This is the daily email newsletter of China Digital Times, a bilingual news site covering China from cyberspace.
Latest Updates from China Digital Times

  • Fears for Canadians Held in China as Meng Wanzhou Extradition Case Allowed to Proceed

  • Police and Protesters Clash in Hong Kong, U.S. Declares City No Longer Autonomous From China

  • Hong Kong Protesters Arrested as Security Chief Warns of “Growing Terrorism”


Photo: Yangtse River Valley, by Rod Waddington

Yangtse River Valley, by Rod Waddington (CC BY-SA 2.0)

© Samuel Wade for China Digital Times (CDT), get_post_time('Y'). | Permalink | No comment | Add to
Post tags:

Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh

Like Photo: Yangtse River Valley, by Rod Waddington on Facebookshare on TwitterGoogle Plus One Button

Fears for Canadians Held in China as Meng Wanzhou Extradition Case Allowed to Proceed

A Canadian judge has ruled that the extradition case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, filed by the U.S. government, will be allowed to proceed. Meng, who was detained at the Vancouver airport in December 2018, has been charged by the U.S. with fraud related to violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran and other crimes. Justice Heather Holmes of British Columbia’s Supreme Court ruled that the charge satisfies the “double criminality” requirement, meaning that the crime she is accused of in the U.S. would also be considered a crime in Canada. Clare Duffy of CNN has more on the ruling:

US prosecutors want Meng to stand trial on multiple charges, including bank fraud and violating US sanctions against Iran.

The decision to continue the case could have huge political implications for Canada, the United States and China. China’s government called the ruling a “grave political incident” in a statement posted to the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa’s official Twitter account Wednesday.

Following a four-day hearing in Vancouver’s Supreme Court in January, Holmes ruled Wednesday that the US allegations meet the key Canadian extradition standard of “double criminality,” which examines whether the conduct alleged by the country requesting the extradition could be considered a crime under Canadian law. The double criminality standard is a preliminary step in the extradition case; now that the judge determined it has been met, Meng’s case can proceed.

The ruling does not determine Meng’s guilt or innocence, only whether her actions would be considered a crime under Canadian law. Meng and Huawei have denied the US allegations. [Source]

At the Wall Street Journal, Jacquie McNish reports that while this ruling is significant in that it allows the case to proceed, it may still be a long way from resolution:

The legal fight to have her extradited to the U.S. could drag on for years, as Ms. Meng’s lawyers have filed a number of challenges that the British Columbia court has agreed to hear. The case could be further delayed if Ms. Meng appeals Wednesday’s ruling.

The U.S. requested her arrest and extradition, alleging that she misled the Chinese company’s banks about ties between Huawei and an affiliated company that did business in Iran. The banks cleared hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions that potentially violated international sanctions.

Huawei and Ms. Meng have denied any wrongdoing. Lawyers for Ms. Meng challenged the U.S. extradition request at a hearing in January on the grounds that the allegations didn’t constitute a crime in Canada because the country stopped enforcing sanctions against Iran in 2016. Canadian courts won’t approve extraditions unless the alleged crime qualifies as a criminal offense in Canada.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the Supreme Court of British Columbia said in her decision that the U.S. extradition request met the Canadian legal test. In a 23-page judgment, she said that although Canada withdrew sanctions against Iran, the U.S. sanctions against the country “give background or context” to U.S. allegations of bank fraud, which is also illegal in Canada. [Source]

The decision is expected to further worsen already deteriorating China-Canada relations, and the Chinese government immediately lashed out at both Canada and the U.S. for the decision, saying both countries “staged a political farce” with Meng’s arrest.

Before the court hearing, Justin Trudeau defended Canada’s judicial independence, saying the judge’s decision would not be influenced by any political interests. From Rob Gilles at AP:

“We have seen Chinese officials linking those two cases from the very beginning. Canada has an independent judicial system that functions without interference or override by politicians,” Trudeau said.

“China doesn’t work quite the same the way, and (they) don’t seem to understand that we do have an independent judiciary from political intervention,” he said.

[…] Trudeau has come under increasing pressure to speak out against the Chinese regime by the opposition and others.

