UK mulls pulling judges from Hong Kong in wake of security law

The United Kingdom’s government has begun discussions on whether it is appropriate for British judges to continue to sit on Hong Kong’s top court following China’s imposition of a national security law in the territory and the disqualification of elected legislators that Britain has said is in breach of international law. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says he had started consultations with the Lord Chancellor and Lord Reed, the president of the UK’s Supreme Court, on the British judges who sit on Hong Kong’s Final Court of Appeal. “This has been, and continues to be, the most concerning period in Hong … Continue reading UK mulls pulling judges from Hong Kong in wake of security law

Joshua Wong and fellow activists plead guilty in Hong Kong protests trial

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong and two fellow campaigners are facing the prospect of prison after pleading guilty to unlawful assembly during last year’s mass protests, Mr Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow appeared in court on Monday. Mr Wong said he expected to go to jail, possibly facing five years behind bars. However, as the alleged offences took place before China enacted a harsh national security law in June, they avoided a potential life sentence, the prominent activist revealed he decided to change his plea after talking to his lawyer. “We three have decided to plead guilty to … Continue reading Joshua Wong and fellow activists plead guilty in Hong Kong protests trial

Chinese county to review decision to ban public dog walking

A county in China’s Yunnan province has been forced to reconsider a policy banning residents from walking their dogs in public from 20 November, a circular said anyone caught doing so three times would have their pets confiscated and killed. Officials said it was to protect residents, as there had been incidents where unleashed pets had bitten people, however, the policy has been met with outrage on social media, prompting officials to say they would “rethink”. “These are uncivilized policies to promote ‘civilized’ dog-raising,” one said, with others criticizing the “extreme” measure. The circular issued on 13 November mandates pet … Continue reading Chinese county to review decision to ban public dog walking

Hong Kong: China condemns opposition walkout as ‘farce’

China’s government has condemned the mass resignation of most of Hong Kong’s opposition as a “farce” and an “open challenge” to it’s authority, on Wednesday, 15 opposition members announced their resignation in solidarity with four fellow lawmakers that had been dismissed. They were removed after Beijing said legislators deemed a threat to national security should be dismissed, many see it as a restriction on Hong Kong’s rights, which Beijing denies. China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office on Thursday condemned the mass resignation as “an open challenge” against the Chinese government’s authority and the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution, it … Continue reading Hong Kong: China condemns opposition walkout as ‘farce’

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislators resign en masse

All of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy politicians have resigned from the city’s legislature on Wednesday, just hours after the city’s government disqualified four opposition legislators on allegations of “endangering national security”. The expulsion of the four politicians came after China’s parliament adopted a resolution allowing the city’s government to expel legislators deemed to be supporting Hong Kong independence, colluding with foreign forces or threatening national security, without having to go through the courts. More soon … Continue reading Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislators resign en masse

Hong Kong disqualifies four pro-democracy lawmakers after China ruling

Four opposition pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong have been disqualified with immediate effect, it came moments after China’s decision-making body passed a resolution allowing for the disqualification of lawmakers found to have supported the city’s independence. The move is being seen as another attempt by China to restrict Hong Kong’s freedoms, other pro-democracy lawmakers are expected to resign in protest. The new resolution passed by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee says that lawmakers should be disqualified if they support Hong Kong independence, refuse to acknowledge China’s sovereignty, ask foreign forces to interfere in the city’s affairs or in other … Continue reading Hong Kong disqualifies four pro-democracy lawmakers after China ruling

Update: Hong Kong activist detained near US embassy charged

Hong Kong teen activist Tony Chung has been charged under a new national security law, just days after he was detained outside the US consulate, Mr Chung, 19, had reportedly planned to enter the consulate and claim asylum. The activist faces the possibility of life in prison if found guilty of secession, conspiracy to publish seditious content and money laundering. Mr Chung, the second person to be charged under the law, was denied bail by the court, the controversial law was imposed by China on Hong Kong in June, making it easier to punish protesters and reducing the city’s autonomy, … Continue reading Update: Hong Kong activist detained near US embassy charged

Hong Kong activist Tony Chung detained near US consulate

A Hong Kong activist has been detained by plain-clothed police officers near the US consulate. Tony Chung had planned to enter the consulate on Tuesday and claim asylum, the UK-based activist group Friends of Hong Kong said, he was arrested along with two other former members of a student pro-independence group. Mr Chung, 19, was the first public figure arrested under a controversial new national security law in July, he was accused of being involved in an organisation that vowed to fight for an independent Hong Kong and later released on bail. Hong Kong’s national security law, imposed in June, … Continue reading Hong Kong activist Tony Chung detained near US consulate

Covid-19: China removes two senior officials

Two senior officials have been removed from their jobs in the Chinese city of Qingdao after a fresh outbreak of the new coronavirus there. The head of the chest hospital where the outbreak reportedly began as well as the senior communist party official on the city’s health commission have been suspended. A mass testing process is under way to try to contain the outbreak. Authorities say half the population of around 5 million people have been tested, no new cases have been confirmed so far. The total number stands at 12 – all of whom are symptomatic. The sacking or … Continue reading Covid-19: China removes two senior officials

Teacher disqualified for promoting Hong Kong independence

A Hong Kong teacher’s licence has been removed after being accused of promoting the territory’s independence in the classroom, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam said it was important to weed out “bad apples” from the education system, officials in Beijing believe schools have been helping to foment opposition to China’s communist party. Hong Kong’s largest teachers’ union has accused Hong Kong authorities of conducting an unfair investigation. Rights group Amnesty International said the sacking sent an ominous message to teachers in Hong Kong about the discussion of politics in schools, but Ms Lam insisted that the teacher’s removal was the … Continue reading Teacher disqualified for promoting Hong Kong independence

China forcing thousands of Tibetans into mass labour camps

China is coercing hundreds of thousands of people in Tibet into military style vocational training centres, a study has warned. The report by the Jamestown Foundation is based on state media reports, policy documents and satellite imagery which Reuters says it has verified. It has also compared the situation to what has been documented among ethnic Uighurs in the Xinjiang region. Chinese authorities have not yet commented on the findings. Tibet is a remote and mainly Buddhist territory in the Himalayas. It is governed as an autonomous region of China which is accused of suppressing cultural and religious freedom there. … Continue reading China forcing thousands of Tibetans into mass labour camps

BREAKING NEWS: Chinese tycoon who criticized Xi Jinping’s handling of coronavirus jailed for 18 years

A Chinese billionaire who criticized President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been jailed for 18 years on corruption charges, a court said Tuesday. Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real-estate tycoon with close ties to senior Chinese officials, disappeared in March after he allegedly penned a scathing essay that month criticizing Xi’s response to the coronavirus epidemic. He was later charged with corruption-related offences. Ren Zhiqiang, a former real estate tycoon and outspoken government critic. On Tuesday, a court in Beijing found Ren guilty on multiple charges, including embezzling some $16.3 million (110.6 million yuan) in public funds, accepting bribes, and abuse of … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS: Chinese tycoon who criticized Xi Jinping’s handling of coronavirus jailed for 18 years