China says US orders it to close its consulate in Houston

U.S. orders China to close its consulate in Houston amid rising tension

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Victor Davis Hanson

Why the current cultural revolution isn’t like the ‘60s

Cal Thomas

They’re coming for our guns (really)

Michael McKenna

Progressives must destroy American history to complete their new order revolution

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

A firetruck is positioned outside the Chinese Consulate Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Houston. Authorities responded to reports of a fire at the consulate. Witnesses said that people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans, according to … more >

Print

By Lauren Meier

The Washington Times

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The U.S. on Wednesday ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, citing efforts to protect American intellectual property.

The move marks the latest in a series of increasing escalation between Washington and Beijing over trade, human rights, technology and national security.

While the Trump administration did not provide details behind the reason it is closing the Chinese consulate in Houston, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed to action being taken by the White House to end alleged intellectual property theft.

SEE ALSO: Rubio: Chinese Consulate in Houston is a ‘front’ for ‘massive spy operation’

“The United States will not tolerate [China‘s] violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated [its] unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

One day prior, the Justice Department accused the Chinese government of running an elaborate cyberhacking operation aimed at stealing secrets from Western companies, including U.S. businesses racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic that began in China six months ago.

Federal prosecutors claimed that two Chinese hackers were working with the government in Beijing to steal hundreds of millions of dollars and secrets through a yearslong operation that has recently targeted biotechnology companies, including one in Maryland and another in Massachusetts.

“President Trump has said, ‘Enough, we’re not going to allow this to continue to happen,’ ” Mr. Pompeo said while on an official visit to Copenhagen.

Back in Houston, firefighters responded to calls of papers being set ablaze on the consulate’s property but were denied entry to the grounds, local news reported.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, on Wednesday said the Chinese consulate in Houston is basically a front for a massive spy operation after the State Department ordered the consulate to close.

“So this consulate is basically a front. … It’s kind of [the] central node of a massive spy operation — commercial espionage, defense espionage — also influence agents to try to influence Congress,” Mr. Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Fox Business Network.

Mr. Rubio said the closure was “long overdue” and predicted that China would close one of the United States’ facilities in China as a response.

China has condemned the U.S.’ move to shut down the consulate.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a news conference Wednesday that “the unilateral closure of China’s consulate general in Houston within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China.”

He warned of firm countermeasures if the U.S. does not reverse itself. Besides its embassy in Beijing, the U.S. has five consulates in mainland China, according to its website. They are in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan and Shenyang.

At the height of the coronavirus outbreak in China, the U.S. in January closed its consulate in Wuhan and has since decided to not reopen the facility.

• David Sherfinski contributed to this story, which is also based on wire reports.

US sanctions Chinese companies over Muslim abuse complaints

US sanctions Chinese companies over Muslim abuse complaints

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

David Keene

Governors try to seal off states but forget about economic and personal freedoms

Joseph Curl

New book on Matt Drudge shines spotlight on reclusive blogger

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

To wear a mask or not to wear a mask, during Wuhan virus pandemic

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2017, file photo, residents line up at a security checkpoint into the Hotan Bazaar where a screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hotan in western China’s Xinjiang region. The U.S. government has imposed … more >

Print

By JOE McDONALD

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – China said Tuesday it would take unspecified “necessary measures” after the U.S. government imposed trade sanctions on 11 companies it says are implicated in human rights abuses in China’s Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The sanctions add to U.S. pressure on Beijing over Xinjiang, where the ruling Communist Party is accused of mass detentions, forced labor, forced birth control and other abuses against Muslim minorities. Xinjiang is among a series of conflicts including human rights, trade and technology that have caused U.S.-Chinese relations to plunge to their lowest level in decades.

The Trump administration also has imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials over the accusations. Beijing responded by announcing unspecified penalties on four U.S. senators who are critics of its human rights record.

TOP STORIES

Connecticut: Coronavirus testing flaw causing false positives

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

Biden: Schools should ramp up 'Islamic faith' studies, Muslims must 'mobilize' against Trump

Three of the companies cited Monday were identified by investigations by The Associated Press in 2018 and 2020 as being implicated in forced labor. One company, Nanchang O-Film Tech, supplies screens and lenses to Apple, Samsung and other technology companies. AP reporters found employees from Xinjiang at its factory in the southern city of Nanchang weren’t allowed out unaccompanied and were required to attend political classes.

U.S. customs authorities seized a shipment from the second company, Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories, on suspicion it was made by forced labor. People who worked for the third, Hetian Taida, which produces sportswear sold to U.S. universities and sports teams, told AP detainees were compelled to work there.

The Department of Commerce said the addition of the 11 companies to its Entity List will limit their access to U.S. goods and technology. It gave no details of what goods might be affected.

“This action will ensure that our goods and technologies are not used in the Chinese Communist Party’s despicable offensive against defenseless Muslim minority populations,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement.

The Chinese foreign ministry rejected the sanctions as interference in its affairs and an attempt by Washington to hurt Chinese companies.

“What the United States is concerned about is not the human rights issues at all, but to suppress Chinese companies, undermine the stability of Xinjiang, and smear China’s Xinjiang policies,” said spokesperson Wang Wenbin. “We urge the United States to correct its mistakes, revoke relevant decisions and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.”

Wang said Beijing will “take all necessary measures” to protect Chinese businesses, but gave no indication of possible retaliation.

China has detained an estimated 1 million or more members of the Uighur and other Muslim ethnic minority groups in internment camps.

The government describes them as vocational training facilities aimed at countering Muslim radicalism and separatist tendencies. It says those facilities have since been closed, a claim that is impossible to confirm given the restrictions on visits and reporting about the region.

Veterans of the camps and family members say those held are forced, often with the threat of violence, to denounce their religion, culture and language and swear loyalty to Communist Party leader and head of state Xi Jinping.

The companies cited Monday include clothing manufacturers and technology suppliers.

Two companies cited, Xinjiang Silk Road BGI and Beijing Liuhe BGI, are subsidiaries of BGI Group, one of the world’s biggest gene-sequencing companies. The Commerce Department said they were “conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression” of Muslim minorities.

Human rights groups say security forces in Xinjiang appear to be creating a genetic database with samples from millions of people including through using blood and other samples subjects are compelled to provide. Nationwide, authorities have gathered genetic information from the Chinese public for almost two decades that the government says is for use in law enforcement.

Phone calls Tuesday to BGI’s public relations and investor relations departments weren’t answered.

The Commerce Department imposed similar restrictions last October and in June on a total of 37 companies it said were “engaged in or enabling” abuses in Xinjiang.

The department issued a warning on July 1 that companies that handle goods made by forced labor or that supply technology that might be used in labor camps or for surveillance might face unspecified “reputational, economic and legal risks.”

The Chinese foreign ministry criticized the warning, saying Beijing would take “necessary measures” to protect Chinese companies but giving no details.

UK suspends extradition arrangements with Hong Kong

UK suspends extradition arrangements with Hong Kong

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Remember John Lewis

Richard W. Rahn

Supporters of Black Lives Matter in denial of real-world consequences

Michael McKenna

Biden presidency would push expensive climate plan

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Wednesday April 22, 2020 file photo, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab leaves 10 Downing Street, London. Britain’s foreign secretary hinted Sunday, July 19 he may move to suspend the U.K.’s extradition arrangements with Hong Kong, and … more >

Print

By DANICA KIRKA

Associated Press

Monday, July 20, 2020

LONDON (AP) – Britain suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong on Monday and blocked arms sales to the former British territory after China imposed a tough new national security law.

Amid growing tensions with Beijing, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the House of Commons that he had concerns about the new law and alleged human rights abuses in China, particularly the treatment of the Uighur minority. He described the measures announced Monday as “reasonable and proportionate.″

“We will protect our vital interests,″ Raab said. “We will stand up for our values and we will hold China to its international obligations.″

TOP STORIES

America, it's happening: Gov't knocking on doors, jailing COVID-19 patients

Church sues California Gov. Gavin Newsom over ban against at-home Bible studies

Trump releases new ad attacking Biden over police funding

Britain followed the example of the United States, Australia and Canada by suspending extradition agreements with Hong Kong, which became a special administrative region of China after the U.K. returned control of the territory to Beijing in 1997.

Events in Hong Kong are particularly sensitive for the British government because China agreed to a “one country, two systems″ policy that was supposed to protect the economic and social traditions of the territory for 50 years after the handover.

Britain and other western nations believe the new security law threatens that agreement because it restricts free speech and erodes the judicial independence of Hong Kong. The law makes crimes such as promoting secession punishable by life in prison and allows some cases to be tried on the mainland.

This means people extradited to Hong Kong could end up being tried in mainland courts, Raab said.

The U.K. previously accused the Beijing government of a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration under which Hong Kong was returned to China and announced it would open a special route to citizenship for up to 3 million eligible residents of the territory.

China’s decision to implement the security law on June 30 triggered widespread protests in Hong Kong. Police responded with water cannon, tear gas and hundreds of arrests.

The ban on arms sales extends an embargo that has been in place for mainland China since 1989. It means the government will not allow British companies to export potentially lethal weapons, their components or ammunition, as well as equipment that might be used for internal repression such as shackles, firearms and smoke grenades.

The measures announced Monday come less than a week after Britain backtracked on plans to give Chinese telecommunications company Huawei a role in the U.K.’s new high-speed mobile phone network.

The U.S. has lobbied its allies to shun Huawei because it says the Chinese government could use the company’s technology to spy on western nations. Huawei denies the allegations.

Beijing objected to the new measures even before they were formally announced by Raab.

China’s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, on Sunday told the BBC that Britain was “dancing to the tune” of the U.S. and rejected the allegations of human rights abuses against the mainly-Muslim Uighur people.

He accused Western countries of trying to foment trouble with China.

“People say China (is) becoming very aggressive. That’s totally wrong,” he said. “China has not changed. It’s Western countries, headed by United States – they started this so-called new Cold War on China.”

China says it’s not trying to replace U.S., won’t be bullied

China accuses Washington of ‘malicious slander,’ says it won’t be bullied by U.S.

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

America burns while our schools hold the match

Charles Hurt

Baseball is the answer

Scott Walker

Biden doesn’t understand that tax cuts work

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr speaks at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., Thursday, July 16, 2020. The United States has become overly reliant on Chinese goods and services, including face masks, medical gowns and … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, July 17, 2020

BEIJING (AP) — China isn’t seeking to confront or replace the United States as the world’s top technological power, but will fight back against ‘malicious slander’ and attacks from Washington, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday, responding to a litany of recent accusations from the Trump administration.

Hua Chunying said China’s chief concern is improving the livelihoods of its citizens and maintaining global peace and stability, despite what critics say is an increasingly aggressive foreign policy that looks to expand Chinese influence in the military, technology, economic and other spheres.

“As an independent sovereign state, China has the right to safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests, to defend the achievements made by the Chinese people with hard work, to refuse any bullying and injustice against China, and to fight back against malicious slander and attacks by the U.S. against China,” Hua said at a daily briefing.

TOP STORIES

Marco Rubio remembers John Lewis in tweet, uses photo of different civil rights leader

Chrissy Teigen deletes 60K tweets, blocks 1M; celeb says 'psychopaths' tie her to Ghislaine Maxwell

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

Her comments came in response to a speech Thursday by U.S. Attorney General William Barr in which he cautioned American business leaders against promoting policies favorable to Beijing. He asserted that China at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic had not only dominated the market for protective gear, exposing American dependence on Beijing, but had also hoarded supplies and blocked producers from exporting them to countries in need.

Barr also accused hackers linked to the Chinese government of targeting American universities and businesses to steal research related to coronavirus vaccine development, leveling the allegation against Beijing hours after Western agencies made similar claims against Russia.

“The People’s Republic of China is now engaged in an economic blitzkrieg – an aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government (indeed, whole-of-society) campaign to seize the commanding heights of the global economy and to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent technological superpower,” Barr said.

Numerous Trump allies have issued strongly worded messages over China in recent days, coming at a time when bilateral relations have fallen to their lowest point in decades over issues from accusations of technology theft to China’s claims in the South China Sea.

Hua dismissed Barr’s accusations of cybertheft related to vaccine development as “absurd.”

“Because everyone knows that China is in a leading position in the research and development of new coronavirus vaccines, we have first-class scientific research personnel, and we do not need to gain a leading position with theft,” Hua said.

Chinese companies have moved swiftly to develop a coronavirus vaccine, as countries compete for the prestige and profits that would come with being the first to bring such a product to market.

Inside the Ring: Pompeo hits Huawei execs

Pompeo hits Huawei execs

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Scott Walker

Biden doesn’t understand that tax cuts work

Daniel N. Hoffman

Is Russia paying the Taliban bounties to kill U.S. troops?

Michael McKenna

Expect huge tax increases and a slumping economy if Biden wins

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new restrictions on Chinese telecommunications executives on Wednesday. The move specifically targets the controversial company Huawei. (Associated Press) more >

Print

By Bill Gertz

The Washington Times

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced new visa restrictions on Chinese telecommunications executives, including those from the controversial Huawei Technologies.

Visa limits are being slapped on Chinese people who are linked to technology companies doing business with foreign regimes engaged in human rights abuses.

“Companies impacted by today’s action include Huawei, an arm of the [Chinese Communist Party’s] surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China,” Mr. Pompeo said.