“We will continue to follow and uphold the independence of our judicial system while we advocate for the release of the two Michaels who have been arbitrarily detained by China in retaliation for a judicial system that is independent in the way it functions,” Trudeau said. [Source]

Many observers fear that the Chinese government’s anger over the case will be brought to bear on two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been detained in China since a few days after Meng’s detention in what was widely viewed as a retaliatory measure. Both men have been charged with endangering state security and detained without trial with no access to their families or lawyers for almost 18 months. Tracy Sherlock and Dan Bilefsky of The New York Times report on the potential impact of the ruling on bilateral relations:

Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said the ruling likely presaged “both sides hardening their stances at a moment when countries are already questioning China’s role in the pandemic.”

[…] Chinese state media this week signaled there could be a backlash if the ruling did not go in Ms. Meng’s favor. Global Times, a state-owned tabloid with a nationalist bent, warned of “resentment” in China should the judge make a decision that “panders to the Trump administration.”

After the decision, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, stressed that the Canadian judiciary was independent.

He said that Canada would continue to engage with China, and that its top priority was the release of the two Canadians — the former diplomat Michael Kovrig and the businessman Michael Spavor — “who have been arbitrarily detained for over 500 days.” [Source]

Analysts fear the government treatment of Kovrig and Spavor will worsen following this ruling. From Mike Blanchfield at the Canadian Press:

“The PRC authorities’ statement of consequences of ‘continuous harm’ to Canada if Ms. Meng is not returned to China forthwith suggests that there will be further retaliation,” said Charles Burton, a China expert with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, who has served as a diplomat in Beijing.

“I am concerned that Kovrig and Spavor may be forced to make false confessions on Chinese TV followed by a sham secret trial and possible sentences of death, usually suspended for two years before commutation to life imprisonment.”

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China between 2009 and 2012, said China is furious over the unresolved Meng case.

“Unfortunately, two innocent Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, will bear the brunt of that anger. It is likely that the detentions will be extended until China has some clarity as to Ms. Meng’s eventual fate. Unfortunately, that could take some time,” said Mulroney. [Source]

Many in Canada also expect the Chinese government to retaliate by withholding trade with Canada and possibly critical gear needed in the fight against COVID-19. David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer of Reuters report:

This month, China’s CanSino Biologics Inc began working with the country’s National Research Council to “pave the way” for future COVID-19 vaccine trials in Canada. China has been supplying the country with personal protection equipment during the outbreak.

“If China decides to cut us off from those kinds of things, people will die,” said Stephanie Carvin, an assistant professor and security expert at Ottawa’s Carleton University.

[…] Chinese President “Xi Jinping will want to appear strong and will want to be seen as acting against Canada,” Saint-Jacques told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Asked on Thursday if he feared Chinese backlash, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not answer. Instead, he noted that Canada’s judiciary system is independent, and renewed his call for immediate release of citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

“We will continue to defend our interests and our values,” Trudeau added. [Source]

The charges against Meng are part of a broader U.S. government offensive against Huawei, which the Trump administration sees as a security threat as it seeks to install the infrastructure for global 5G networks. Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued new rules barring Huawei and its suppliers from using American technology. In February, a court in Brooklyn indicted Huawei for “conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies.”

The ruling also comes as many in Canada are raising concerns about Chinese government influence in the country, in particular a rise in attacks and intimidation of activists in Canada by Chinese government agents and their supporters, according to a new report by a coalition of human rights groups. The report also asserted that Ottawa’s failure to respond to such attacks assertively is exacerbating the problem. Public opinion of China in Canada is at the lowest point in 15 years, partly in response to the Meng case.

© Sophie Beach for China Digital Times (CDT), get_post_time('Y'). | Permalink | No comment | Add to
Post tags: , , , ,

Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh

Like Fears for Canadians Held in China as Meng Wanzhou Extradition Case Allowed to Proceed on Facebookshare on TwitterGoogle Plus One Button

Police and Protesters Clash in Hong Kong, U.S. Declares City No Longer Autonomous From China

Following the arrest of nearly 200 people protesting against Beijing’s move to unilaterally impose national security legislation in Hong Kong last weekend, police on Wednesday arrested over 360 who were rallying against a law that would outlaw “insulting” the PRC national anthem. After last weekend’s protest and arrests, police warned of further arrests and jail terms for any “illegal disturbances” at Wednesday’s planned demonstration, which like the previous round of protest occurred despite recently extended public health restrictions limiting public gatherings. At The Guardian, Helen Davidson and Verna Yu report on Wednesday’s standoff between pro-democracy protesters and armed police in Hong Kong:

Earlier in the day, police in riot gear stopped and searched mainly young people outside Hong Kong’s MTR railway stations during morning rush hour and lined walkways as commuters shuffled past, prompting accusations on social media that the city had become “a police state”.

