China's two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, widely seen as one of badminton's greatest ever players, retires.
Zheng Yanxiong is best known for a crackdown on protesters over a land dispute in 2011.
Nathan Law says he will continue to fight for Hong Kong from abroad, after China's severe new law.
The US House Speaker said the law was a "brutal, sweeping crackdown" against Hong Kong's people.
A Vietnamese vlogger’s YouTube videos have sparked the ire of some Chinese netizens who suspect her of copying iconic Chinese foodie influencer, Li Ziqi. Titled Bep Tren Dinh Doi, which means “Kitchen on the Hill” in English, the vlog features videos about cooking healthy food using vegetables she grows herself.So far, the vlogger has nearly 190,000 subscribers on the video platform, with some of her videos recording 1 million views. However, many netizens have left comments below her videos saying they’re too similar to Li’s.From the video content, the blogger’s hairstyle and clothing to the kitchen furnishings, and even the involvement of a grandma and a puppy, the Vietnamese vlogger’s videos have stirred a hornet’s nest among netizens. They view it as almost a “copy and paste” version of Li, with some suggesting it’s an act of plagiarism.“I’m not against people sharing videos of their farm lives, there are lots of great ones around, but this YouTuber has full-on plagiarized Li Ziqi,” Joyce Fu, one of the netizens, commented. “Please respect intellectual property.” Over the last two years, some vloggers have reposted Li’s video clips with Vietnamese subtitles without clarifying the source, leading to some confusion about Li’s nationality. In response to this, Li issued a statement in March 2019 via her official YouTube account, stressing her nationality as a Chinese and that all of her videos were shot in China.Li, who lives in a picturesque village of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, has presented herself making various Chinese dishes since 2016. Her content starts with planting seeds in the fields and progresses all the way to serving dishes on the table. Her traditional food preparation crafts and rural lifestyle have drawn 11.1 million subscribers on YouTube.
A FEW days ago, instead of attending the regular class that uses blackboard and chalks, primary school student Abduzak Abdusalam had a multimedia lesson at his school in Xihexiu Township in the Karakoram mountains, northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.Karakoram, which means “black monolith,” is a sparsely populated region due to its altitude and ruggedness. Located at an average elevation of 3,500 meters, 99 percent of the township is in mountainous areas. It was often left in darkness as the region mainly counted on unstable solar power to generate electricity.Dawut Wusiman, vice principal of the township’s central primary school, said that due to the poor stability of photovoltaic power and frequent power outages on rainy and snowy days, some multimedia teaching equipment in the school could not be used normally.“The students had to do their homework in dim light by keeping their heads low, and they could only freshen up in their dorm under a flashlight,” said Zeng Xiaoming, a teacher of the school.“Sometimes, students would tumble down on the road due to poor visibility at night. In winters, we could only use coal stoves to keep the classrooms warm, and the black smoke made them cough a lot.”“Lack of stable electricity is detrimental to students’ health, never mind bad for quality education,” said Dawut.In order to solve the electricity problem in the township, hundreds of staff members from the power department started working on the cliff to upgrade the power grid last August.On June 25, with the completion of the power transmission project, locals finally bid farewell to “counting on the sky” for power generation and welcomed steady access to power.The school now has electric heaters, and more than 700 teachers and students in the school can finally use the distance education system and multimedia teaching equipment.“The classroom is much brighter now,” said a joyous Abduzak. “It’s intriguing to see the teachers operate multimedia tools. We even heard that we can talk online with our friends in Beijing.”“Multimedia teaching equipment and distance learning system will help our children enjoy high-quality educational resources, and improve the teaching quality of the school,” added Dawut.