TOP STORIES

Attorney General Barr hits corporate America's appeasement of China

Chrissy Teigen deletes 60K tweets, blocks 1M; celeb says 'psychopaths' tie her to Ghislaine Maxwell

Poll shows Biden leading in Pa., but finds widespread suspicion of 'secret' Trump voters

“Certain Huawei employees provide material support to the CCP regime that commits human rights abuses,” he said in a statement.

The action puts telecommunications companies around the world on notice that “if they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers,” Mr. Pompeo said.

The action is the latest effort to counter Huawei’s bid to corner the world market on emerging 5G technology.

Britain’s government announced this week it has banned all new Huawei gear and will remove all Huawei equipment in the country by 2027. The move followed pressure from the United States to end London’s use of Huawei gear over electronic spying concerns.

Mr. Pompeo said banning Huawei in Britain was not about commercial competition but is needed to protect information.

British security authorities, like those in the United States, concluded that Huawei equipment cannot protect personal and public information.

“Information that transits across these untrusted networks that are of Chinese origin will almost certainly end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said in a meeting with reporters.

The U.S. also is seeking extradition from Canada of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer who is charged with lying to investigators about the company’s extensive financial dealings with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Notice of the visa restrictions comes as part of the Trump administration’s hardline policy toward China.

President Trump this week announced the end of Hong Kong’s favorable trade status after Beijing imposed a new national security law that effectively ended the former British colony’s independent system of government.

Mr. Pompeo said the signing into law of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, and other executive branch actions were based on China’s undermining the rule of law on the island.

Mr. Pompeo noted that “if China treats Hong Kong as one country and a single system, so must we.”

“[Chinese Communist Party] General Secretary Xi Jinping made a choice to violate the Chinese Communist Party’s promises to Hong Kong … that were made in a U.N.-registered treaty,” he said. “He didn’t have to do that; he made that choice. We have to deal with China as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

Mr. Pompeo praised Britain’s decision to ban Huawei gear. “The U.K. joins the United States and now many other democracies in becoming ‘clean countries’ — nations free of untrusted 5G vendors,” he said.

“In the same way, many major telecom companies like Telefonica, Telco Italia, and NTT have become ‘clean carriers.’”

Taking a stand in South China Sea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is perhaps the most outspoken proponent of the tougher new U.S. policies toward China being adopted across other federal agencies, notably the Justice Department, which is cracking down on Chinese espionage and technology theft, as well as the White House National Security Council, with its efforts to end Chinese exploitation of American pension funds.

This week the administration announced that China’s expansive maritime and territorial claims to own most of the South China Sea are illegal.

Mr. Pompeo said the new policy makes “crystal clear” the sea is not China’s maritime empire.

“If Beijing violates the international law and free nations do nothing, then history shows that the CCP will simply take more territory,” he said at the State Department. “That happened in the last administration.”

“What the CCP does to the Chinese people is bad enough, but the free world shouldn’t tolerate Beijing’s abuses as well,” Mr. Pompeo added.

The formal declaration is a setback for Chinese efforts to encroach on the international waterway that is used for several trillion dollars of international trade annually.

Asked to explain the new tougher policies Wednesday, Mr. Pompeo said what is significant is that the “conversation has changed.

“That conversation is different than we’ve had, frankly, for decades between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

“I think Chinese leadership understands it is no longer the case that it’s going to be acceptable that the United States is simply going to allow the important commercial relationships that we have between our two countries to put the American people at risk, and that’s what had happened.”

Multiple administrations for both Democratic and Republican presidents allowed China to engage “in behavior that was radically unreciprocal, enormously unfair to the American people, and frankly, put America’s national security at risk,” he said.

The Trump administration has begun to turn that posture around although more work needs to be done. But the new policies are a “marked reversal” of past engagement and conciliation with Beijing, he said.

Mr. Pompeo said he believes the new policies are having an impact in changing Chinese government behaviors.

“We will continue to do the things we need to do to make sure that the American people are safe and secure and that we have a set of fair and reciprocal relationships,” Mr. Pompeo said.

“That’s the end-state desire. We want good things for the people of China. We have a Chinese Communist Party that is putting freedom and democracy at risk by their expansionist, imperialist, authoritarian behavior. That’s the behavior that we’re trying to see changed.”

The secretary of state again criticized Beijing for covering up the early outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a regime that failed to disclose information they had about a virus that’s now killed over 100,000 Americans, hundreds of thousands across the world, cost the global economy trillions and trillions of dollars, and now is allowing the World Health Organization to go in to conduct what I am confident will be a completely, completely whitewashed investigation,” he said.

China needs to conduct a thorough investigation of how the virus began in Wuhan after stonewalling on where it originated and how Chinese authorities destroyed virus samples.

“The Chinese Communist Party talks about win-win and cooperation,” Mr. Pompeo said. “Cooperation isn’t about nice language or summits, or meetings between foreign ministers. It’s about actions, and that’s the expectation that we are setting for the Chinese Communist Party. We need to see fair, reciprocal responses.”

Navy warship Passes Spratlys

The Navy wasted no time in testing out the new U.S. policy declaring China’s broad maritime claims in the South China Sea to be illegal.

A day after the State Department announced the policy shift from one of voicing neutrality in South China Sea disputes, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson sailed close to the Spratly Islands.

“This freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging the restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan,” said Cmdr. Reann Mommsen, spokeswoman for the Seventh Fleet.

“Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce, and freedom of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations,” she added.

The warship passage followed high-profile dual aircraft carrier operations in the sea last week by the battle groups headed by the USS Reagan and USS Nimitz.

Bill Gertz is The Washington Times’ national security correspondent. Contact him on Twitter @BillGertz.

China vows retaliatory sanctions against U.S. over Hong Kong

China vows retaliatory sanctions against U.S. over Hong Kong

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Andrew P. Napolitano

A brief history of the freedom of speech in America

Michael McKenna

Expect huge tax increases and a slumping economy if Biden wins

Tammy Bruce

Cancel culture punishes Goya Foods over pro-Trump remarks; calls for boycott land with a thud

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Pro-China supporters hold the effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese national flag outside the U.S. Consulate during a protest, in Hong Kong, Saturday, May 30, 2020. President Donald Trump has announced a series of measures aimed at China … more >

Print

By Lauren Meier

The Washington Times

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday announced it will launch a series of retaliatory sanctions against the U.S. after President Trump signed legislation sanctioning Chinese officials and entities for Beijing’s “repressive actions” against the people of Hong Kong.

Beijing’s sanctions will target American entities and individuals, but the foreign ministry stopped short of detailing the extent.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that it “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the U.S. move to approve sanctions over the national security law.

SEE ALSO: Trump signs law authorizing China sanctions over Hong Kong crackdown

China will make necessary responses to protect its legitimate interests, and impose sanctions on relevant U.S. personnel and entities,” the statement read.

China last month imposed the new security law expanding Beijing’s role in controlling law enforcement and political expression in Hong Kong. The law allows Chinese intelligence and security forces to be based inside the district for the first time and seeks to address terrorism, secession and foreign interference in the city.

Beijing has maintained that the law will not impede on the city’s autonomy.

Critics, however, say it does not align with the 1997 Joint Declaration between Britain and China that bound Beijing’s communist rulers to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy as a special administrative region and to leave its liberal economy and government for 50 years under the formulation “one country, two systems.”

Mr. Trump on Tuesday signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which the House and Senate approved earlier this month by veto-proof majorities, to hold accountable those involved in cracking down on freedoms in Hong Kong.

The law authorizes the State and Treasury departments to impose sanctions on those involved in imposing the Hong Kong security law and targets banks involved in significant transactions with offenders.

New York Times to move Hong Kong office to Seoul as Beijing’s national security law takes effect

The New York Times to move Hong Kong office to Seoul as Beijing’s national security law takes effect

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Andrew P. Napolitano

A brief history of the freedom of speech in America

Michael McKenna

Expect huge tax increases and a slumping economy if Biden wins

Tammy Bruce

Cancel culture punishes Goya Foods over pro-Trump remarks; calls for boycott land with a thud

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

The copies of The New York Times newspaper are displayed for sale at a news stand in Hong Kong, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The New York Times said Tuesday it will transfer some of its staff out of Hong Kong … more >

Print

By Lauren Meier

The Washington Times

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The New York Times is gearing up to move part of its Hong Kong office as China’s newly imposed national security law begins to take effect.

The publication announced the move on Wednesday and said it is sending about a third of its Hong Kong-based staff to Seoul, South Korea’s capital, after facing challenges to obtain work permits. The move will take place over the next year.

In May, China’s legislature approved the controversial law, which would allow Chinese intelligence and security forces to be based inside the district for the first time, and seeks to address terrorism, secession and foreign interference in the city.

TOP STORIES

Barr orders legal action against governors whose COVID-19 actions infringe on civil rights

Chrissy Teigen deletes 60K tweets, blocks 1M; celeb says 'psychopaths' tie her to Ghislaine Maxwell

Trump 'taking action' to help St. Louis couple as charges loom, governor says

Critics say it does not align with the 1997 Joint Declaration between Britain and China that bound Beijing’s communist rulers to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy as a special administrative region and to leave its liberal economy and government for 50 years under the formulation “one country, two systems.” It has also sparked fears that freedoms of speech and press could be jeopardized.

“Given the uncertainty of the moment, we are making plans to geographically diversify our editing staff,” a spokeswoman for The Times told Reuters.

“We will maintain a large presence in Hong Kong and have every intention of maintaining our coverage of Hong Kong and China.”

UK to exclude Huawei from role in high-speed phone network

U.K. to exclude Huawei from role in high-speed phone network

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Insignificant Never Trumpers have no reason to vote for Biden

Cal Thomas

Roger Stone finds Jesus

Robert Knight

Race hustlers take ‘diversity’ scam to new levels by enforcing leftist agenda

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this Wednesday, July 1, 2020, file photo, a man wearing a face mask to protect against the new coronavirus looks at his smartphone as he walks past a Huawei store in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, file) more >

Print

By Danica Kirka

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s government on Tuesday backtracked on plans to give Chinese telecommunications company Huawei a limited role in the U.K.’s new high-speed mobile phone network in a decision with broad implications for relations between London and Beijing.

Britain imposed the ban after the U.S. threatened to sever an intelligence-sharing arrangement because of concerns Huawei equipment could allow the Chinese government to infiltrate U.K. networks.

U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden gave telecoms operators until 2027 to remove Huawei equipment already in Britain’s 5G network.

TOP STORIES

'We need to shut down': Texas Democrats call on Greg Abbott to issue stay-at-home order

Trump administration retreats on foreign student coronavirus policy

Judge approves petition to recall Seattle mayor

“This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one,” he said.

He said that from the end of this year, telecoms operators mustn’t buy any 5G equipment from Huawei.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was under pressure from rebels in his own Conservative Party who criticized China’s new Hong Kong security law and its treatment of ethnic Uighurs, as well as Huawei’s links to the Chinese government. Ten Conservative lawmakers sent a letter to Johnson demanding that he remove Huawei from “the UK’s critical national infrastructure.”

Johnson in January sought to balance economic and security pressures by agreeing to give Huawei a limited role in Britain’s so-called 5G network, excluding the company from core components of the system and restricting its involvement to 35% of the overall project.

But the move set up a diplomatic clash with the Americans, who threatened to cut off security cooperation unless Britain dumped Huawei. Amid continued pressure to remove Huawei from communication networks entirely, the U.S. in May imposed new sanctions that will bar companies around the world from using American-made machinery or software to produce chips for the Chinese company.

The back and forth has put Huawei at the vortex of tensions between China and Britain.

Last fall, the U.K. called on China to give the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights free access to the Xinjiang region, where most of the country’s Uighur people live.

More recently, Johnson’s government has criticized China’s decision to impose a sweeping new national security law on Hong Kong. Britain accused the Beijing government of a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration under which the U.K. returned control of Hong Kong to China in 1997, and announced it would open a special route to citizenship for up to 3 million eligible residents of the city.

China’s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, last week decried what he described as “gross interference” in Chinese affairs.

“Britain can only be great,” he said, when it has an independent foreign policy, adding that it sets a bad precedent to “make your policy in the morning and change it in evening.”

“It also sends out a very bad message to the China business community,” Liu said, suggesting Chinese companies might think twice about investing in Britain. “They are all watching how you handle Huawei.”

Rana Mitter, an Oxford University history professor specializing in China, said that the security law — combined with broader resentment about the way China handled information about the coronavirus — created increased wariness among Britain’s politicians and the public.

But for China, it is the way Britain has handled the Huawei issue that is the major problem. Even if Britain decides that buying Huawei isn’t a good idea, this could have been done more discreetly, Mitter said.

“There is a sense, I suspect, in Beijing that the Huawei row has made China lose face,” he said. “And this is one of the things that clearly does not go down well with China, which is, of course, a proud country, the world’s second biggest economy with the capacity to use that economic power when it wants to, and also a country which in general feels on the back foot at the moment because of the COVID pandemic and the world’s reaction to that.”

Before the decision, Huawei announced that its U.K. chairman would step down early. John Browne’s term was due to end in March but ex-boss of energy company BP is now expected to depart in September.