Roads around the Legislative Council building (LegCo) were blocked off as lawmakers held a debate on the anthem law.

[…] Police accused protesters of setting fire to debris and throwing objects at officers. “Police had no other option and needed to employ minimal force, including pepper balls to prevent the relevant illegal and violent behaviour,” the force said.

The crowds remained, swearing at police and chanting: “Hong Kong independence, it’s the only way.”

“I’ve come for something I care deeply about – ultimately it’s freedom,” said a 40-year-old lawyer who wished to remain anonymous, citing the national security laws, Beijing encroachment, and a recent report clearing police of wrongdoing. “If we keep quiet, they can get away with it. I don’t think we can change things but need to make sure our voices are heard.” [Source]

Pro-democracy rallies over the last two weeks mark the resurgence of last year’s stalled protest movement, which represented the culmination of years of mounting anxieties over Beijing’s expanding influence in the region. Last year’s movement began in opposition to a draft extradition law that many in Hong Kong feared would allow mainland authorities to crack down on political dissent. The draft was eventually withdrawn, but the movement continued with expanded demands, including for full democracy and limits to Beijing’s encroaching power. Stalled during the city’s battle with the coronavirus pandemic, the movement showed signs of reemerging earlier this month when small protests broke out in shopping districts and led to over 200 arrests. After Beijing last week made public the draft resolution that it would use to require Hong Kong to implement national security legislation—and effectively overturn the “one country, two systems” principle—calls for independence began being heard at demonstrations. As Hong Kong’s establishment rallies for public support of the national security law and counters criticism over its potential effects on the region’s freedom, authorities have promised it would only affect a “small group of illegal criminals,” and have warned of mounting “terrorism.”

More from CNN’s James Griffiths on the chaotic scenes across Hong Kong on Wednesday:

Riot police detained and arrested dozens of people in the busy shopping area of Causeway Bay and Central, the city’s main global business hub, during scattered and seemingly spontaneous protests over the law, which critics say threatens basic political freedoms and civil liberties.

Multiple protesters could be seen wrestled to the ground by police, and pepper spray and pellets were fired into crowds gathered in densely populated areas. Arrests were also made in Mong Kok, in Kowloon, police said.

“It’s like a de facto curfew now,” former lawmaker and pro-democracy activist Nathan Law told Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK in the wake of the arrests. “I think the government has to understand why people are really angry,” he added.

[…] Police said people “occupied the nearby roads and blocked traffic,” disrupting “social peace.” They also released a photo showing dozens of people seated inside a police kettle, most of whom appear to be young and wearing regular clothes, rather than the heavy protest gear seen in previous unrest.

Compared to last year, when lunchtime protests were a semi-regular sight ahead of the coronavirus outbreak, often involving white collar business workers, police demonstrated far less tolerance for any obstruction of roads or other minor disruption. Police were seen detaining people for shouting protest slogans and displaying banners, and one police liaison officer told a crowd in Central through a loudspeaker: “After eating lunch, go back to your normal life and don’t stand here anymore.” [Source]

Hong Kong’s embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Monday censured foreign “interference” amid mounting diplomatic pressure on Beijing to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy. Since then, the E.U. has joined in the call, and Germany stated that it expects Beijuing to respect the region’s rule of law and that Hong Kong should retain a “high degree of autonomy.” Currently engaged in several diplomatic spats with Beijing—including over trade and responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic—the U.S. State Department announced that it no longer considers Hong Kong to be autonomous:

The AFP reports on Pompeo’s full statement:

Hours before Beijing will hold a key vote on a controversial new security law on Hong Kong, Pompeo sent a notice to Congress that China was not living up to obligations from before it regained control of the territory from Britain in 1997.