After working for two decades in the Xinfadi market in south Beijing, Ma Yong, a wholesaler, saw its operations suspended for the first time.“Over the years, the market has never encountered such a big trouble,” said Ma, 40, who was in quarantine after the large farm produce wholesale market emerged as the source of new COVID-19 cluster infections in Beijing since mid-June.From June 11 to July 1, Beijing reported 329 confirmed locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases, most of them tied to Xinfadi.The market, which was shut on June 13, provided about 70 percent of Beijing’s vegetables, 10 percent of pork, and 3 percent of beef and mutton. Over 100 veteran wholesalers like Ma work in the market to supply goods across the city.Successful businessBusiness of these veteran wholesalers was affected by the new infections to different degrees, but many remain upbeat about the market’s future.“Xinfadi wholesale market has given us a chance to change our fate,” said Ma, who came from a village in central Henan Province, and over the years, started building a successful business from scratch in the market.The new infections came as surprise for Ma, one of the major vegetable wholesalers at Xinfadi. Business was interrupted, products were backlogged while his customers made countless calls urging deliveries.“Our employees were also under quarantine, so no one was around to send deliveries. It was really difficult,” Ma said.In a bid to ensure market supply, local authorities set up a temporary trading area for vegetables after the market was shut, as well as three cargo turnover stations later in the suburbs, offering Ma and other wholesalers an opportunity to tide over the difficulty.Ma used to handle 70 to 80 tons of vegetables daily before the new infections were reported. Recently, the quantity has recovered to 30 tons a day.“We just have to hang on. Nothing can destroy us,” he stated. “We cannot afford to lose customers and suppliers.”Due to the restrictions in Xinfadi, Wang Dong, a veteran wholesaler of fruits, rerouted many of his products to other distribution centers in neighboring Hebei Province.During the epidemic earlier this year, Wang donated tons of vegetables to the worst-hit Hubei Province and witnessed the local situation improve over the past few months.“We have accumulated nearly half a year of experience in fighting the epidemic, and I am confident that we will overcome this new infection,” Wang said.The epidemic control measures have dealt a blow to his business, too, but Wang supports these efforts. “They are enforced to avoid greater impact and more severe losses, and for a better future of the market,” he insisted.Li Guoqing, a staple food wholesaler who has worked in the market for 19 years, said the interruption of his business due to the new infections provided him a rare opportunity to reflect on his business.“As a wholesaler, we had to keep running; otherwise, we would be phased out,” said Li, 47. “Many wholesalers in the market feel uncomfortable due to the sudden interruption of their business, but we are finally able to have a rare break.“I hope that the market will be reborn after the epidemic, and continue to progress.”
China has further expanded the use of its home-grown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System in the bike-sharing industry.China began to build the navigation system in the 1990s and completed its construction with the launch of the final satellite, the 55th in the BeiDou family, on June 23.On the same day, Hellobike, a popular bike-sharing company in China, announced that all of its shared bikes support BDS.The company released two new bike models that are equipped with BeiDou positioning services in March, and then finished remote firmware updates for all existing shared bikes to support BDS.With the help of high-precision navigation and positioning, users can be guided to park the bikes in a standardized manner, according to Chu Yiqun, a manager of Hellobike.Equipped with BDS positioning device, the intelligent lock on each bike receives BeiDou satellite signals and sends positioning information to the data center, which will help collect big data on the bikes and estimate users’ riding demands in advance, Chu said.
CHINA condemned foreign meddling in the country’s internal affairs yesterday, after Britain decided to extend a broader path to citizenship for the residents of Hong Kong and the US House of Representatives passed the so-called “Hong Kong Autonomy Act.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said no amount of pressure from external forces could “shake China’s determination and will to safeguard national sovereignty and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”
He urged the US to abide by international law and stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs, and not sign the sanction bill into law.
His comments came after the US House of Representatives on Wednesday joined the Senate in approving a bill imposing sanctions on groups that “undermine the city’s autonomy” under the pretext of a national security legislation in Hong Kong.
If the bill becomes law, “China will definitely take strong countermeasures, and all consequences will be borne by the US side,” Zhao said.