China’s trade rises as economy recovers from virus slump

China’s trade rises as economy recovers from virus slump

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Insignificant Never Trumpers have no reason to vote for Biden

Cal Thomas

Roger Stone finds Jesus

Robert Knight

Race hustlers take ‘diversity’ scam to new levels by enforcing leftist agenda

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

A worker wearing a face mask to protect against the new coronavirus guides the loading of a shipping container at a container port in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province, Thursday, July 9, 2020. China’s imports of U.S. goods rose … more >

Print

By JOE McDONALD

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – China’s trade improved in June in a fresh sign the world’s second-largest economy is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. But its exporters face threats including tension with Washington and a possible downturn in U.S. and European demand.

Chinese imports rose 3% over a year earlier to $167.2 billion, rebounding from May’s 3.3% decline, customs data showed Tuesday. Exports edged up 0.4% to $213.6 billion, an improvement over the previous month’s 16.7% contraction.

Imports of U.S. goods surged 10.6% to $10.4 billion despite tariff hikes in a fight with Washington over trade and technology. Exports to the United States gained 1% to $39.8 billion.

TOP STORIES

Trump administration retreats on foreign student coronavirus policy

Judge approves petition to recall Seattle mayor

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first economy to start the struggle to revive normal business activity in March after declaring the virus under control. Manufacturing is recovering, but consumer spending is weak. Forecasters say exports are likely to slump as demand for masks and other medical supplies recedes and U.S. and European retailers cancel orders.

Leading indicators “suggest that exports will start to contract again before long,” Martin Rasmussen of Capital Economics said in a report.

Relations with the United States, China’s biggest national export market, have deteriorated to their lowest level in decades.

Disputes over Hong Kong, human rights and the South China Sea added to strains that began with a tariff war launched by the Trump administration in 2018 over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.

The two sides have announced sanctions on some prominent Chinese and U.S. political figures in a dispute over abuses in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, though it is unclear whether those officials will be affected.

President Donald Trump said Friday that work on the second stage of a deal aimed at ending the tariff war is a low priority because relations were “severely damaged” by Beijing’s handling of the pandemic.

The two sides signed a “phase one” agreement in January to postpone further penalties but tariff increases already imposed stayed in place.

China’s June imports were boosted by a 74% increase in purchases of U.S. soybeans under a pledge by Beijing in that January agreement to narrow its trade surplus with the United States by importing more food and other goods.

China’s imports from the U.S. will likely remain elevated in the second half of this year,” said Nomura economists in a report.

Imports of U.S.-made semiconductors accelerated to 18.6% growth over a year earlier, which Citigroup economists suggested might have been motivated by concern U.S. export sanctions imposed on Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Ltd. will be fully enforced once a temporary postponement ends.

Imports “should continue to ramp-up” as the government spends more to support economic recovery and consumer demand, Rasmussen said.

China’s global trade surplus narrowed to $46.4 billion from May’s $62.9 billion.

The Chinese economy shrank by 6.8% in the first quarter, its worst performance since at least the mid-1960s. The ruling party skipped announcing an annual economic growth target, but private sector forecasts range from low single digits to a small contraction.

Some forecasters raised their outlook slightly after factory activity in May improved more than expected.

Japan says coronavirus adds to security threat by China

Japan says coronavirus adds to security threat by China

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Insignificant Never Trumpers have no reason to vote for Biden

Cal Thomas

Roger Stone finds Jesus

Robert Knight

Race hustlers take ‘diversity’ scam to new levels by enforcing leftist agenda

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this June 18, 2020, file photo, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo. The Abe government’s Defense White Paper 2020 highlights what are potential Chinese and … more >

Print

By MARI YAMAGUCHI

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

TOKYO (AP) – China is pushing harder to make territorial claims in the regional seas and even using the coronavirus pandemic to expand its influence and take strategic superiority, posing a greater threat to Japan and the region, Japan’s government said.

The report highlighting the government’s defense priorities was adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on Tuesday, less than a day after the Trump administration rejected outright nearly all of Beijing’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea in a statement likely to deepen the U.S.-China rift.

The Abe government’s Defense White Paper 2020 highlights what are potential Chinese and North Korean threats as Japan tries to further increase its defense capability. Under Abe, Japan has steadily increased its defense budget and capability and purchased costly American arsenals.

TOP STORIES

Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history

Federal employees can support Black Lives Matter on the job, Office of Special Counsel rules

'We need to shut down': Texas Democrats call on Greg Abbott to issue stay-at-home order

Defense Minister Taro Kono recently scrapped the deployment of a pair of costly U.S. land-based missile intercepting systems due to technical issues, and Abe quickly announced his intention to revise Japan’s defense guidelines, possibly allowing Japan to go beyond its conventional defense-only role under the Japan-U.S. security alliance, including discussing a possibility of acquiring a preemptive strike capability.

The White Paper accused China of using propaganda, including spreading disinformation, about the spread of the coronavirus.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may expose and intensify strategic competition among countries intending to create international and regional orders more preferable to themselves and to expand their influence,” the report said. “We need to closely watch their move with serious concern affecting the national security.”

As evidence, a Japanese Defense Ministry official noted that a Chinese Foreign Ministry official had posted on Twitter in March an accusation that the U.S. military had spread the coronavirus in Wuhan and that Chinese media have touted herbal medicine as effective COVID-19 treatments. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

The annual report said China has “relentlessly” pushed to “change the status quo” in the Asian seas, including sending 3,000-ton class government vessels into Japanese waters around Japan-controlled disputed East China Sea islands called Senkaku in Japanese. Beijing also claim the islands and call them Diaoyu.

China is also pursuing its unilateral attempt in the South China Sea even more aggressively and even expanding its area of activity into more distant seas, a concern shared by the international community, the report said. The South China Sea problem “directly affects peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“As China now boasts its capability and makes attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in many places, we must closely grasp what China’s intentions are,” Kono told a news conference Tuesday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Japan’s defense paper is full of prejudice and false information against China, and that it tried its best to hype the so-called “China threat.”

China has always firmly maintained its sovereignty, security and development interests. All attack or discredit on China are futile,” Zhao said. He urged Japan to stop deliberately intensifying tensions and get along with China.

The report also cited North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear and other weapons programs.

The North is “relentlessly pursuing increasingly complex and diverse modes of attack and is steadily strengthening and improving its attack capabilities,” the report said. It said North Korea since May 2019 has launched three types of new short-range ballistic missiles that use solid fuel and fly at lower altitudes than their conventional missiles that can breach Japanese missile defense system.

As Japan’s relations with South Korea have plunged to their lowest levels recently over wartime history, export control and territorial issues, the report prompted Seoul to protest Japan’s claims over a set of small South Korea-controlled islets between the countries. The report mentions the islands as part of Japanese territories that remain unresolved.

Foreign ministry spokesman Kim In-chul issued a statement urging Tokyo to “immediately” remove such claims from the report, saying that the islets called Dokdo in the Koreas and Takeshima in Japan are South Korean territory by international law.

___

Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, and researcher Liu Zheng in Beijing contributed to this report.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

UK-China ties freeze with debate over Huawei, Hong Kong

UK-China ties freeze with debate over Huawei, Hong Kong

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Robert Knight

Race hustlers take “diversity” scam to new levels by enforcing leftist agenda

Everett Piper

Hillsdale College stands out for its courage in face of liberal onslaught

Michael McKenna

President Trump can win. Here’s how.

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 file photo, participants wave British and U.S. flags during a rally demanding electoral democracy and call for boycott of the Chinese Communist Party and all businesses seen to support it in Hong … more >

Print

By SYLVIA HUI

Associated Press

Sunday, July 12, 2020

LONDON (AP) – Only five years ago, then-British Prime Minister David Cameron was celebrating a “golden era” in U.K.-China relations, bonding with President Xi Jinping over a pint of beer at the pub and signing off on trade deals worth billions.

Those friendly scenes now seem like a distant memory.

Hostile rhetoric has ratcheted up in recent days over Beijing’s new national security law for Hong Kong. Britain’s decision to offer refuge to millions in the former colony was met with a stern telling-off by China. And Chinese officials have threatened “consequences” if Britain treats it as a “hostile country” and decides to cut Chinese technology giant Huawei out of its critical telecoms infrastructure amid growing unease over security risks.

TOP STORIES

Lawsuit: Seattle abandoned CHOP's residents, businesses for political purposes

Trump blasts privately built border wall: 'Only done to make me look bad'

#BuyGoya: James Woods, Mark Levin among many opposing Goya Foods boycott

All that is pointing to a much tougher stance against China, with a growing number in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party taking a long, hard look at Britain’s Chinese ties. Many are saying Britain has been far too complacent and naive in thinking it could reap economic benefits from the relationship without political consequences.

“It’s not about wanting to cut ties with China. It’s that China is itself becoming a very unreliable and rather dangerous partner,” said lawmaker and former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith. He cited Beijing’s “trashing” of the Sino-British Joint Declaration – the treaty supposed to guarantee Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy when it reverted from British to Chinese rule – and aggressive posturing in the South China Sea as areas of concern.

“This is not a country that is in any way managing itself to be a good and decent partner in anything at the moment. That’s why we need to review our relationship with them,” he added. “Those who think this is a case of separating trade from government … you can’t do that, that’s naïve.”

Duncan Smith has lobbied other Tory lawmakers to cut Huawei out from Britain’s superfast 5G network. Not only that: He says all existing Huawei technology in the U.K. telecoms infrastructure also needs to be eliminated as soon as possible.

The company has been at the center of tensions between China and Britain, as U.K. officials review how the latest U.S. sanctions – imposed over allegations of cyber spying and aimed at cutting off Huawei’s access to advanced microchips made with American technology – will affect British telecom networks.

Johnson decided in January that Huawei can be deployed in future 5G networks as long as its share of the market is limited, but officials have since hinted that that decision could be reversed in light of the U.S. sanctions. A new policy is expected within weeks.

Huawei says it is merely caught in the middle of a U.S.-China battle over trade and technology. It has consistently denied allegations it could carry out cyber espionage or electronic sabotage at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party.

“We’ve definitely been pushed into the geopolitical competition,” Vice President Victor Zhang said Wednesday. U.S. accusations about security risks are all politically motivated, he said.

Nigel Inkster, senior adviser to the International Institute for Strategic Studies and former director of operations and intelligence at Britain’s MI6 intelligence service, said the issue with Huawei was not so much about immediate security threats. Rather, he said, the deeper worry lies in the geopolitical implications of China becoming the world’s dominant player in 5G technology.

“It’s less about cyber espionage than generally conceived because, after all, that’s happening in any place,” he said. “This was never something of which the U.K. was lacking awareness.”

Still, Inkster said he’s been cautioning for years that Britain needed a more coherent strategy toward China that balances the economic and security factors.

“There was a high degree of complacency” back in the 2000s, he said. “There was always less to the ‘golden era’ than met the eye.”

Britain rolled out the red carpet for Xi’s state visit in 2015, with golden carriages and a lavish banquet at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth II. A cyber security cooperation deal was struck, along with billions in trade and investment projects – including Chinese state investment in a British nuclear power station. Cameron spoke about his ambitions for Britain to become China’s “best partner in the West.”

Enthusiasm has cooled significantly since. The English city of Sheffield, which was promised a billion-pound deal with a Chinese manufacturing firm in 2016, said the investment never materialized. Critics have called it a vanity project and a “candy floss deal.”

Economic and political grumbles about China erupted into sharp rebukes earlier this month when Beijing imposed sweeping new national security laws on Hong Kong. Johnson’s government accused China of a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and announced it would open a special route to citizenship for up to 3 million eligible Hong Kong residents.

That amounts to “gross interference,” Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said. Liu also warned that a decision to get rid of Huawei could drive away other Chinese investment in the U.K., and derided Britain for succumbing to U.S. pressure over the company.

Rana Mitter, an Oxford history professor specializing in China, said that the security law – combined with broader resentment about Chinese officials’ handling of information about the coronavirus – helped set the stage for a perfect storm of wariness among Britain’s politicians and the public.

Mitter added that Britain has careened from “uncritically accepting everything about China” to a confrontational approach partly because of a lack of understanding about how China operates.

Some have cautioned against escalating tensions. Philip Hammond, the former British Treasury chief, warned that weakening links with the world’s second-largest economy was particularly unwise at a time when Britain is severing trade ties with Europe and seeking partners elsewhere. Hammond also said he was concerned about an “alarming” rise of anti-Chinese sentiment within his Conservative Party.

Duncan Smith rejected that, saying concerns about China’s rise are cross-party and multinational. He is part of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, a newly launched group of lawmakers from more than a dozen countries – from the U.S. to Australia to Japan – that want a coordinated international response to the Chinese challenge.

“We need to recognize that this isn’t something one country can deal with,” he said.

___

Kelvin Chan and Danica Kirka in London contributed to this story.

Russia skeptical about nuclear pact extension prospects

Russia skeptical about nuclear pact extension prospects

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Charles Hurt

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being … Joe Biden

Scott Walker

How to fix the U.S. debt crisis

Cal Thomas

Democrats want to impose socialism, and worse, on America

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 file photo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, attends a meeting with Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde in Moscow, Russia. Lavrov said Friday, July 10 that contacts with the U.S. negotiators leave little … more >

Print

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

Associated Press

Friday, July 10, 2020

MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s top diplomat said Friday he’s not very optimistic about prospects for an extension of the last remaining U.S.-Russia arms control agreement because of Washington’s focus on making China sign up to the pact.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia only wants to keep the New START treaty as much as the U.S. does and will protect its security regardless of the pact’s fate.