“I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as US laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.”

[…] “While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself,” Pompeo said. [Source]

At the South China Morning Post, Mark Magnier reports on the implications of Secretary Pompeo’s certification, which could allow for new sanctions, and could jeopardize Hong Kong’s preferential trade relationship with Washington, under a bill passed by U.S. congress last year:

[…] Under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed by the US Congress in November, the administration must decide annually whether governance of Hong Kong is suitably distinct from China.

Options available to the administration – which may in part depend on Beijing’s reaction, analysts said – include higher trade tariffs, tougher investment rules, asset freezes and more onerous visa rules.

The move sent shock waves through China and Hong Kong policy circles.

[…] “I fully expect the US to proceed with sanctions on individuals and entities deemed to be undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy,” [Bonnie Glaser from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies] added. “Secondary sanctions are possible on banks that do business with entities found in violation of law guaranteeing Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

Analysts noted a long-standing dilemma faced by successive US administrations: if Washington imposes sanctions on Hong Kong, it risks hurting residents of the city at least as much as it penalises Beijing. […] [Source]

On Twitter, prominent pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong explained the likely global economic impact of both the imposition of a national security law and the termination of Hong Kong’s special trade status, to urge international leaders to oppose the former and reconsider the latter:

At Bloomberg, Iain Marlow and Daniel Flatley take a deeper look at the global implications of Hong Kong losing its special status:

2. What would losing it mean for Hong Kong?

An estimated $38 billion in trade between Hong Kong and the U.S. could be jeopardized. “Longer term, people might have a second thought about raising money or doing business in Hong Kong,” said Kevin Lai, chief economist for Asia excluding Japan at Daiwa Capital Markets. It would be “the nuclear option” and “the beginning of the death of Hong Kong as we know it,” said Steve Tsang, director of the University of London’s SOAS China Institute.

3. What about for the U.S.?

It has its own reasons for not rocking the boat too much. Hong Kong, the only semi-democratic jurisdiction under Chinese rule, offers U.S. companies a relatively safe way to access the Chinese market and employs a U.S. dollar peg, linking it with the American financial system. According to the Congressional Research Service, the largest U.S. trade surplus in 2018 was with Hong Kong — $31.1 billion. Some 290 U.S. companies had regional headquarters in the city that year and another 434 had regional offices, it said. Hong Kong’s first justice minister after the handover to China in 1997, Elsie Leung, told the South China Morning Post in May that any damage would be mutual: “We are not just getting the benefits – it’s a free-trade arrangement which is good for both sides.”

4. And more broadly?

Any sanctions or move to rescind the special status would further strain the relationship between the U.S. and China, already under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, the Hong Kong protests, an ongoing trade war and other issues. In addition to the annual review of Hong Kong’s trading status, the new law requires the president to freeze U.S.-based assets of, and deny entry to the U.S. by, any individuals found responsible for abducting and torturing human rights activists in Hong Kong. Such sanctions could come sooner than a suspension of the trading status, and would obviously complicate things further. […] [Source]

© Josh Rudolph for China Digital Times (CDT), get_post_time('Y'). | Permalink | No comment | Add to
Post tags: , , , , ,

Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh

Like Police and Protesters Clash in Hong Kong, U.S. Declares City No Longer Autonomous From China on Facebookshare on TwitterGoogle Plus One Button

Hong Kong Protesters Arrested as Security Chief Warns of “Growing Terrorism”

The announcement at top political meetings in Beijing last week that the Chinese government would unilaterally impose national security legislation in Hong Kong sparked fear from pro-democratic lawmakers and activists that Beijing was hastening its running efforts to take full control over the territory. The law—which would ban “foreign interference,” secessionism, and subversion of state power—would be a direct blow to the protest movement which began a year ago in opposition to a draft extradition law. The draft was eventually withdrawn, but the movement continued with expanded demands, including for full democracy and limits to Beijing’s encroaching power over the city. The movement’s activity dwindled after pro-democracy groups saw encouraging gains in local elections late last year, then came to a standstill during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, some have suspected Hong Kong authorities of using related disease control measures to stymie public protests while they make progress towards political goals.