Meanwhile, dozens of lawmakers protested outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong to demand that the US stop meddling. The group said it gathered 1.6 million signatures online in support of its call.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also condemned the UK’s citizenship offer to Hong Kong residents and warned of “consequences.”
“All Chinese compatriots living in Hong Kong, including those with British National (Overseas) passport, are Chinese nationals,” he said.
About 370 people were arrested during and after Wednesday’s illegal assembly, including 10 on suspicion of violating the new security law.
Hong Kong police arrested a man on a London-bound flight early yesterday on suspicion of having stabbed a police officer in the arm during Wednesday’s protests.
The 24-year-old man, surnamed Wong, was arrested on a Cathay Pacific flight after police received an anonymous tip-off about his travel plans, police said.
Wong had purchased a ticket on Wednesday and boarded the flight with no check-in luggage, police said. He did not respond to the crew when they called him by name, and was not in his designated seat. Police identified him after conducting a sweep of the plane.
CHINA has put in place the most rigorous COVID-19 prevention and control measures for next week’s national college entrance exam, a key event for which more than 10 million candidates have registered, the Ministry of Education said yesterday.
Candidates and test site staff will have their body temperatures and health conditions monitored regularly, starting 14 days ahead of the exam, the ministry said in a statement.
Exam-sitters will have their body temperatures measured before tests. There will be at least three isolated test rooms at each test site, available for candidates who exhibit symptoms of fever and coughs during the exam.
Around 10.71 million candidates registered for this year’s exam, up by 400,000 from a year earlier, it said.
This year’s national unified college entrance exam is scheduled from July 7 to 8, one month later than usual, because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
In regions where heavy rainfall, floods, and even typhoons could happen during the exam days, governments have developed detailed disaster emergency response protocols.
The ministry vowed zero tolerance of college admission irregularities, saying students found to have been involved in exam cheating and admission fraud will see their admissions revoked.
CHINA will bestow memorial medals upon Chinese People’s Volunteer Army veterans of the 1950-53 Korean War to mark the 70th anniversary of their participation.
The medals are to be presented in the name of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, said a statement released yesterday by an office in charge of granting Party and state awards and honors.
In addition to those who fought in the war, other people eligible for the medals include those who provided services during the war such as medical workers, transport sector workers, translators, truce talk participants, militia, migrant workers, journalists, writers, photographers, as well as those who stayed on to help with post-war economic recovery in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
THE State Council yesterday appointed Chan Kwok-ki as secretary-general of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
In accordance with stipulations of the national security law, Chan was appointed upon nomination by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
The products came from Xinjiang - where a million Muslims have been detained for "re-education".
A man with a pro-independence flag is among 360 held on the first day of the new law, police say.
New crimes with severe penalties - what the security law brought in by China means in practice.
A MAJOR suspect in an illegal fund-raising fraud scheme, involving more than 100 billion yuan (US$14 billion), was extradited to China from Greece on Sunday.The fraud, concerning an online financial platform called Qbao.com, is one of China’s largest fraudulent fund-raising cases in recent years, according to the public security department of east China’s Jiangsu Province.The suspect, surnamed Xiong, was a key member of Qbao.com, and was responsible for data analysis in related companies.Zhang Xiaolei, the head of the platform, used Qbao.com to illegally raise money from the public, promising high return rates ranging from 20 to 60 percent annually, as bait to attract deposits. The funds were used to pay off old debts, pay high salaries to the company’s senior executives, and some were squandered away by Zhang.In December 2017, Zhang surrendered himself to the police. Xiong fled overseas in June 2017.The Intermediate People’s Court of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, sentenced Zhang to 15 years in jail, and confiscated 100 million yuan of his personal property.After returning to China, Xiong received nucleic acid tests, and was escorted to Nanjing in an enclosed environment. He is now under quarantine.