“We only need the extension as much as the Americans do,” Lavrov said during a conference call with foreign policy experts. “If they categorically refuse, we will not try to persuade them.”

TOP STORIES

NYC mayor nixes large events — except Black Lives Matter protests

Resignations, clashes leave Pentagon with gaping holes in upper ranks

'They're Marxists': Sen. John Kennedy labels 'Squad' members Omar, Pressley, Tlaib

The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

After both Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year, the New START is the only remaining nuclear arms control deal between the two countries. It’s set to expire in February 2021 unless the parties agree to extend it for another five years.

Russia has offered its extension without any conditions, while the Trump administration has pushed for a new arms control agreement that would also include China. Moscow has described that idea as unfeasible, pointing at Beijing’s refusal to negotiate any deal that would reduce its much smaller nuclear arsenal.

Lavrov dismissed the U.S. suggestions that Russia help convince Beijing to join nuclear arms cuts, saying that Moscow respects the Chinese position and considers it “undiplomatic” to push it on the issue. He reaffirmed that Russia would welcome other nuclear powers, including Britain, France and China to join nuclear arms cuts, but emphasized that it should be their own decision.

The minister noted that American and Russian negotiators last month held a round of nuclear arms control talks in Vienna and are poised to continue the discussions, but added that the U.S. insistence on having China join the talks leaves little hope for their success.

“I’m not particularly optimistic about the New START in view of the course taken by U.S. negotiators,” he said.

Lavrov emphasized that Russia is ready for the treaty to expire in February, adding that “we are absolutely confident that we can guarantee our security for a long perspective, even in the absence of this treaty.”

He noted that Russia hasn’t decided yet whether to remain in the Open Skies Treaty allowing observation flights over military facilities after the U.S. pullout.

Trump declared an intention to pull out of the agreement in May, citing Russian violations. Russia denied breaching the pact, which came into force in 2002, and the European Union has urged the U.S. to reconsider.

“We will make a final decision on whether to stay in it after we weigh all the consequences of the U.S. withdrawal,” Lavrov said.

Asked whether global stability could benefit if Democrat Joe Biden wins the U.S. election, Lavrov refrained from comment.

“It’s the American people’s business, a U.S. domestic affair,” he said. “I wouldn’t engage in guesswork. The situation is unpredictable.”

He noted that while the Democrats traditionally have shown more interest in arms control deals, Russia-U.S. ties went into a quick tailspin under President Barack Obama’s administration.

Russia-U.S. relations have plunged to the lowest levels since Cold War times after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, its support for pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Commenting further on U.S.-China tensions, Lavrov voiced concern about their impact on global stability, noting that Russia isn’t going to benefit from them in any way.

Asked if Russia could be a broker in U.S.-China relations, he said it could do so if asked.

“If they ask us, if they show such interest, we won’t refuse to do so,” Lavrov said. “We’ve established contact with both parties. We are always ready to try to help, but, of course, we won’t push our services on anyone.”

Swedish ex-envoy acquitted of planning illegal China meeting

Swedish ex-envoy acquitted of planning illegal China meeting

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Charles Hurt

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being … Joe Biden

Scott Walker

How to fix the U.S. debt crisis

Cal Thomas

Democrats want to impose socialism, and worse, on America

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, July 10, 2020

HELSINKI (AP) – A court has acquitted Sweden’s former ambassador to China of exceeding her authority in negotiations with a foreign country, concluding the first trial of its kind involving a Swedish diplomat in more than 200 years.

The Stockholm District Court ruled Friday that the prosecutor couldn’t prove that Anna Lindstedt, Sweden’s envoy to Beijing during 2016-2019, had gone beyond her jurisdiction and “negotiated in a diplomatic matter with someone who represented the interests of the Chinese state.”

The key issue in the trial was the allegation whether or not Lindstedt negotiated with persons who could be regarded as China’s direct representatives. The Swedish Prosecution Authority said the ambassador was indicted on a charge of “arbitrariness during negotiations with a foreign power,” which carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison.

TOP STORIES

Resignations, clashes leave Pentagon with gaping holes in upper ranks

Georgia kicks off chilling door-to-door COVID-19 blood collections

Executive orders are not laws

The charge resulted from a January 2019 meeting in Stockholm that Lindstedt, 60, brokered between the daughter of a Swedish publisher detained in China and two Chinese businessmen with links to China’s Communist Party about the publisher’s possible release.

The prosecution had alleged that China wanted to curtail Sweden’s democratic freedoms by trying to influence Angela Gui, the daughter of publisher Gui Minhai, to stop criticizing how China handled the case concerning her father.

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said it had no advance knowledge of the meeting at the Sheraton Hotel Stockholm. Lindstedt was summoned home for an investigation the next month and replaced with a new Swedish envoy to Beijing.

During her trial, Lindstedt denied breaking the law and said she informed the Foreign Ministry about the meeting.

Swedish media reported that the case was the first time since 1794 that a Swedish diplomat had gone on trial for the alleged offense.

Gui Minhai, who was born in China and became a Swedish citizen, is a bookseller and publisher of several books on Chinese politics and politicians. He went missing in Thailand in 2015, and sometime later appeared in custody in mainlaind China.

The circumstances surrounding his detention remain unclear. He is still being held, which has strained Sweden’s already icy relations with China.

Australia ends Hong Kong extradition treaty, extends visas

Australia ends Hong Kong extradition treaty, extends visas

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Charles Hurt

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being … Joe Biden

Scott Walker

How to fix the U.S. debt crisis

Cal Thomas

Democrats want to impose socialism, and worse, on America

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Journalists take picture and video over the water-filled barriers after an opening ceremony for China’s new Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. China’s new national security office in Hong Kong got off to an … more >

Print

By ROD McGUIRK

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and extended visas for Hong Kong residents in response to China’s imposition of a tough national security law on the semi-autonomous territory, the prime minister said Thursday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a range of visas that will be extended from two to five years and offers of pathways to permanent residency visas. It is not clear how many Hong Kongers are expected to get the extensions.

The move comes after China bypassed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to impose the sweeping security legislation without public consultation. Critics view it as a further deterioration of freedoms promised to the former British colony, in response to last year’s massive protests calling for greater democracy and more police accountability.

TOP STORIES

Robert De Niro's restaurant chain Nobu took 14 PPP loans

Ex-Philly police form PAC to combat 'defund the police' movement nationwide

Ilhan Omar vows 'whole system' of U.S. economy must be gutted due to 'oppression'

The national security law prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities or as foreign intervention in Hong Kong affairs. Under the law, police now have sweeping powers to conduct searches without warrants and order internet service providers and platforms to remove messages deemed to be in violation of the legislation.

“Our government, together with other governments around the world, have been very consistent in expressing our concerns about the imposition of the national security law on Hong Kong,” Morrison told reporters.

“That national security law constitutes a fundamental change of circumstances in respect to our extradition agreement with Hong Kong,” Morrison said.

The Chinese Embassy in Canberra accused Australia of a “serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.”

“We urge the Australian side to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,” an embassy statement said. “Otherwise it will lead to nothing but lifting a rock only to hit its own feet.”

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China reserved the right to “take further actions” in response to moves by Canberra.

“The consequences will be fully borne by Australia,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.

China, Australia’s most important trade partner, has already imposed effective import bans on beef and barley from the country and issued a travel warning to its citizens in what was widely seen as political retaliation over legal and other matters.

Britain, too, is extending residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports, allowing them to live and work in the U.K. for five years.

Canada has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and is looking at other options including migration.

In Australia, the most likely Hong Kongers to benefit from the new policies are the 10,000 already in the country on student and other temporary visas.

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said he expected the numbers of Kong Hongers who would come to Australia under the new arrangements would be “in the hundreds or low thousands.”

Australia last offered “safe haven” visas to Chinese after the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. More than 27,000 Chinese students in Australia at the time were allowed to stay permanently.

Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party mouthpieces, this week warned that “no one should underestimate the repercussions to the Australian economy from a further deterioration of bilateral ties.”

“If the Australian government chooses to continue to interfere in China’s internal affairs, it should be expected that the ‘safe haven’ offer will result in a huge negative impact on the Australian economy, making the issue much more serious than many people would have anticipated,” the newspaper said.

China accused Australia of spreading disinformation when the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a travel advisory this week warning that Australian visitors could be at risk of arbitrary detention.

The department’s latest advisory for Hong Kong on Thursday warned that visitors could be sent to mainland China to be prosecuted under mainland law.

“You may be at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds,” the advisory said. “You could break the law without intending to.”

Australia had negotiated an extradition treaty with China, but shelved it in 2017 when it became clear that the Australian Senate would vote it down. The separate Hong Kong treaty has been in place since 1993.

China threatens visa restrictions on US officials over Tibet

China threatens visa restrictions on US officials over Tibet

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Andrew P. Napolitano

America’s tyrants and anarchists squeeze personal liberties in a vise

Tammy Bruce

Marxist mobs sweep into cities, call for defunding of police, tear down statues and create havoc

Joseph Curl

CNN loved Obama trip to ‘majestic’ Mount Rushmore, hates Trump visit to ‘racist’ monument

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – China said Wednesday it will impose visa restrictions on U.S. individuals following the Trump administration’s imposition of travel bans on Chinese officials it accuses of restricting foreigners’ access to Tibet.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the move would target “U.S. individuals with egregious conduct related to Tibet issues” but gave no specifics.

“We urge the U.S. to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs with Tibet-related issues … so as to avoid further damage to China-U.S. relations,” Zhao told reporters at a daily news briefing.

TOP STORIES

Rep. Jim Jordan says Democrats are excluding Republicans from hearing with Big Tech CEOs

Robert De Niro's restaurant chain Nobu took 14 PPP loans

Supreme Court sides with Trump over Obamacare religious exemptions

While China encourages travel to the Himalayan region, it has adopted “certain management and protection measures for foreigners visiting Tibet in accordance with law and regulations,” along with consideration for Tibet’s “special geographical and climatic conditions,” Zhao said.

The Trump administration announced its new travel ban on Tuesday, hitting an unspecified number of Chinese officials with visa restrictions, limiting or entirely eliminating their ability to travel to the United States.

In announcing the restrictions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of systematically obstructing the travel of foreign diplomats, journalists and tourists to Tibet while Chinese visitors “enjoy far greater access to the United States.”

“Access to Tibetan areas is increasingly vital to regional stability, given (China’s) human rights abuses there, as well as Beijing’s failure to prevent environmental degradation near the headwaters of Asia’s major rivers,” Pompeo said.

The statement did not name any of those targeted nor did it give a number of those affected but said it the ban would be applied to Chinese government and Communist Party officials who are found to be “substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas.”

China requires special permits for foreigners to visit Tibet, where human rights activists say Beijing has engaged in a decades-long campaign to suppress local culture, the Buddhist religion and minorities.

The latest U.S. move comes as it wages concurrent battles over Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong, human rights in western Xinjiang province, global trade practices and aggressiveness in the South China Sea.

China claims Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, although many Tibetans say their land was essentially an independent country for most of that time. Communist forces occupied the region following their seizure of China in 1949 and 10 years later crushed an abortive uprising, sending spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and more than 80,000 Tibetans into exile in India and other countries.

Japan’s ruling party calls for government to cancel Xi visit

Japan’s ruling party calls for government to cancel Xi visit

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Liberals and media may beat on Trump, but he cut taxes, invigorated the courts and rebuilt military

Charles Hurt

Joe Biden, part of the problem since 1973

Cal Thomas

Trump needs to stop personal attacks and show some empathy if he expects to win reelection

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By MARI YAMAGUCHI

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party adopted a resolution on Tuesday urging the government to cancel a visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping following Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law for Hong Kong.

“Under the current situation where grave concerns have been expressed from the international community about the principles of freedom, human rights, democracy … we have no choice but to urge (the government) to cancel President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan,” the Liberal Democratic Party said in its resolution, read by party diplomatic panel chief Yasuhide Nakayama.

The resolution condemned Beijing’s imposition last week of the security law for semi-autonomous Hong Kong. It said China should address the concerns of the international community, and the Japanese government should call more assertively on China to work toward building friendly relations.

TOP STORIES

Black Lives Matter protester shoots SUV driver; police say second bullet went through rear window

Don Lemon lectures Terry Crews on Black Lives Matter: 'It's not all-encompassing'

Coronavirus death rate keeps dropping even as alarm grows over summer surge

The new law makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist activities illegal, as well as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs. Critics see it as Beijing’s boldest step yet to erase the legal firewall between the former British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist system.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the top spokesman for Abe’s government, said the timing is not appropriate for arranging details of Xi’s visit and nothing has been decided.

Suga said the government’s position is that Japan and China should resolve outstanding issues through high-level talks including those between the leaders. He declined to comment on the possible impact of the resolution on JapanChina relations.

China has already criticized Japan for its recent expressions of regret over Beijing’s approach to Hong Kong.

Xi’s Japan visit, initially planned for this spring, had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But China hawks in the ruling party have repeatedly raised criticisms of Abe’s invitation of Xi as a state guest, particularly amid anti-government unrest in Hong Kong since last year.