On Sunday and in defiance of social distancing rules, thousands of protesters gathered in Causeway Bay to demonstrate against Beijing’s move to bypass Hong Kong’s democratic process in violation of the “one country, two systems” principle. Police reacted with tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and nearly 200 arrests. At The Wall Street Journal, Neil Western and Joyu Wang report on the police crackdown that ensued, and cite protesters who in a state of desperation are sharpening their demands:

“I think this is the termination of one country, two systems,” one protester said Sunday, describing how police descended quickly on the early marchers, squeezing them from two sides and prompting many to flee. “Hong Kong is lost. The most important thing is to fight back against the Communist Party,” added the 25-year-old insurance-company employee.

Heavily armed police in full riot gear stayed out in force throughout the day as protesters chanted Hong Kong’s protest anthem. Police said they were forced to use tear gas because demonstrators had assaulted police officers, thrown objects at them and obstructed traffic.

Calls for Hong Kong to be free from Chinese rule rang out, while some protesters waved independence flags. Chinese leader Xi Jinping said in 2017 that Beijing wouldn’t tolerate demands for independence, calling it China’s red line.

“One country, two systems has gone now,” said Chris Hon, a 25-year-old engineer among the crowd Sunday. “The only option left to restore our own system is independence.” [Source]

More on the standoff between protesters and police from Al Jazeera, which also report a warning from Hong Kong’s security chief of the growing threat of terrorism as the local government rallied in support of Beijing’s proposal:

“Terrorism is growing in the city and activities which harm national security, such as ‘Hong Kong independence’, become more rampant,” Secretary for Security John Lee said in a statement.

“In just a few months, Hong Kong has changed from one of the safest cities in the world to a city shrouded in the shadow of violence,” he said, adding that national security laws were needed to safeguard the city’s prosperity and stability.

Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong’s sole delegate to China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee, told the public broadcaster RTHK on Monday that said he did not expect any delay in the drafting of the national security law.

[…] Earlier, Ray Chan, a pro-democracy member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, wrote on social media: “Call us terrorists, whatever you want, after the Wuhan Virus outbreak, China has no more credibility in the world.” [Source]

Reporting on the protests and arrests, the South China Morning Post’s Phila Siu and Chris Lau noted attempts by CCP leaders to ease fears about the rights implications of the security law, while being clear about their intent to implement it:

The protests erupted just hours after Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng, Beijing’s top leader in charge of Hong Kong, told local delegates to the national legislature that Beijing’s determination to push through the national security law should not be underestimated, and that mainland authorities would “implement it till the end”.

[…] At the ongoing National People’s Congress session in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sought to ease concerns about the new law, saying it would not damage the city’s autonomy or freedoms.

[…] The law would have “no impact on Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, or the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong”, Wang said. “Instead of becoming unnecessarily worried, people should have more confidence in Hong Kong’s future. This will improve Hong Kong’s legal system and bring more stability, a stronger rule of law and a better business environment to Hong Kong.” [Source]

In her weekly press conference on Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam similarly dismissed concerns over the law’s impact on freedoms and human rights, defending the draft legislation as a “responsible move” for Hong Kong’s law-abiding majority and scolding foreign diplomatic support of the protesters. From BBC news:

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has said other countries “have no place” interfering in the territory, as she robustly defended a controversial national security law planned by China.

[…] She denied that the law would curtail the rights of Hong Kongers.

These rights – set out in the Basic Law which is Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – have been in place since it was handed back to China in 1997 by the UK. The Basic Law guarantees certain freedoms to the territory, such as the right to protest, which do not exist on the mainland.

[…] She also spoke of the “positive response” from the public in the past few days, saying it “flies in the face of what those overseas politicians are saying”.

[…] Carrie Lam tried to assure the public that the law will only target “small groups of illegal criminals” – but could offer little when pressed for details. [Source]

As Lam claims a positive public response to Beijing’s draft law—an assertion thinly supported by a pro-government think-tank survey—online calls suggest another large turnout should be expected for a Wednesday demonstration against the second review of a national anthem law that would criminalize “insulting” China’s national anthem.

Police have warned of jail terms for any who cause “illegal disturbances” at the planned Wednesday protests. Booing the anthem is a practice some Hong Kong residents have adopted at public events in recent years, and the Hong Kong proposal is similar to a 2017 Chinese law.