The newly-launched last satellite of China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System successfully entered the long-term operation mode yesterday, the Xi’an Satellite Control Center said.It marked that all 30 satellites of the BDS-3 system have been operating in the long-term mode, a major step forward for BDS to provide full services to the world, said the center.The last satellite of the BDS was launched on June 23. After nearly eight days, it successfully entered final orbit 36,000 kilometers above Earth on Tuesday.The center is conducting final tests before the satellite can be connected with the BDS-3 system and provide services.The BDS-3 system started to offer basic navigation services to countries and regions along the Belt and Road as well as the world in December 2018.
When Huang Tianlun decided to return to his village deep in the mountains to start up a business after a decade working in a city, his father discouraged him.But he insisted on pursuing his dream — to change the fate of his fellow poverty-stricken villagers.He made it. Two years after he served as Party chief of Jiaoxi village in Yongshun County in central China’s Hunan Province, Huang, 38, has successfully helped villagers shake off poverty and move into new homes in a program for poverty reduction.Huang, a native of Jiaoxi, graduated from college in 2005 and became a journalist for a commercial newspaper in Changsha, the provincial capital.In the same year, he joined the Communist Party of China under the influence of his father, also a Party member. Becoming Party chief of a village has been his ideal since he was young. During college, Huang said he was deeply moved by a TV drama series based on a true story, featuring a doctor from the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu who went to the Pamir Plateau to help treat the sick in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the 1960s.In 2014, he quit his job at the newspaper and returned to his village, in a national nature reserve, to start his own business.Three years later, he was elected to be a member of the Party branch of the village, and director of the villagers’ committee, because of his high education background and experience.He was later appointed Party chief of the village, where nearly 70 percent of the village’s 655 people lived in poverty due to its harsh natural conditions and poor infrastructure.“A poverty-stricken village needs people to come back. To eliminate poverty and vitalize the rural areas, young people are needed to do things. I wanted to take the initiative,” Huang said.Thanks to a government-funded relocation program, the villagers moved to their new houses in a township from their reclusive village. They also tried to plant herbs to increase incomes.Land of dreamsLast year, the per-capita net income of villagers reached 7,600 yuan (US$1,075), and the village shook off poverty overall. Like Huang, the vast rural regions have become a land of dreams and opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young Party members to serve the people and realize their value by helping farmers shake off poverty and live a better life.In Oqar County, Xinjiang, 28-year-old Zhou Long is devoted to poverty alleviation work.Zhou, deputy government head of Boritokay Township and also a Party member, has been working in Xinjiang since graduating from a teachers’ college in Sichuan Province.The township shook off poverty in 2018. “We have done a solid job in poverty alleviation in recent years,” Zhou said, adding he cares most about the families on the verge of poverty.It is his routine to visit households, go to the fields to chat with villagers, and discuss solutions with other officials to increase the income of herders and farmers.Last year, villagers were mobilized to plant tulips, roses, and other flowers.“The sales of these have already been booked out, and the revenue is much higher than that of vegetables,” Zhou said.“One of our key tasks is to strengthen the coordinated development of agriculture and husbandry.”