Abe has made improved JapanChina ties one of his main diplomatic goals.

Japan and China have long had disputes over their wartime history, ownership of a cluster of islands and undersea deposits in the East China Sea.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Australia warns of ‘arbitrary detention’ risk in China

Australia warns of ‘arbitrary detention’ risk in China

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Liberals and media may beat on Trump, but he cut taxes, invigorated the courts and rebuilt military

Charles Hurt

Joe Biden, part of the problem since 1973

Cal Thomas

Trump needs to stop personal attacks and show some empathy if he expects to win reelection

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By ROD McGUIRK

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia on Tuesday warned its citizens that they may be at risk of “arbitrary detention” if they visit China, in a move that will further test strained bilateral relations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in an updated travel advisory for China that “authorities have detained foreigners because they’re ‘endangering national security,’” adding that “Australians may also be at risk of arbitrary detention.”

It is not clear what prompted the warning, which comes as bilateral relations between the free trade partners have plummeted over Australia’s calls for an independent investigation into the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic is believed to have started in China late last year.

TOP STORIES

Colin Kaepernick, Walt Disney Co. reach deal on documentary series

Black Lives Matter protester shoots SUV driver; police say second bullet went through rear window

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

The warning comes after Australian media reported that Beijing law professor Xu Zhangrun, a Chinese Communist Party critic who completed his doctorate at Australia’s Melbourne University, was detained in China on Monday.

Xu was detained on “spurious charges,” University of Technology Sydney academic Feng Chongyi wrote on the Australian Broadcasting Corp. website “The Conversation” on Tuesday. Feng was detained in China for two weeks in 2017 while researching human rights lawyers.

Australia has criticized China for charging Chinese-Australian spy novelist Yang Hengjun, a friend of Feng, with espionage in March.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed last week that his government was considering an offer of safe haven to Hong Kong residents threatened by Beijing’s move to impose a tough national security law on the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that he wasn’t aware of the new travel warning, but that China guarantees the safety and legal rights of foreigners in the country.

“As long as foreigners in China abide by the laws and regulations, there is no need to worry at all,” he said at a daily briefing in Beijing.

The new advisory is unlikely to affect travel plans since Australia has already banned its citizens from leaving the country because of the pandemic. Australians in China who wish to come home were advised to do so as soon as possible.

An Amnesty International report last year said China had “legalized arbitrary and secret detention.” The report also said there was an increased risk of torture, other ill-treatment and forced “confessions” in China.

Hong Kong grappling with future under national security law

Hong Kong grappling with future under national security law

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Liberals and media may beat on Trump, but he cut taxes, invigorated the courts and rebuilt military

Charles Hurt

Joe Biden, part of the problem since 1973

Cal Thomas

Trump needs to stop personal attacks and show some empathy if he expects to win reelection

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to reporters’ questions during a press conference in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 7, 2020. TikTok said Tuesday it will stop operations in Hong Kong, joining other social media companies in warily eyeing ramifications … more >

Print

By Zen Soo and Elaine Kurtenbach

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam offered scant reassurance Tuesday over a new national security law that critics say undermines liberties and legal protections promised when China took control of the former British colony.

A year ago, Hong Kong residents felt secure enough in their freedoms under the territory’s “one-country, two-systems” regime to bring their children to mass protests. Now, after the June 30 implementation of the security law, some are worrying they might be punished for what they post on Facebook Twitter or even TikTok.

Short-form video app TikTok, which has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots — it is owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance — said Tuesday it will stop operations in the city “in light of recent events.”

TOP STORIES

Portland protesters hit with federal charges in officer assaults, courthouse destruction

Book by Trump's niece reveals she betrayed him by leaking his tax returns

Prosecutors hit Black Lives Matter protesters with rare felony 'leak' charge

Hong Kong was promised 50 years of semi-autonomy after the July 1, 1997, handover. That allowed the city’s 7 million residents to keep a free press and other freedoms forbidden in the communist-ruled mainland.

Many of Hong Kong’s older generations fled political upheaval on the Chinese mainland. Younger Hong Kongers grew up expecting to achieve more democracy in their lifetimes. All are struggling to understand the implications of the new law, which prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities or as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs.

“I didn’t have a strong view against formalizing a national security law but the way it was implemented is intrusive and disrespectful,” said Jen Au, who works in the banking industry. “It’s basically just bullying. Hong Kong has come a long way in the last 20 years to warm up to China and this really just backfired.”

Lam, the city’s Beijing-backed chief executive, said Tuesday the work of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security she chairs, which oversees enforcement of the law, will not be made public. So implementation rules giving police sweeping powers to enforce the law won’t be subject to judicial review.

Asked if she could guarantee that media can still report freely in Hong Kong without facing censorship, Lam said, “If the Foreign Correspondents Club or all reporters in Hong Kong can give me a 100% guarantee that they will not commit any offences under this national legislation, then I can do the same.”

Hong Kong was convulsed with massive, sometimes violent anti-government demonstrations for much of last year.

Initially, the protests were against extradition legislation, since withdrawn, that might have led to some suspects facing trial in mainland Chinese courts. But the protests expanded to encompass calls for greater democracy and more police accountability.

Critics see the security law as Beijing’s boldest move yet to erase the divide between Hong Kong’s Western-style system and the mainland’s authoritarian way of governing.

The new law criminalizes some pro-democracy slogans like the widely used “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” which the Hong Kong government says has separatist connotations.

Under the new law police can order social media platforms, publishers and internet service providers to remove any electronic message published that is “likely to constitute an offence endangering national security or is likely to cause the occurrence of an offence endangering national security.”

Service providers failing to comply could face fines of up to 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($12,903) and jail terms of up to six months.

Individuals who post such messages may also be asked to remove the message, or face similar fines and a jail term of one year.

Carine Lo said such rules scare her.

“From now on, whatever public events you take part in, or whatever you say online, you could end up doing something against this law,” the 21-year-old said. “So for us, I feel scared. Probably I’ll have to be more careful about what I say online, and I will watch out if people around me may snitch on me.”

Under the new law, the Hong Kong chief executive can authorize police to intercept communications and conduct surveillance to “prevent and detect offences endangering national security.”

Police can conduct searches for evidence without a warrant in “exceptional circumstances” and seek warrants requiring people suspected of violating the national security law to surrender their travel documents, preventing them from leaving Hong Kong.

Such vague provisions are worrisome, said Alex Tsui, a woman in her 20s.

“They should tell us Hong Kong citizens exactly in what kind of situations, they have what kind of rights or powers,” Tsui said. “They can’t just choose any time to say, you look suspicious, or accuse you of anything, and then come in to search for evidence, I think it’s completely unfair. It definitely is not going to help uphold justice.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as “Orwellian” changes such as the removal of books critical of the Chinese Communist Party from library shelves, a ban on political slogans deemed to be subversive and a requirement that schools enforce censorship.

“Until now, Hong Kong flourished because it allowed free thinking and free speech, under an independent rule of law. No more,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Hong Kong authorities moved quickly to implement the law after it took effect on June 30, with police arresting about 370 people.

Social media platforms, shut out of the mainland by China’s “Great Firewall,” have yet to be blocked in Hong Kong. But users have begun scrubbing their accounts and deleting pro-democracy posts out of fear of retribution. Many shops and stores that publicly stood in solidarity with protesters have removed the pro-democracy sticky notes and artwork that had adorned their walls.

Many experts say they doubt the new law will have a big effect on companies that already operate in both Hong Kong and the mainland.

But big social media companies have announced they are assessing the law. Apart from TikTok, Facebook and its messaging app WhatsApp, Google and Twitter announced they are freezing reviews of government requests for user data in Hong Kong.

Telegram, whose platform has been used widely to spread pro-democracy messages and information about the protests, said it has not shared data with the Hong Kong authorities.

___

Kurtenbach reported from Mito, Japan.

TikTok to leave Hong Kong as security law raises questions

TikTok to leave Hong Kong as security law raises questions

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Strategic considerations’: John Roberts’ swing votes all about politics, court watchers say

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Misguided ‘defund police’ movement undercuts effort to change culture, experts warn

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

Mayflower Hotel speech drove liberal media overkill, empty Russia scandal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Liberals and media may beat on Trump, but he cut taxes, invigorated the courts and rebuilt military

Charles Hurt

Joe Biden, part of the problem since 1973

Cal Thomas

Trump needs to stop personal attacks and show some empathy if he expects to win reelection

View all

Question of the Day

Should Bubba Wallace apologize, as Trump suggested?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

This Feb. 25, 2020, photo shows the icon for TikTok taken in New York. TikTok said Tuesday, July 7, 2020, it will stop operations in Hong Kong, joining other social media companies in warily eyeing ramifications of a sweeping national … more >

Print

By Zen Soo

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

HONG KONG (AP) — TikTok said Tuesday it will stop operations in Hong Kong, joining other social media companies in warily eyeing ramifications of a sweeping national security law that took effect last week.

The short-form video app’s planned departure from Hong Kong comes as various social media platforms and messaging apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google and Twitter balk at the possibility of providing user data to Hong Kong authorities.

The social media companies say they are assessing implications of the security law, which prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities or as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs. In the communist-ruled mainland, the foreign social media platforms are blocked by China’s “Great Firewall.”

TOP STORIES

Robert De Niro's restaurant chain Nobu took 14 PPP loans

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

Black Lives Matter protester shoots SUV driver; police say second bullet went through rear window

Critics see the law as Beijing’s boldest step yet to erase the legal divide between the former British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system.

TikTok said in a statement that it had decided to halt operations “in light of recent events.” The company would not comment on the size of its operations in Hong Kong or any other matters.

Operated by Chinese internet giant Bytedance, TikTok has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots while striving for global appeal. It recently hired former Walt Disney executive Kevin Mayer to be its CEO.

The company has said all its data is stored in servers in the U.S. and insisted it would not remove content even if asked to do so by the Chinese government. Even so, TikTok has still been regarded as a national security risk, with U.S. secretary of state Michael Pompeo saying Monday that it was looking at banning certain social media apps, including TikTok.

Facebook and its messaging app WhatsApp said in separate statements Monday that they would freeze the review of government requests for user data in Hong Kong, “pending further assessment of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with international human rights experts.”

Hong Kong was convulsed with massive, sometimes violent anti-government protests for much of last year as the former British colony’s residents reacted to proposed extradition legislation, since withdrawn, that might have led to some suspects facing trial in mainland Chinese courts.

The new law criminalizes some pro-democracy slogans like the widely used “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” which the Hong Kong government says has separatist connotations.

The fear is that it erodes the special freedoms of the semi-autonomous city, which has operated under a “one country, two systems” framework since China took control in 1997. That arrangement has allowed Hong Kong’s people freedoms not permitted in mainland China, such as public dissent and unrestricted internet access.

Telegram’s platform has been used widely to spread pro-democracy messages and information about the protests. It understands “the importance of protecting the right to privacy of our Hong Kong users,” said Mike Ravdonikas, a spokesperson for the company.

“Telegram has never shared any data with the Hong Kong authorities in the past and does not intend to process any data requests related to its Hong Kong users until an international consensus is reached in relation to the ongoing political changes in the city,” he said.

Twitter also paused all data and information requests from Hong Kong authorities after the security law went into effect last week, the company said, emphasizing that it was “committed to protecting the people using our service and their freedom of expression.”

“Like many public interest organisations, civil society leaders and entities, and industry peers, we have grave concerns regarding both the developing process and the full intention of this law,” the company said in a statement.

Google likewise said it had “paused production on any new data requests from Hong Kong authorities.”

Though social platforms have yet to be blocked in Hong Kong, users have begun scrubbing their accounts and deleting pro-democracy posts out of fear of retribution. That retreat has extended to the streets: Many shops and stores that publicly stood in solidarity with protesters have removed the pro-democracy sticky notes and artwork that had adorned their walls.

Under implementation rules of Article 43 of the national security law, which give the city’s police force sweeping powers in enforcing the legislation, platforms, publishers and internet service providers may be ordered to take down any electronic message published that is “likely to constitute an offence endangering national security or is likely to cause the occurrence of an offence endangering national security.”

Service providers who do not comply with such requests could face fines of up to 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($12,903) and receive jail terms of up to six months.

Individuals who post such messages may also be asked to remove the message, or face similar fines and a jail term of one year.

Hong Kong authorities moved quickly to implement the law after it took effect on June 30, with police arresting about 370 people.

The rules allow Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam to authorize police to intercept communications and conduct surveillance to “prevent and detect offences endangering national security.”

Police can conduct searches for evidence without a warrant in “exceptional circumstances” and seek warrants requiring people suspected of violating the national security law to surrender their travel documents, preventing them from leaving Hong Kong.

Written notices or restraining orders also may be issued to freeze or confiscate property if there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect that the property is related to an offense endangering national security.

