chinese app-maker ByteDance, is shifting servers from Hong Kong to Singapore, out of the reach of a new national security law at a time when it is seeking to emphasize independence from its Chinese parent.
The move, which follows India’s ban on the firm’s apps during this year’s flare-up in hostilities between New Delhi and Beijing, comes as the United States toughens scrutiny of Chinese-owned firms in one of its most promising markets.
Decades of tyrannical rule in China have finally boiled over, with the communist powerhouse now testing how far it can push its twisted definition of law and order.
On July 31, under the authority of the infamous national security law imposed by China’s National People’s Congress, Hong Kong police issued arrest warrants for six overseas activists, including an American citizen.
Authorities issued the warrants about a month after the controversial law’s implementation.
Authorities in Hong Kong are cracking down on political dissent, just like Hong Kong is another mainland Chinese city. This week, police arrested Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai, democracy activist Agnes Chow, and several others. The arrests may be aimed at intimidating Hongkongers; but Hongkongers are refusing to be intimidated.
BEIJING (Kyodo) — China called Tuesday on Japan not to meddle in the issue of its territory Hong Kong, hours after the neighbor’s top government spokesman voiced concern over the arrests of prominent pro-democracy activists in the region.
“No external forces are allowed to interfere” in Hong Kong, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters, adding, “We urge Japan to recognize the reality, understand the issue correctly, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.”
Activists say China is carrying out a political purge in Hong Kong after another 10 people were arrested under a new national security law.
- Agnes Chow, a prominent 23-year-old activist, has become the latest high-profile arrest in Hong Kong
- It follows media tycoon Jimmy Lai‘s arrest under Hong Kong’s new security laws
- Lai is facing life in jail for colluding with foreign forces
Hong Kong’s democracy movement is increasingly gripped by fear, with well-known activist Agnes Chow, 23, becoming the latest target of police.
Friends say the pro-democracy campaigner is under investigation for inciting secession.
An earlier post on Ms Chow’s official Facebook page said police had arrived at her home and her lawyers were rushing to the scene, and a separate post later confirmed that she had been taken away by police.
The lure of the massive Chinese market has led Hollywood to readily self-censor its films to please Beijing, according to a new report by Pen America, an anti-censorship group.
Screenwriters, producers and directors in the huge US film industry are changing scripts, deleting scenes and altering other content, afraid of offending Chinese censors who control the gateway to the country’s 1.4 billion consumers, according to the report released Wednesday.
The actions include everything from deleting the Taiwanese flag from Tom Cruise’s bomber jacket in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, to removing China as the source of a zombie virus in 2013’s World War Z.
But it also means completely avoiding sensitive issues including Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong politics, Xinjiang and the portrayal of LGBTQ characters, the report said.
Faced with blacklisting and other punitive measures, Hollywood producers are even censoring films not targeting the Chinese market, in order to not impact others planned for Chinese theaters, Pen America says.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong officials, including the city’s pro-China leader Carrie Lam, accusing them of cooperating with Beijing’s effort to undermine autonomy and crack down on freedoms in the former British colony.
- The action blocks all property or other assets that the individuals have within US jurisdiction
- Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong earlier this year
- The US says the law allows authorities in mainland China to operate with impunity in Hong Kong
The sanctions are the latest in a string of actions the Trump administration has taken targeting China, as tensions between the two nations rise over trade, COVID-19 and other issues.
US President Donald Trump has blamed Beijing for the coronavirus outbreak in the US as he seeks to deflect criticism of his own handling of the pandemic in an election year.
The US Treasury Department said the sanctions on Ms Lam and 10 other officials were authorized by an executive order signed recently by Mr Trump.
Hong Kong denied plans to harvest residents’ DNA as part of a China-backed coronavirus-testing blitz, as deep political mistrust further complicates the city’s efforts to contain its worst outbreak ever.
The Hong Kong government Sunday welcomed Chinese government experts who are setting up a temporary laboratory to dramatically expand its ability to track a third wave of COVID-19 cases. The push quickly fanned suspicions that authorities would use the opportunity to collect DNA samples from residents, a tactic local law enforcement have recently employed in activist arrests, after widespread use by police in Xinjiang and elsewhere on the mainland.
The Hong Kong government “solemnly clarified that this is absolutely unfounded,” pledging in a statement that samples “will not be transported to the mainland for testing.” The government blamed “certain individuals” for spreading the theory online and promised to look into “whether spreading untrue claims intentionally by certain individuals would constitute criminal offense.”