Despite the rain, customers formed a long line to buy bubble tea at Bliss Cake in Dongguan, a manufacturing hub in south China’s Guangdong Province, on a recent weekend afternoon.Having disappeared during the COVID-19 outbreak in the past few months, bubble tea lovers have returned to the store, which saw its 17 tables fully occupied, and a long line in its takeaway-fetching area.“Our sales were depressed by COVID-19 for two months. But now we can see customers coming back as people gradually return to work and begin ‘revenge buying’ to cure the cabin fever,” said Wen Shiming, marketing manager of Bliss Cake.Surrounded by factories and office buildings, this bubble tea store has been a gathering point of young workers, and its business offers a glimpse into local work resumption.Dubbed “world factory,” the city of Dongguan features a sprawling manufacturing industry. It is a major supplier of smartphones, Barbie dolls, and pricey shoes in the global market.In recent years, the city witnessed the rise of high-tech. Bubble tea, a popular beverage among young Chinese, is testimony to that trend.Data showed there are three bubble tea stores for every 2,000 Dongguan residents, compared with one coffee business for every 2,073 people in Berkeley, which a study ranked as the US city as having the most coffee shops per capita.Jian Weizhe, manager of My Caffe Life, another bubble tea shop, was once worried that COVID-19 would deal a deadly blow to the entire bubble tea business. As one of the largest bubble tea chains in Dongguan, My Caffe Life saw its sales volume in March plummet by 40 percent year on year.Much to Jian’s relief, the chain’s business rebounded in April and surpassed the year-earlier level in May, and the familiar long queues are making a comeback.That concurs with a general economic recovery in Guangdong, China’s manufacturing heartland, after the waning of the epidemic. Official data showed economic activities in the province had rebounded in April to the same level last year, as businesses reopened and factories picked up steam.In Dongguan, retail tax invoicing increased 10.5 percent year on year in May.Huang Yaode, operating director of bubble tea chain store Teabucks Lab, said the revival is a vote of confidence from the public over COVID-19.
HONG Kong police made the first arrests under the new national security law yesterday.
Police arrested more than 300 people for illegal assembly and other offenses, nine of them for breaching the new national security law which took effect on Tuesday.
Earlier yesterday, police cited the law for the first time in confronting illegal protesters.
“You are displaying flags or banners/chanting slogans/or conducting yourselves with an intent such as secession or subversion, which may constitute offenses under the ... national security law,” police said in a message displayed on a purple banner.
The new law will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Any flag or banner promoting Hong Kong’s separation from China or express support for “independence” for Tibet, Xinjiang or Taiwan is illegal under the law.
Police said the first two national security arrests were for people possessing signs promoting independence. Police said one man with a “Hong Kong independence” flag was arrested at an illegal assembly in the city’s Causeway Bay shopping district.
Police arrested another woman for holding up a sign displaying the British flag and calling for “Hong Kong’s independence.”
Three other women were detained for possessing items advocating independence.
“Advocacy for independence of Hong Kong is against the law,” security minister John Lee told reporters.
Many of those attending the illegal assemblies chanted independence slogans.
Police said one officer was stabbed in the shoulder as he tried to make an arrest. Police posted pictures on Twitter of an officer with a bleeding arm saying he was stabbed by “rioters holding sharp objects.” The suspects fled while bystanders offered no help, police said.
Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.
CHINA’S Hong Kong celebrated the 23rd anniversary of its return to the motherland yesterday, after a law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong came into force on Tuesday.
China’s national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region were hoisted and the national anthem was played at a ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong Island at about 8am local time yesterday in celebration of the anniversary.
Helicopters flew over Victoria Harbor, displaying the national and regional flags, and a fireboat sprayed a water-column salute.
Chief Executive of the HKSAR Carrie Lam stressed the significance of the return anniversary and said the new national security law will help restore stability in the HKSAR.
“The enactment of the national law is regarded as the most significant development in the relationship between the central authorities and the HKSAR since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland,” Lam said.
The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR was passed unanimously on Tuesday at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, and took effect at 11pm the same day upon its promulgation by the HKSAR government in the gazette.
The legislation came as Hong Kong had been gripped by prolonged social disturbances since June of last year. Intensified violent incidents and riots trampled order and the rule of law, threatened people’s safety, and endangered national security.
Lam called the enactment of the law a turning point to take Hong Kong out of the current impasse and restore stability and order from the chaos.
The HKSAR government will do its utmost and remain steadfast in its duties to fulfill the primary responsibility of implementing the law in Hong Kong, Lam said, saying a committee on safeguarding national security in the HKSAR will be established.
A series of celebrations were held yesterday for the anniversary, including parades of floats and fishing vessels and residents singing the national anthem in chorus.
At the opening ceremony of celebrating activities, Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, highlighted the successful practice of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong over the past 23 years.