Narendra Modi visits military base close to China amid standoff

Narendra Modi visits military base close to China amid standoff

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Morale is lower with White officers’ in wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

Grim math of the border: Media hypes ‘haunting’ deaths, ignores thousands of rescues

Quiz: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Robert Knight

Left-wing activist wants to replace ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

Charles Hurt

Vulture Joe Biden no Atticus Finch

Scott Walker

Celebrating an exceptional country on Independence Day

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this Sept. 14, 2017, file photo, a banner erected by the Indian army stands near Pangong Tso lake near the India China border in India’s Ladakh area. Modi made an unannounced visit Friday, July 3, 2020, to a military … more >

Print

By Aijaz Hussain

Associated Press

Friday, July 3, 2020

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit Friday to a military base in a remote region bordering China where troops from the two countries have been facing off for nearly two months.

Modi, accompanied by India’s military leadership, interacted with troops in Ladakh region. A photo on his Instagram account showed him sitting in a camouflage tent at the base. “Interacting with our brave armed forces personnel,” he wrote.

Modi’s visit comes in the backdrop of a massive Indian army buildup in Ladakh following hand-to-hand combat between Indian and Chinese soldiers on June 15 that left 20 Indians dead and dozens injured in the Galwan Valley, the worst confrontation in over four decades between the Asian giants.

TOP STORIES

Barr orders legal action against governors whose COVID-19 actions infringe on civil rights

Hydroxychloroquine is effective, 'helped save lives,' new peer-reviewed study finds

Antifa 'ringleader' arrested in attempted destruction of Andrew Jackson statue: 'They had acid'

Indian officials say there were casualties on the Chinese side as well, but there has been no confirmation by Beijing.

Modi chanted “Long live mother India!” while addressing troops at the Nimu military base, insisting that “after every crisis, India has emerged stronger.”

He praised the valor of Indian soldiers and said: “Enemies of India have seen your fire and fury.”

“Days of expansionism are over. Expansionism creates danger for world peace. This is an era of development. Expansionist force have either lost or forced to turn back,” he said in an oblique reference to China.

Modi’s speech, which lasted for 26 minutes, was punctuated by nationalist fervor and praise for Indian soldiers. He said the bravery shown by troops was “a message of India’s prowess” to the world. “The weak can never accomplish peace, the brave do. The world is praising the bravery shown by Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley.”

Later Friday, Modi also visited a military hospital where he met injured soldiers.

Both India and China have provided little information officially, but media in the two countries have given large coverage to the escalating tensions, much of it replayed on television news channels and social media.

The leader of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, B.L. Santhosh, tweeted Friday that the visit was a “big, big booster to soldiers morale. He leads from front.”

Modi has faced public pressure for a stern response to Chinese actions along the contested frontier.

Indian protesters have been calling for a boycott of Chinese goods. On Monday, the government banned 59 Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok, citing privacy concerns that it said pose a threat to India’s sovereignty and security. The ban was largely symbolic since the apps can’t be automatically erased from devices where they are already downloaded.

Indian officials say the current standoff began in early May when large contingents of Chinese soldiers entered deep inside Indian-controlled territory at three places in Ladakh, erecting tents.

They say the soldiers ignored repeated verbal warnings, triggering a yelling match, stone-throwing and even fistfights in at least one place along the Pangong Lake, the site of several such confrontations in the past.

But the situation turned deadly when the rival troops engaged in a nightly medieval clash in the Galwan Valley, where India is building a strategic road connecting the region to an airstrip close to China.

According to Indian officials, Chinese troops atop a ridge at the mouth of the narrow valley threw stones, punched and pushed Indian soldiers down a ridge at around 4,500 meters (15,000 feet.)

Since then, India has sent huge reinforcements of soldiers, military equipment and fighter jets into the already highly militarized area.

The disputed border covers nearly 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles) of frontier that the two countries call the Line of Actual Control and that stretches from Ladakh in the north to the Indian state of Sikkim in the northeast.

India and China fought a border war in 1962 that also spilled into Ladakh. The two countries have been trying to settle their border dispute since the early 1990s, without success.

India unilaterally declared Ladakh a federal territory while separating it from disputed Kashmir in August 2019, ending the territory’s semi-autonomous status and straining the already prickly relationship between New Delhi and Beijing. China was among the countries to strongly condemn the move, raising it at international forums including the U.N. Security Council.

Several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to end the current crisis in Ladakh have been unsuccessful.

__

Associated Press writer Ashok Sharma in New Delhi contributed to this report.

Activist Nathan Law leaves Hong Kong after new law, will advocate abroad

Activist Nathan Law leaves Hong Kong after new law, will advocate abroad

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Morale is lower with White officers’ in wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

Grim math of the border: Media hypes ‘haunting’ deaths, ignores thousands of rescues

Quiz: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Robert Knight

Left-wing activist wants to replace ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

Charles Hurt

Vulture Joe Biden no Atticus Finch

Scott Walker

Celebrating an exceptional country on Independence Day

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this June 18, 2019, file photo, pro-democracy activists Nathan Law, left, and Joshua Wong speak to the media outside a government office in Hong Kong. Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law has left the city for an undisclosed … more >

Print

By Zen Soo

Associated Press

Friday, July 3, 2020

HONG KONG (AP) — Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law has left the city for an undisclosed location, he revealed on his Facebook page after testifying to a U.S. congressional hearing about a tough national security law China had imposed on the semi-autonomous territory.

In a post late Thursday, he said that he had decided to advocate for Hong Kong internationally and had left the city.

“As a global-facing activist, the choices I have are stark: to stay silent from now on, or to keep engaging in private diplomacy so I can warn the world of the threat of Chinese authoritarian expansion,” he said. “I made the decision when I agreed to testify before the U.S. Congress.”

TOP STORIES

Liberal group plans protests against July 4th in 13 cities, tells members to 'take to the streets'

NFL to play Black anthem before 'Star-Spangled Banner': Report

Barr orders legal action against governors whose COVID-19 actions infringe on civil rights

Law told reporters in a WhatsApp message that he would not reveal his whereabouts and situation based on a “risk assessment.”

His departure comes two days after the national security law took effect, targeting secessionist, subversive and terrorist acts, as well as any collusion with foreign forces intervening in city affairs.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement Thursday night that popular protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times” connotes a call for Hong Kong’s independence or its separation from China, meaning those using it or displaying it on flags or signs could be in violation of the new law.

Police arrested some 370 people Wednesday, 10 of whom were detained on suspicion of violating the national security law, when thousands took to the streets to protest it.

In some cases, suspects were found to be carrying paraphernalia advocating Hong Kong’s independence, police said.

“Under this legislation Beijing just passed about 24 hours ago, anyone who would dare to speak up would likely face imprisonment once Beijing targeted you,” Law told a congressional hearing via video link Wednesday. “So much is now lost in the city I love: the freedom to tell the truth.”

Law, 26, rose to prominence in Hong Kong as one of the student leaders of the pro-democracy Umbrella Revolution in 2014. In 2016, he became the youngest lawmaker elected to the city’s legislature but was later disqualified after he raised his tone while swearing allegiance to China during the oath, making it sound like a question.

He was a leader of pro-democracy group Demosisto, with fellow activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow. All three resigned Tuesday ahead of the national security law coming into effect. With the loss of its top members, Demosisto dissolved.

Critics say the law effectively ends the “one country, two systems” framework under which the city was promised a high degree of autonomy when it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

The maximum punishment for serious offenses is life imprisonment, and suspects in certain cases may be sent to trial on the mainland if Beijing deems it has jurisdiction.

A 24-year-old man who was arrested for allegedly stabbing a police officer during protests on Wednesday has been charged with wounding with intent, police said Friday. He was arrested on board a plane to London, apparently trying to flee the territory. Police wouldn’t say if the man would face additional charges under the national security law.

___

Associated Press video journalist Alice Fung contributed to this report.

___

This story has been corrected to say that a Hong Kong government statement outlawing a protest slogan was issued Thursday.

China, pro-Beijing activists condemn ‘meddling’ in Hong Kong

China, pro-Beijing activists condemn ‘meddling’ in Hong Kong

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Morale is lower with White officers’ in wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

Grim math of the border: Media hypes ‘haunting’ deaths, ignores thousands of rescues

Quiz: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Scott Walker

Celebrating an exceptional country on Independence Day

Daniel N. Hoffman

Gina Haspel and CIA stream recruitment efforts

Michael McKenna

Collins is GOP’s best bet in Georgia; Loeffler should recognize that

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Police stand guard on a street after clearing a road block during a march marking the anniversary of the Hong Kong handover from Britain to China, Wednesday, July. 1, 2020, in Hong Kong. Hong Kong marked the 23rd anniversary of … more >

Print

By ZEN SOO

Associated Press

Thursday, July 2, 2020

HONG KONG (AP) – China’s government and pro-Beijing activists in Hong Kong condemned what they called foreign meddling in the territory’s affairs on Thursday, as countries moved to offer Hong Kongers refuge and impose sanctions on China over a new security law.

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 U.S. to abide by international law and stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs, and not sign a sanction bill into law.

TOP STORIES

Corey LaJoie to drive 'Trump 2020' car in NASCAR Brickyard 400

D.C. sued over Black Lives Matter painted on city streets

Tom Hanks insults millions of 'p—y' Americans who won't wear masks: 'Shame on you'

His comments came after the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday joined the Senate in approving a bill to rebuke China over its crackdown in Hong Kong by imposing sanctions on groups that undermine the city’s autonomy or restrict freedoms promised to its residents.

If the bill becomes law, “China will definitely take strong countermeasures, and all consequences will be borne by the U.S. side,” Zhao said at a daily briefing.

Vice President Mike Pence in a television interview Thursday called the law a betrayal of the international agreement China signed.

“President Trump has made it clear that we’re going to be modifying our trading relationship and the trading status with regard to Hong Kong and we’re going to continue to speak out on behalf of the people of Hong Kong and on behalf of human rights of people within China,” he told CNBC.

“We want to reset the trading relationship, but we want China to recognize international agreements, to recognize the human dignity of all of their people, and that includes all the people of Hong Kong.” he said.

Meanwhile, dozens of pro-Beijing activists and lawmakers protested outside the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong to demand that the U.S. stop meddling. The group said it gathered 1.6 million signatures online in support of its call.

Tam Yiu-Chung, Hong Kong’s sole delegate to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, said on public broadcaster RTHK on Thursday that the new security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong was not harsh. If it were, no one would dare violate the law, he said.

His comments came a day after thousands of protesters marched against the security law, which took effect in Hong Kong late Tuesday.

The security law outlaws secessionist, subversive and terrorist acts, as well as any collusion with foreign forces in intervening in the city’s affairs. Critics say the law effectively ends the “one country, two systems” framework under which the city was promised a high degree of autonomy when it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

The maximum punishment for serious offenses under the legislation is life imprisonment, and suspects in certain cases may be sent to stand trial on the mainland if Beijing deems that it has jurisdiction.

The law takes aim at actions that occurred during anti-government protests last year. It says destruction of government facilities and utilities would be considered subversive, while damaging public transportation facilities and arson would constitute acts of terrorism.

About 370 people were arrested during and after Wednesday’s protests, including 10 on suspicion of violating the new security law. Some of those arrested allegedly possessed materials that advocated Hong Kong’s independence.

Hong Kong police arrested a man on a London-bound flight early Thursday 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.

Meanwhile, two protesters were sentenced to four weeks in jail on Thursday for vandalizing a ticketing machine at a rail station in September last year. They were among nearly 9,000 arrests by police in connection with the anti-government protests between last June and May this year.

The central government’s passage of the security law for Hong Kong has triggered concern from the territory’s former colonial ruler, Britain, and other countries.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that imposition of the law was a “clear and serious breach” of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the treaty that guaranteed the former British colony would enjoy a high degree of autonomy and civil liberties for at least 50 years after its handover to Chinese rule.

The Foreign Office summoned Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming on Wednesday to a meeting with Permanent Secretary Simon McDonald, who reiterated Britain’s concern. Britain also announced that it is extending residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports, stressing that it would uphold its historic duty to its former colony. Those eligible will be able to live and work in the U.K. for five years before applying for settled status and then again for citizenship.

On Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in London said such a move would be in breach of “international law and basic norms governing international relations.”

“We firmly oppose this and reserve the right to take corresponding measures,” it said in a statement, without elaborating. “We urge the British side to view objectively and fairly the national security legislation for Hong Kong, respect China’s position and concerns, refrain from interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any way.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday his government is considering a move to provide a “safe haven” to Hong Kongers, and Taiwan opened an office to help Hong Kongers move to Taiwan for employment and other purposes.

Divided West can do little as China tightens up on Hong Kong

Divided West can do little as China tightens up on Hong Kong

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Morale is lower with White officers’ in wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

Grim math of the border: Media hypes ‘haunting’ deaths, ignores thousands of rescues

Quiz: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Michael McKenna

Collins is GOP’s best bet in Georgia; Loeffler should recognize that

David Keene

The cost of demonizing the police

Cal Thomas

Unpredictable John Roberts lets Supreme Court affirm abortion ideology over women’s health

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, demonstrators wave British flags during a rally outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong. From Tokyo to Brussels, political leaders have swiftly decried Beijing’s move to impose a tough national security … more >

Print

By SYLVIA HUI

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

LONDON (AP) – From Tokyo to Brussels, political leaders have swiftly decried Beijing’s move to impose a tough national security law on Hong Kong that cracks down on subversive activity and protest in the semi-autonomous territory.

But the rhetoric has more bark than bite. For people in Hong Kong, the question is: Will international anger and statements of concern make any difference?