Artist. Propagandist. Urban planning enthusiast. Traditional Chinese medicine student. Zheng Yanxiong doesn’t fit the usual mold of a top Communist Party security agent.
Zheng’s eclectic background suggests someone who will bring a broad approach to running the Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong, the powerful and secretive agency China created to implement a new security law in the former British colony. The office will “oversee and provide guidance” to Hong Kong authorities and be accountable to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government.
The law gives Zheng, 57, broad authority to gather intelligence, select some “complex” cases for prosecution in mainland courts and regulate foreign media outlets. That could become more important as American journalists in Hong Kong become potential targets for retaliation and tensions between the U.S. and China escalate.
China promised Tuesday that they would take necessary actions against American journalists in Hong Kong, if the U.S. did not stop all “bullying” and grant visa extensions to U.S.–based Chinese journalists.
The State Department designated nine Chinese media outlets as “foreign missions” and a number of individuals have been deemed “foreign agents,” alleging that journalists for the media companies are mouthpieces for the Chinese government.
Visa restrictions have been placed on five of the media outlets, restricting the number of employees permitted into the U.S.
ROME — Pope Francis sent subtle but clear signals of closeness to Beijing while distancing himself from Taiwan and Hong Kong during his flight to Japan from Thailand Saturday.
In a series of telegrams to officials of the three territories, the pope disclosed the current diplomatic position of the Vatican regarding key Asian conflicts.
Especially revealing was the wording of the pontiff’s telegrams to China and Taiwan and the different manner in which he described each nation.
“I send cordial greetings to your Excellency as I fly over China on my way to Japan. I assure you of my prayers for the nation and its people, invoking upon all of you abundant blessings of peace and joy,” the pope wrote to Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.
BEIJING — China said on Monday that it would suspend U.S. Navy visits to Hong Kong and sanction a range of pro-democracy non-governmental organizations in retaliation for the passage of legislation supporting human rights in Hong Kong by Congress last week.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated accusations that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act “seriously interfered” in Hong Kong’s internal affairs and appeared to back up China’s threats the U.S. would bear the cost of the decision.
Along with suspending visits by official U.S. military ships and aircraft, Hua said China would sanction organizations including the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Human Rights Watch and others that she said had “performed badly” in the Hong Kong unrest.
One evening in the summer of 2017, local police in China made a surprise inspection of a small private language school, checking the visas of all non-Chinese attendees. Among those present was a foreign doctoral student, who had left his passport at his hotel. “Not to worry,” said the officer. “What’s your name?” The officer took out a handheld device and entered the student’s name. “Is this you?” Displayed on the screen was the researcher’s name, his passport number, and the address of his hotel.
This kind of incident is common in Xinjiang, where China has extensively deployed technology against Muslim minorities. But this episode took place in Yunnan province, near China’s southern border with Myanmar. In fact, public security bureaus—the network of agencies in China that deal with domestic security and intelligence—across the country are using electronic databases coupled with handheld tools to keep track of certain categories of people. These “key individuals,” as they are officially known, range from paroled criminals and users of drugs to foreigners, petitioners, and religious believers.
While the Chinese government has developed one of the world’s most technologically sophisticated systems for information control, authorities continue to use low-tech tactics to punish and deter critical reporting and commentary. The following are a selection of such cases from the past few months:
- Long prison sentences: Huang Qi, the founder of the human rights website 64 Tianwang, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on July 29 for “intentionally leaking state secrets.” In late June, authorities sentenced Liu Pengfei, the moderator of a popular WeChat account that provided Chinese readers with access to foreign news, to two years’ imprisonment. Liu’s arrest came after warnings issued by state media in May that WeChat administrators could be held responsible for discussions in their groups. Mongolian historian Lhamjab A. Borjgin was sentenced on July 3 to one year in prison with a two-year reprieve for “national separatism” and “illegal business [activities]” related to dissemination of his book, China’s Cultural Revolution.
- Deaths in custody, and execution fears: Chinese Human Rights Defenders reported on September 23 that police had alerted relatives of activist Wang Meiyu that he had died in custody in Hunan. Wang was detained in July after holding a placard in public calling for Xi Jinping’s resignation and the conduct of national elections. In a separate case, Meng Hong, an elderly Falun Gong practitioner sentenced to prison in 2013 for handing out flyers, reportedly died on July 30 while in custody, according to her daughter living in the United States. In Xinjiang, scholar and former president of Xinjiang University Tashpolat Teyip may be “imminently” executed, according to Radio Free Asia. Teyip’s brother has not been able to contact him since his disappearance in 2017 en route to a conference in Germany.