The social unrest arising from the now-withdrawn ordinance amendments concerning fugitive transfers since last year has exposed the tremendous risks Hong Kong is facing in safeguarding national security and posed a grave challenge to “one country, two systems,” Luo said.
“With the elapse of time, we will get a good view that the promulgation of the law marks a significant turning point for Hong Kong to move from turmoil to stability, and a major milestone for the practice of ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong,” he said.
Celebrations can be spotted across Hong Kong. Residents sang the national anthem in chorus at multiple landmarks, including Victoria Peak and the Hong Kong Observation Wheel.
In Victoria Harbor, 150 fishing vessels, decorated with the national flag and banners, sailed in a procession to celebrate the anniversary and the passage of the new law, which were warmly greeted by joyful Hong Kong residents on the harbor front.
The captain of the pilot boat, surnamed Leung, participated in every parade since 1997. Leung, 68, said the lives of fishermen have become better and better since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland.
“Only when our country is prosperous, can Hong Kong be prosperous,” he said.
Cally Kwong, an NPC deputy from the HKSAR, participated in the parade of floats and said she felt “very special” as the new law took effect. The law came at the right timing as after a turbulent year, Hong Kong residents long for a peaceful life, she said, stressing that the legal mechanism on safeguarding national security will guarantee Hong Kong’s future. “Hong Kong is our home and we must cherish our home,” she said.
CHINA yesterday demanded Washington stop oppressing Chinese companies after US regulators declared telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE to be national security threats.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the US is “abusing state power” to hurt Chinese companies “without any evidence.”
“We once again urge the United States to stop abusing the concept of national security, deliberately discrediting China and unreasonably oppressing Chinese companies,” said the spokesman, Zhao Lijian.
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday blocked US firms from tapping an US$8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies. They are two major suppliers of equipment to US rural wireless companies.
US regulators say Huawei Technologies, the biggest global maker of telecom switching equipment, and its smaller Chinese rival ZTE Corp might facilitate Chinese spying.
Huawei and ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment but have previously denied the accusations and sharply criticized the FCC’s actions.
Barring US firms from buying equipment from Chinese telecom companies will not help protect the US communication network, but will severely impact Internet services, especially in rural and underdeveloped areas, said Zhao.
The designation means service will suffer as small carriers shut down parts of their network because they can’t use subsidy funds for maintenance or replacement parts, Carri Bennet, general counsel for the Rural Wireless Association that represents carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers, told Bloomberg. “They’re in a bind. They don’t have cash to keep the networks afloat,” Bennet said.
The FCC had previously barred Huawei and ZTE from receiving other government subsidies.
In April, the FCC said it may shut down US operations of three Chinese telecommunications companies. It required China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks Corp and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet (USA) to explain why it should not start the process of revoking authorizations enabling their US operations.
CHINA has asked four US media organizations to submit details about their operations in the country, the foreign ministry said yesterday in response to US measures against Chinese media outlets.
The Associated Press, United Press International, Columbia Broadcasting System, and National Public Radio are required to provide information about their staff, financial operations and real estate in China within seven days, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
Zhao made the announcement at a daily press briefing in response to a US announcement on June 22 that China Central Television, the People’s Daily, the Global Times, and China News Service had been designated as foreign missions in the United States.
“The above-mentioned measures by China are entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures in response to the unreasonable oppression conducted by the US to these Chinese media organizations’ branches in the US,” said Zhao, stressing that China’s measures are an entirely justifiable defense.
Zhao said recent US policies damage the reputation and image of Chinese media, impact their operations and “seriously interfere with the normal people-to-people exchanges between China and the US.”
The US moves are rooted in Cold War thinking and go against the freedom of the press long espoused by Washington, he said. “We urge the US to immediately change course, correct its error, and desist in the political suppression and unreasonable restriction of Chinese media,” Zhao said.