Individual countries have little leverage over Beijing on human rights, experts say. A joint effort could make a difference, but coordinated action seems unlikely given strained ties between the Trump administration and many of Washington’s traditional European allies.

TOP STORIES

Biden tells donors he plans to roll back bulk of trillion-dollar Trump tax cuts

The matter of Marxism: Black Lives Matter is rooted in a soulless ideology

'Not kidding around': Cuomo threatens to reinstate coronavirus shutdowns

“The U.S.A. and EU are moving in different directions in many areas. It is perhaps to China’s advantage that that should be so,” said Rod Wye, an Asia-Pacific associate fellow at the Chatham House think tank in London. In particular, Europeans do not want to be drawn into the U.S.-China trade war, he said.

“Expressions of concern are certainly not going to change the Chinese intention one little bit,” he added.

A joint U.S.-European report released this week on relations with China described “a deep sense of frustration, fatigue, and futility. The stronger China gets, the less willing it has become to even engage perfunctorily with the West on the issue.”

The report – from the Asia Society, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and George Washington University – said that concern about human rights abuses in China remains deep, from the new security law in Hong Kong, which went into effect Tuesday night, to the repression of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region in western China.

China routinely dismisses all such criticism as interference in its domestic affairs. One of the crimes in the Hong Kong security law explicitly outlaws receiving funding or support from overseas to disrupt lawmaking in Hong Kong or impose sanctions on the city.

“This issue is purely China’s internal affairs, and no foreign country has the right to interfere,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

Many fear the law will be used to curb opposition voices and see it as Beijing’s boldest move yet to erase the legal firewall between the mainland’s Communist Party system and Hong Kong, which was promised a high degree of autonomy and civil liberties under a “one country, two systems” principle.

Britain called the law “deeply troubling” and said it “lies in direct conflict with China’s international obligations.” The U.S. warned that China’s repeated violations of its international commitments “is a pattern the world cannot ignore.” And the European Union warned that China risked “very negative consequences” to its reputation and to business confidence in the global financial hub.

Steve Tsang, who directs the China Institute at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, said that if the EU were to join forces on the issue with the “Five Eyes” alliance – the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – the group would have real economic clout. The EU is China’s largest trading partner.

But he said it was “far-fetched” for either British Prime Minister Boris Johnson or U.S. President Donald Trump to work with the EU on the issue.

“It is reasonable for Beijing to calculate that both the U.K. and U.S. are paper tigers,” Tsang said. “Boris is focused on Brexit. He is happy to cooperate with anyone except for the EU.”

Chinese experts said the West isn’t able to sway China because of fundamental differences in their views. The West stresses political rights, while China emphasizes economic rights, said Yu Wanli, an international relations professor at Beijing Language and Culture University.

“It is not that China is trying to withstand pressure from the West, but it is that China’s own policies have achieved results,” Yu said. “China doesn’t need to care about pressure from the West.”

Stressing a legal and moral duty to its former colony, Britain on Wednesday announced it is extending residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports, allowing them to live and work in the U.K. for five years. In Brussels, the European Parliament last month passed a resolution calling on the EU to consider taking Beijing to the International Court of Justice.

Reinhard Bütikofer, chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for China relations, said lawmakers are considering other measures, such as a ban on exports of “technology utilized to oppress Hong Kong citizens.” Other options include a “lifeboat” offer for Hong Kong democracy activists, and pushing for the United Nations to appoint a special envoy to the city.

“The major burden is on the incoming German presidency to rally member states in following through in what they have indicated in the past, that this would not remain without consequences,” Bütikofer said.

In the U.S., the Trump administration has said it will bar defense exports to Hong Kong, cancel policy exemptions that give Hong Kong special treatment, and impose visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials “responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

Zhao, the foreign ministry spokesperson, said the U.S. will never succeed in blocking Hong Kong’s national security legislation through sanctions.

Wye, the Chatham House associate fellow, said the impact of such measures on China is likely to be marginal.

“I don’t think Beijing has anything particular to fear because the sanctions they’re talking about are mainly withdrawing special status in particular areas of Hong Kong and treating it more like the rest of China,” he said. “So the people likely to be hurt are Hong Kong businesses and Hong Kong people rather than Chinese businesses and the Chinese government.”

China reviews heavily criticized Hong Kong security bill

China reviews heavily criticized Hong Kong security bill

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Robert Knight

Democrats bless stimulus checks that flow to strip clubs and the dead

Cheryl K. Chumley

American individualism falling to socialism, globalism, collectivism

David Keene

Rioters who burned police stations and businesses may find their nemesis, Trump, reelected

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Police officers stand guard as people gather during a pro-democracy rally supporting human rights and to protest against Beijing’s national security law in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Sunday, June 28, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – China’s legislature on Sunday began reviewing a controversial national security bill for Hong Kong that critics worldwide say will severely compromise human rights in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee took up the bill at the start of a three-day session, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported. China has said it is determined to enact the law, and its passage is expected by Tuesday.

The U.S. says it will respond by ending favorable trading terms granted to the former British colony after it passed to Chinese control in 1997. The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill to impose sanctions on businesses and individuals – including the police – that undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy or restrict freedoms promised to the city’s residents.

TOP STORIES

Democratic clerk charged with altering nearly 200 midterm elections ballots

Florida Dems boast mail-in voter lead, buck Trump fraud warnings

Gunning for The Duke: Dems push to rename John Wayne Airport, say he was 'racist and bigoted'

The Senate bill targets police units that have cracked down on Hong Kong protesters, as well as Chinese Communist Party officials responsible for imposing the national security law. The measure also would impose sanctions on banks that do business with entities found to violate the law.

Last week, a former United Nations human rights chief and eight former U.N. special envoys urged the body’s secretary-general to appoint a special envoy on Hong Kong over what they said is a pending “humanitarian tragedy.” Britain has said it would grant passports to as many as 3 million of Hong Kong’s 7.8 million people.

Beijing has denounced all such moves as gross interference in its internal affairs.

The law would criminalize secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security. Critics say Hong Kong’s legal statutes already account for such matters and that Beijing is determined to use the law to pursue political opponents.

The central government in Beijing also would set up a national security office in Hong Kong to collect and analyze intelligence and deal with criminal cases related to national security.

Few details have been released, but it appears that Beijing will have ultimate power over government appointments, further reducing the relative independence it promised to Hong Kong in a 1984 joint declaration with Britain that is considered an international treaty.

The measures have been widely seen as the most significant erosion to date of Hong Kong’s British-style rule of law and high degree of autonomy that China promised Hong Kong would have under a “one country, two systems” principle.

China has long demanded such a law for Hong Kong, but efforts were shelved in the face of massive protests in 2003. Beijing appeared to have lost its patience in the face of widespread and often violent anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong last year, moving to circumvent the city’s own legislative council and enact the law at the national level on what critics say are weak legal grounds.

On Sunday, opponents of the bill staged a protest in Hong Kong, with police using pepper spray and arresting 53 people “on suspicion of unlawful assembly,” according to Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK.

UN experts urge world to ensure China respects human rights

UN experts urge world to ensure China respects human rights

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

American individualism falling to socialism, globalism, collectivism

David Keene

Rioters who burned police stations and businesses may find their nemesis, Trump, reelected

Peter Morici

Investors that stick with stocks will be rewarded as economy reopens

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, June 26, 2020

GENEVA (AP) – An unusually large group of independent U.N. human rights experts on Friday urged the international community to “take all appropriate measures” to monitor China and “act collectively and decisively” to ensure its government respects human rights.

Dozens of experts, who work on various mandates from the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council, raised a litany of concerns, including Beijing’s treatment of ethnic minorities in Tibet and the western Xinjiang region, allegations of excessive force against protesters and reports of retaliation against people who spoke out about the coronavirus outbreak.

The experts flagged in particular recent concerns about a new draft security law for Hong Kong that would “introduce poorly defined crimes that would easily be subject to abuse and repression” and could allow Beijing to encroach upon the city’s special status.

TOP STORIES

'We are trained Marxists': Black Lives Matter co-founder featured in GOP ad

Parler topples 'tech tyrant' Twitter in Apple 'News App' store

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrong to encourage protests but keep NY churches locked down, judge rules

The Chinese diplomatic mission in Geneva, on its website, accused the experts of “trespassing their mandates” and said “a few” of the experts had joined in on the “erroneous statement against China.”

China categorically rejects and strongly condemns the statement,” it said, insisting that “nearly 1.4 billion people live in prosperity, peace, freedom and happiness in China.” It said the rights of people in Xinjiang and Tibet are “fully protected” and touted China’s “major progress” in fighting the coronavirus.

The experts expressed concern that China hasn’t granted the same level of access to the country for them that 120 other governments have.

They urged the 47-member state council to “act with a sense of urgency to take all appropriate measures to monitor Chinese human rights practices.” They floated ideas like convening a special council session about China or creating a “mechanism” to scrutinize China’s rights situation annually.

The experts are independent and do not speak for the United Nations, though they receive some administrative and other support from the U.N. human rights office. It is unusual for so many of the experts to come together for a single appeal.

The call came a day after former U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein joined a group of former U.N. rights experts warning of a potential “humanitarian tragedy” linked to the security law on Hong Kong.

U.S. to block visas for Chinese officials over treatment of Hong Kong

U.S. to block visas for Chinese officials over treatment of Hong Kong

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

David Keene

Rioters who burned police stations and businesses may find their nemesis, Trump, reelected

Peter Morici

Investors that stick with stocks will be rewarded as economy reopens

Everett Piper

Welcome to the neo-Marxist ‘Church of Holy Wokeness’

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the State Department, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP) **FILE** more >

Print

By Stephen Dinan

The Washington Times

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Trump administration slapped sanctions on top Chinese Communist Party officials Friday, barring them and possibly some family members from entering the U.S. as punishment for curtailing Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move, saying he was carrying out President Trump’s orders. The move was also called for by a congressional law.

Mr. Pompeo said the visa restrictions apply to current and former CCP officials “who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.”

TOP STORIES

New silent majority against far-left extremism may help reelect Trump

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrong to encourage protests but keep NY churches locked down, judge rules

COVID-19 turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media

“The United States calls on China to honor its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration — namely that Hong Kong will ‘enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ and that human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, will be protected by law and respected by governing authorities in Hong Kong,” Mr. Pompeo said.

Depending on how deeply the sanctions cut, it could be a serious hindrance to the lifestyle of some senior Chinese families — particularly if Mr. Pompeo applies the sanctions to party officials’ children who want to study at American universities.

U.S. administrations have been reluctant to impose visa sanctions on China in the past, even though the law would allow it for other infractions such as Beijing’s refusal to cooperate on the return of Chinese deportees.

But the Trump administration was pressed by members of Congress, who last year passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which required the president to certify whether China was abrogating Hong Kong’s autonomy and, if so, to impose penalties.

Among those are visa sanctions and special free trade benefits Hong Kong has enjoyed despite the 1997 handover of control from the U.K. to China.

This week the Senate approved follow-up legislation that would allow the government to freeze assets belonging to officials deemed to be involved in violating Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Mr. Pompeo in late May announced that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China. In his statement Friday he said Chinese Communist Party officials have pressured Hong Kong to arrest pro-democracy activists and to block pro-democracy candidates from politics. He also pointed to Beijing’s move to impose a national security law on the territory.

Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who sponsored the House version of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, said Mr. Pompeo made the right call.

“It is especially gratifying for me to see the administration take a stand for freedom and against tyranny,” he said.

The sanctions are the latest escalation between the U.S. and China, building on an already tense relationship over the coronavirus outbreak.

Yet the administration is delaying other sanctions over China’s treatment of its Uyghur population, apparently to avoid upsetting Mr. Trump’s attempts to strike a trade deal with President Xi Jinping.

Virus taking stronger hold in U.S., other populated countries

Virus taking stronger hold in U.S., other populated countries

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Welcome to the neo-Marxist ‘Church of Holy Wokeness’

Charles Hurt

The Democrats’ ‘Bonfire of Inanities’

Scott Walker

Ignorant rioters take violence to Madison and leftist Democrats do nothing

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Commuters, some wearing protective face masks, ride a bus amid the new coronavirus pandemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 25, 2020. Authorities say buses can operate with people standing, but limited to 2 commuters per meter square, and … more >

Print

By Kim Tong-hyung

Associated Press

Friday, June 26, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — While China moved closer to containing a fresh outbreak in Beijing, the coronavirus took a stronger hold elsewhere, including the United States, where surging infections across southern states have highlighted the risks of reopening economies without effective treatment or vaccines.

Another record daily increase in India on Friday pushed the country’s caseload toward half a million, and other countries with large populations like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico grappled with large caseloads and strained health care systems.

South Africa, which accounts for about half of the infections on the African continent with 118,375, reported a record 6,579 new cases, as transmissions increase after it loosened what had been one of the world’s strictest lockdowns earlier this month.

TOP STORIES

Washington governor announces misdemeanor charges for people who don't wear masks

'We are trained Marxists': Black Lives Matter co-founder featured in GOP ad

Parler topples 'tech tyrant' Twitter in Apple 'News App' store

Mexico reported some of its highest 24-hours counts so far with 6,104 new cases and 736 additional deaths, as its treasury secretary began isolating at home after a positive test.