On Twitter in an affirmative response to the NPC Observer’s detailed explanation of the situation, PRC law expert Jerome Cohen urges caution in accepting claims from the chief executive and other pro-establishment Hong Kong authorities that only a “small group” of people engaged in “terrorist” activity should be concerned by the law:

Lam’s censure of foreign “interference” comes as prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists lobby in support of diplomatic opposition to Chinese aggression in Hong Kong, and as the U.S. State Department criticizes Beijing’s actions and congress makes moves toward new sanctions on Chinese officials. A Global Times editorial attacked the U.S.’ “rallying Western officials and instigating Western media outlets to attack China’s National People’s Congress for its formulation of a national security law for Hong Kong” as a politically opportunist “nothingburger” that shouldn’t worry China, whose market appeal is stronger than American rhetoric. Meanwhile, the E.U. has joined the chorus of diplomatic calls for Beijing to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy.

At The New York Times, Steven Lee Myers’ suggests that the aggressive recent move by Beijing to demand national security legislation may be a sign that Xi Jinping is no longer concerned enough by international rebuke to exercise restraint:

Mr. Xi’s move against Hong Kong has nonviolent echoes of President Vladimir V. Putin’s forceful seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, which was a violation of international law and of Russia’s previous diplomatic commitments. The annexation made Mr. Putin an international pariah for a while, but Russia still remains firmly in control of Crimea.

[…] While Mr. Xi is using legislation rather than military force in a territory already under Chinese rule, it is nonetheless a brash move by an autocratic leader willing to risk international condemnation to resist what he views as foreign encroachment on his country’s security.

“The Communist Party doesn’t care anymore about the reactions, because it’s about survival, the stability of the one-party system, avoiding the fate of the Soviet Union,” [professor at Hong Kong Baptist University Jean-Pierre] Cabestan said. “Hong Kong is being perceived more and more as a base of surveillance, as a factor in the destabilization of the Chinese state.”

[…] Victoria Hui, a political scientist at the University of Notre Dame and author of a book on the 2014 Hong Kong protests known as the Umbrella Movement, said the international community had often spoken out against China’s steady accretion of power over the territory but had exacted no real punishment. […] [Source]

Financial Times’ Tom Mitchell and Xinning Li cite anonymous pro-Beijing politicians who say the surprise unilateral move to force the legislation had been planned for months, and reflected “Beijing’s frustration with Hong Kong officials and its fear that election losses in September would further weaken their hand.”

More recently at the New York Times, Myers and Elaine Yu reported on new comments from the commander of the PLA garrison in Hong Kong, who also defended the bill and pledged to “safeguard the stability of Hong Kong.” The interview, aired on state television, was accompanied by footage of recent local military drills and scenes from when the PLA sent troops last summer at the height of the protests:

The garrison commander, Maj. Gen. Chen Daoxiang, addressed the situation in Hong Kong in an interview on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, where he serves as one of nearly 3,000 delegates to the annual legislative gathering.

General Chen said the new legislation would deter “all kinds of separatist forces and external intervention forces,” echoing the view of Mrs. Lam and others in China’s political leadership that the protests have international support intended to undermine the Communist Party’s rule over the city.

“Garrison officers and soldiers are determined, confident, and capable of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests and maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” General Chen said in an interview with China’s state television network, CCTV.

[…] “I have never heard of a garrison official in Hong Kong publicly commenting on Hong Kong’s affairs, even though of course the legislation is being done in Beijing,” said the pro-democracy lawmaker Tanya Chan, calling the move “shocking.” [Source]

© Josh Rudolph for China Digital Times (CDT), get_post_time('Y'). | Permalink | No comment | Add to
Post tags: , , , ,

Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh

Like Hong Kong Protesters Arrested as Security Chief Warns of “Growing Terrorism” on Facebookshare on TwitterGoogle Plus One Button

Download our free iOS app

Please follow us on:  Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr I Instagram

Support CDT with your Amazon purchases through AmazonSmile

2020 Copyright © China Digital Times
 Powered by WordPress

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences 

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
China Digital Times · 2512 Telegraph Ave · Berkeley, CA 94704 · USA