The AP, NPR, CBS and UPI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
THE jurisdiction of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region only targets the very few criminal cases that severely endanger national security, a senior Chinese lawmaker said yesterday.
Shen Chunyao, head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, made the remarks at a press conference on the new national security law in Hong Kong.
Under the law, the office shall exercise jurisdiction over a case concerning offense endangering national security, if: the case is complex due to the involvement of a foreign country or external elements, thus making it difficult for the HKSAR to exercise jurisdiction over the case; a serious situation occurs where the HKSAR government is unable to effectively enforce this law; or a major and imminent threat to national security has occurred.
The initiating procedure of the jurisdiction of the office over cases that severely endanger national security in the HKSAR has very strict and specific stipulations, which are stipulated in Articles 55, 56 and 57 of the law, he said.
There have also been concerns over the fate of opposition figures in Hong Kong, but Zhang Xiaoming, deputy head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council, said that the law targets only a narrow category of crimes endangering national security, instead of the entire opposition camp in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a plural society with diverse political views, and the implementation of the “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong has already spoken volumes about the political tolerance of the central authorities, said Zhang.
Different political views, including those not in the government’s favor, can still exist, Zhang said.
But there are red lines and basic principles that cannot be breached in the “one country, two systems,” Zhang stressed, noting that the opposition in Hong Kong should reflect on themselves and make appropriate adjustments in this regard.
“What happened recently in Hong Kong has shown a deviation from the right track of the ‘one country, two systems’ (framework),” Zhang told reporters. “To some extent, we made this law in order to correct the deviation ... to pull it closer to ‘one-country.’”
Article 6 of the national security law makes stipulations concerning the oath-taking and allegiance swearing for people assuming public offices in the HKSAR, which took reference from Article 104 of the HKSAR Basic Law, Zhang said.
Simon Cheng is granted asylum in the UK almost a year after he was detained by Chinese authorities.
CHINA unveiled its national security law for Hong Kong yesterday, punishing crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
The law was passed unanimously by 162 members at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.
President Xi Jinping signed a presidential order to promulgate the law. It took effect at 11pm yesterday after the promulgation of the law was signed by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and published in the Gazette.
The legislation is aimed at curbing subversive, secessionist and terrorist activities, as well as collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security. It follows months of violent protests in Hong Kong last year.
Under the law, the central government will set up a national security office in Hong Kong to collect and analyze intelligence and deal with criminal cases related to national security.
The full text of the law gave three scenarios when the office might take over a prosecution — complicated foreign interference cases, “very serious” cases and when national security faces “serious and realistic threats.”
“Both the national security office and Hong Kong can request to pass the case to Chinese mainland and the prosecution will be done by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the trial will be in the Supreme Court,” the law stated.
“No matter whether violence has been used, or the threat of violence used, leaders or serious offenders will be sentenced for life imprisonment or a minimum of 10 years in jail,” it says.
The law, formulated based on an NPC decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for Hong Kong to safeguard national security, has 66 articles in six chapters, and is a comprehensive law with substantive law, procedural law and organic law contents.
The law clearly defines the duties and government bodies for safeguarding national security; the categories of offenses and their corresponding penalties; jurisdiction, applicable law and procedure; office of the central people’s government for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong; and other contents.
It thus establishes the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for Hong Kong to safeguard national security.
After the adoption of the law, the NPC Standing Committee, in accordance with the requirements of the NPC decision, consulted its HKSAR Basic Law Committee and the Hong Kong government, and adopted a decision yesterday afternoon to list the law in Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law.
The newly adopted decision stipulates that the law shall be applied in Hong Kong by way of promulgation by the region.
The law is a landmark one for upholding and improving the institutional framework of the “one country, two systems” under new circumstances. It will effectively safeguard national security, and lasting peace, stability and prosperity in Hong Kong, and ensure the steady and sustained development of the cause of the “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said the Hong Kong government welcomes the passage of the law.