In China, where the pandemic originated in December, authorities have mobilized resources for mass testing and locked down parts of Beijing this month due to an outbreak that has infected 260 people. The 11 new cases reported in the capital Friday continued a downward trend that suggests transmissions have been largely brought under control.

The United States, which counts the most infections in the world, is seeing daily jumps in COVID-19 cases nearing the peak reached during late April.

Arizona’s 3,056 additional infections reported Thursday was the fourth day in a week with a increase over 3,000. Transmissions have spiked following Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision to lift stay-home restrictions in May.

Twenty-three percent of tests conducted in the state over the past seven days has been positive, nearly triple the national average, and a record 415 patients were on ventilators.

The numbers “continue to go in the wrong direction,” said Ducey, who confirmed that the state has postponed further efforts to reopen.

He pushed back against reporters’ questions about his position on the use of masks and his attendance at President Donald Trump’s campaign event held indoors this week at a Phoenix church. Many of the 3,000 people who attended did not wear face coverings.

Mississippi announced a record 1,092 new cases of coronavirus, the second time this week its daily count reached new highs.

After making one of the most aggressive pushes in the nation to reopen, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has put off lifting any more restrictions and reimposed a ban on elective surgeries in some places to preserve hospital space.

The United States reported 34,500 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, slightly fewer than the day before but still near the high of 36,400 reached April 24, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The daily average has climbed by more than 50% over the past two weeks, an Associated Press analysis found. The true numbers are probably much higher because of limited testing and other factors.

Deaths tolls have dropped even as the number of infections have increased, possibly reflecting better medical treatments and better efforts to prevent infections among the most vulnerable like nursing home residents. A rising proportion of cases in the U.S. are among younger people, who are more likely than their elders to survive a bout with COVID-19.

“This is still serious,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but “we’re in a different situation today than we were in March or April.”

India, which has the world’s second-largest population, has seen regular record daily increases. The 24-hour spike of 17,296 new infections reported Friday raised the national caseload past 490,000, including 15,301 fatalities. Indian Railways delayed the resumption of regular train services by more than a month, until Aug. 12.

In India and in neighboring Pakistan, government leaders have resisted new restrictions, citing economic concerns. The world’s fourth-most populous country, Indonesia, passed 50,000 cases on Thursday, with at least 2,620 deaths, the highest number of cases and fatalities in Southeast Asia. That’s up from just two positive cases in early March.

President Joko Widodo said his administration wants Indonesia’s economy back on track but safe from the virus, and started the country’s reopening earlier this month. The government says the pandemic is expected to raise the nation’s poverty rate to 10.2%.

A comeback of the virus is also erasing hard-won gains in South Korea, which reported 39 newly confirmed cases on Friday, mostly from the densely populated capital area that had escaped the worst of the country’s outbreak in February and March. There’s criticism that authorities, concerned about a fragile economy, were too quick to ease social distancing guidelines and reopen schools starting in May.

Australia on Friday reported 37 new cases of the coronavirus, including 30 in Victoria state, where health authorities are scrambling to contain an outbreak. Authorities said they tested 20,000 people in Melbourne suburbs as they went door-to-door in their attempts to stamp out the virus.

In Europe, the official in charge of Spain’s response to COVID-19 says imported infections are a growing source of concern as the continent readies to welcome more visitors.

Epidemiologist Fernando Simón said Thursday that 54 people who had contracted the disease in the past week have been linked to recently arrived visitors in Spain. He suggested that controls should be strict and that regional and local governments should be ready to apply localized isolation to avoid spreading the disease.

In Britain, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the government has the power to close beaches and other public spaces amid growing concerns over the public’s adherence to social distancing rules.

Huge crowds on English beaches Thursday prompted the concern. Trash bins overflowed, extra police were called and the rural roads gridlocked by beachgoers now have signs stating the area is full.

There were also concerns surrounding jubilant Liverpool fans gathering outside the soccer club’s stadium to celebrate the team’s first league title in 30 years.

__

Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to this report.

U.S., Russia hold new nuclear arms talks, but without China

U.S., Russia hold new nuclear arms talks, but without China

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Joseph Curl

Trollmaster Trump gets pwned by Zoomer trollsters

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

Democrats recycle fascism with statue smashers, flag burners and book burners

Peter Morici

How a V-shaped economic recovery could happen

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

In this photo taken from undated footage distributed by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, an intercontinental ballistic missile lifts off from a truck-mounted launcher somewhere in Russia. The Russian military said the Avangard hypersonic weapon entered combat duty. The Kremlin … more >

Print

By David Rising

Associated Press

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — American and Russian negotiators have concluded a round of nuclear arms control talks in Vienna, aimed at producing a new agreement to replace the New START treaty that expires in February — the last remaining pact constraining the arsenals of the world’s two major nuclear powers.

U.S. negotiator Marshall Billingslea told reporters Tuesday that a day of high-level “marathon discussions” ended late Monday night and had been productive enough to conclude with the establishment of several technical working groups to delve deeper into the issues with the idea of paving the way for a second round of talks by late July or early August.

“We both agreed at the termination of our talks that the strategic environment has changed significantly since the New START treaty was signed,” he told reporters. “We can all remember back 10 years ago, the world is, in fact, a radically different place.”

TOP STORIES

Tommy Lee warns 'Trumpsters': 'We are going to pay you back so f-ing hard for all of this'

DOJ turns over 'highly exculpatory' handwritten notes from Peter Strzok in Michael Flynn case

Drew Carey's son, 11, says he helped start fire during anti-Trump protest: 'Screw our president!'

New START, signed in 2010, imposes limits on the number of U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear warheads and launchers.

It became the last nuclear arms pact between the two nations after the U.S. last year scrapped the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia, a Cold War-era agreement that both sides had repeatedly accused the other of violating.

The INF treaty was also criticized because it did not cover China or missile technology that did not exist a generation ago.

New START can be extended by five years by mutual consent.

Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian deputy foreign minister who led his country’s delegation in Vienna, told reporters in Moscow that he had reiterated the position that it should be.

“We presented our view and will keep doing so,” Ryabkov told the Interfax agency. “We are running out of time.”

He added, however, that the establishment of working groups was “a significant step forward” and said the talks were conducted in a positive atmosphere and reflected a shared desire to move forward.

U.S. President Donald Trump has called New START “just another bad deal” made by the Obama administration, and it was not clear whether he would agree to an extension.

Billingslea told reporters at a press conference held by the American delegation that any new agreement must include all nuclear weapons and not just strategic nuclear weapons, and also subject China to restrictions.

All options, he said are “definitely on the table.”

“Our ultimate decision, which is in the hands of the president, whether he decides to extend the New START treaty or allow it to run its course, is going to be very much driven by the extent to which we have made progress, not just with our Russian colleagues but with our Chinese counterparts,” he said.

He said China had refused an American invitation to be part of the Vienna talks, but that he hoped the international community would pressure Beijing to take part in the future.

“The United States is not engaged in an arms race,” Billingslea said. “Of course we will not be left behind, but we seek to avoid this, and this is why a three-way nuclear arms control deal, in our view, has the best chance of avoiding an incredibly destabilizing three-way nuclear arms race.”

Ryabkov said Russia believes that other nuclear powers should join future nuclear arms deals, but added that a decision to join could only be voluntary.

“We are well aware of China’s position, we respect it and we don’t see any sign that the Chinese position could change in the direction the U.S. desires in a foreseeable perspective,” he said, according to Interfax.

Billingslea said he “wouldn’t rule anything in or out” but that the U.S. did not think Britain or France, with much smaller nuclear arsenals, should be included like he said Russia wanted.

“Both qualitatively and quantitatively the United Kingdom and France are in a very different situation than the arms racing Chinese,” he said.

The U.S. attempt to bring China on board got off to an awkward start when Billingslea on Monday tweeted a photo of the negotiating table set up with Chinese flags in front of vacant seats, saying “China is a no-show.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian lashed out Tuesday, saying it was “neither serious nor professional for the United States to attract attention in this way.”

“We urge the U.S. to stop this boring trick, actively respond to Russia’s call for the extension of the New START, and carry out serious discussions with the Russian side on this,” he said.

Billingslea defended setting up the flags, saying “we configured the room for all three countries” in anticipation of China sending a delegation, then removed them to set up the room for bilateral talks.

_____

Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Liu Zheng in Beijing contributed to this report.

EU, China look to ease tensions, push on with business

EU, China look to ease tensions, push on with business

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cal Thomas

Toxic in Tulsa: Trump misses opportunity to heal and unify a divided nation

Richard W. Rahn

Google and NBC try to censor free speech with ad bans for The Federalist and Zero Hedge

Michael McKenna

U.S. treating China like Russia after the Cold War was a big mistake

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

European Council President Charles Michel, right, speaks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after an EU summit, in video conference format, at the European Council in Brussels, Friday, June 19, 2020. As they brace for the worst economic … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Monday, June 22, 2020

BRUSSELS (AP) — Top European Union officials are holding talks Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang at a time of rising tensions between two major trading partners over the fallout from the coronavirus crisis and Beijing’s increasing control over Hong Kong.

European Council President Charles Michel, EU commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, will hold two video conferences separately, first with the premier and later with Xi.

The meetings are not expected to produce concrete results — no joint statement will be issued — but the Europeans hope it will boost slow-moving talks on an investment agreement and build some common ground for tackling thorny political issues at a face-to-face meeting, hopefully late in the year.

TOP STORIES

Shaun King says Jesus images 'a form of white supremacy' that must go: 'They should all come down'

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed to challenge Chuck Schumer in Senate primary

Over 230 members of Oregon church get COVID-19

The EU sees China as a “systemic rival” that offers great opportunities but also presents many challenges. The coronavirus pandemic has created new obstacles, notably what Brussels sees as a China-orchestrated campaign of disinformation about the pandemic that could put lives at risk.

The meetings come at a time when China stands accused of trying to influence European officials and Borrell has twice denied in recent months that the External Action Service — a kind of EU foreign office that he leads — has bowed to Beijing’s pressure to alter documents.

While the 27-nation EU is China’s biggest trading partner, it is often divided in its approach to Beijing. Yet the new security law for Hong Kong has galvanized the bloc. EU member countries insist the law will undermine the territory’s autonomy, which was guaranteed in the “one-country, two-systems” framework.

Monday’s meetings were originally meant to be a summit on March 30, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed it off the agenda, along with another high-level event that was due to take place in September in the German city of Leipzig.

The Europeans will hold a news conference later Monday but no Chinese officials are scheduled to take part.

China to Canada PM: Stop ‘irresponsible remarks’ on spy case

China to Canada PM: Stop ‘irresponsible remarks’ on spy case

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cal Thomas

Toxic in Tulsa: Trump misses opportunity to heal and unify a divided nation

Richard W. Rahn

Google and NBC try to censor free speech with ad bans for The Federalist and Zero Hedge

Michael McKenna

U.S. treating China like Russia after the Cold War was a big mistake

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this March 28, 2018, file image made from video, Michael Kovrig, an adviser with the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based non-governmental organization, speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. China told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Monday, June 22, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – China told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday to “stop making irresponsible remarks” after he said Beijing’s decision to charge two Canadians with spying was linked to his country’s arrest of a Chinese tech executive.

The spying charges are “completely different” from the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, a foreign ministry spokesman said. Meng was arrested on U.S. charges connected to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in what was widely seen as an attempt to Canada after Meng’s December 2018 arrest in Vancouver. Charges against them were announced Friday after a Canadian judge ruled Meng’s extradition case can proceed to its next stage, moving her closer to being handed over to American authorities.

TOP STORIES

Trump to cut 525,000 foreign guest-workers to speed coronavirus jobs recovery

Lawyer: Black jurors should refuse to convict black people accused of murdering white people

Bill de Blasio: 'Problematic' Roosevelt statue to be removed by history museum

Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, said Chinese authorities “directly linked” the cases of Kovrig and Spavor with Meng. He called on Beijing to end their “arbitrary detention.”

“There is no such thing as arbitrary detention,” said the ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian.

China urges the relevant Canadian leader to earnestly respect the spirit of the rule of law, respect China’s judicial sovereignty and stop making irresponsible remarks,” Zhao said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called the charges against Kovrig and Spavor “politically motivated and completely groundless.”

“The United States stands with Canada in calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to coerce Canada,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Trudeau thanked the U.S. and other allies for speaking out against China.

“It has been obvious from the beginning that this was a political decision made by the Chinese government and we deplore it,” Trudeau said Monday. “This using of arbitrary detentions as a means to advance political gains is totally unacceptable in a world based on rules.”

Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Ltd. and the daughter of its founder, is accused of lying to banks in Hong Kong about Huawei’s dealings with Iran in possible violation of U.S. sanctions.

Meng’s case is a “seriously political incident” and part of U.S. efforts to “suppress Chinese high-tech enterprises and Huawei,” Zhao said. He said Canada “played the role of an accomplice.”

“We strongly urge Canada to correct its mistakes as soon as possible, immediately release Meng Wanzhou and ensure her safe return to home,” said Zhao.

Meng is living in a mansion she owns in Vancouver, where she reportedly is working on a graduate degree. Kovrig and Spavor are being held at an undisclosed location and have been denied access to lawyers or family members.

China has also sentenced two other Canadians to death and suspended imports of Canadian canola.

Zhao said visits by foreign diplomats to prisoners were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.