Hailing the legislation, Lam said Hong Kong government will complete the necessary procedure for publication by gazette as soon as possible to enable the implementation of the law in Hong Kong in tandem.
Speaking earlier yesterday in a video message to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Lam said the law would fill a “gaping hole” and would not undermine its autonomy.
“It will only target an extremely small minority of people who have breached the law, while the life and property, basic rights and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents will be protected,” she said.
Hong Kong had been “traumatised by escalating violence fanned by external forces,” she said. “I urge the international community to respect our country’s right to safeguard national security and Hong Kong people’s aspirations for stability and harmony.”
Supporters of the law popped champagne corks and waved Chinese flags in celebration in front of government headquarters.
“I’m very happy,” said one elderly man, surnamed Lee.
“This will leave anti-China spies and people who brought chaos to Hong Kong with nowhere to go.”
The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council also voiced firm support for the law.
“For the small minority who endanger national security, this law will be a sword hanging over their heads,” said China’s main body for Hong Kong affairs. But “for the vast majority of Hong Kong residents and foreigners in Hong Kong, this law is a guardian spirit that protects their freedoms,” the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said.
The statement added that the central and city governments would jointly ensure the law is implemented, and “usher in a turning point, for chaos to turn into governance.”
Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong said the implementation of the law “is a major improvement of one country, two systems.” It said “no one should underestimate the central government’s determination to maintain Hong Kong’s national security” or “underestimate the ability of the central and special agencies to enforce laws strictly.”
THE national security legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is part of China’s internal affairs, while attempts by the United States to obstruct the process through so-called “sanctions” will never succeed, a foreign ministry spokesperson said.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a statement made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, threatening to end exports of US-origin defense equipment to China.
The US Commerce Department said on Monday it was suspending “preferential treatment to Hong Kong over China, including the availability of export license exceptions” under the pretext of a national security legislation in Hong Kong.
Pompeo said effective Monday, Washington was ending exports of defense equipment to Hong Kong and would soon require licenses for the sale of items to Hong Kong that have both civilian and military uses.
On Hong Kong’s national security legislation, the Chinese side has made clear its solemn position on many occasions, Zhao said, reiterating that it is China’s internal affairs and no foreign country has any right to interfere.
“Intimidation does not work on China. The United States wants to wield the so-called sanctions to obstruct China’s legislation process to safeguard national security in Hong Kong. Such attempts will never succeed,” he said.
As regards the wrong moves by the US side, China will take necessary retaliatory measures to resolutely safeguard its national interests, Zhao added.
Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam said yesterday that Hong Kong has made preparations for the US move and estimated that the trade restrictive measures will only cause a little inconvenience, stressing that the impact on Hong Kong’s technological innovation sector will be limited.
Lam added the United States enjoys the highest surplus worldwide in its trade with Hong Kong, with about US$30 billion a year.
A HONG Kong separatist group disbanded yesterday, hours after China’s parliament passed national security legislation for the city.
Demosisto announced the closure of its operations in the city after its leader Joshua Wong and key figures of the group — Nathan Law, Jeffrey Ngo and Agnes Chow — said they were ending involvement with the group. “After much internal deliberation, we have decided to disband and cease all operations as a group given the circumstances,” declared the separatist group on Twitter.
Wong and his Demosisto are accused of colluding with foreign forces and disrupting Hong Kong’s social order by organizing separatist activities and inciting young people to join them.
Wong held several meetings with international politicians and visited the US in an attempt to solicit foreign interference.
The national security law targets separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Wong has said he expects to be targeted under the law. Both Wong and Law have plans to run for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council election in September.
Another group advocating “Hong Kong’s independence,” Hong Kong National Front, said on its Facebook page it had shut its Hong Kong office and that its units in Taiwan and Britain would continue. Separatist Wayne Chan said he had skipped bail and fled the city amid fears he would be detained.
"The law marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before," one activist said as he quit.