Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong pleaded guilty to inciting and staging illegal demonstrations in the Special Administrative Region, and risks up to five years in prison. The activist was remanded in custody on Monday after the first court hearing in his case, related to his involvement in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year.
The Five Eyes alliance, comprising of the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, issued a joint statement on Wednesday, in which they expressed their “grave concern” over the autocratic actions of China against Hong Kong. The statement was issued through their respective foreign ministers.
After the Hong Kong government canceled the qualifications of four pro-democracy legislators last week, the Foreign Ministers of the “Five Eyes Alliance” issued a statement on Wednesday, expressing concerns about China’s practices. They called on the Chinese government to stop destroying the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people.
Seven members of the pro-democracy opposition in Hong Kong were arrested today for being involved in the clashes in May in the parliament of the Chinese special administrative region, the police announced. “All arrestees are being detained for further inquires. The operation is under way and further arrests may be made,” the police said.
The four Hong Kong activists who sought protection at the U.S. consulate had previously contacted the diplomatic service, according to a British-based organization that helped several young Hong Kong people go to the US consulate.
On Thursday, Starbucks announced the company’s fourth quarter financial report. Starbucks’ fourth-quarter revenue was $6.203 billion, a decrease of 8.1% from last year. Among them, revenue in the Americas was $4.233 billion, a decrease of 9% from last year. International revenue was $1.492 billion, a decrease of 5%.
Yesterday, Ant Group’s Hong Kong IPO has been approved by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and the public offering has entered a countdown stage. The data shows that due to the enthusiasm of global investors, Ant’s IPO plan in Hong Kong stocks has pushed the demand for Hong Kong dollars to historical highs.
The South China Morning Post reported that Cathay Pacific will lay off 6,000 employees and end its Cathay Dragon brand as part of a strategic assessment to deal with the unprecedented damage caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. The SCMP said the Hong Kong airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the close on Wednesday.
On the morning of October 19th, Alibaba (09988.HK/BABA.NYSE) announced that it had agreed to acquire Auchan Retail International SA and its affiliates through its subsidiary Taobao China investment totaling approximately HK$28 billion ($3.6 billion US dollars) Jixin Holdings Co., Ltd. shares 70.94%.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam today praised the controversial Chinese national security law imposed on Hong Kong, saying that it has restored peace in the city, and helped end the pro-democracy movement protests therein. Lam made her remarks as part of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, who was detained Thursday and released hours later, has called for intervention by the international community in the case of the group arrested in China more than a month ago. Wong was arrested when he appeared at the Central Police Station for judicial control.
Chinese virologist Li-Meng Yan, who worked in a Hong Kong lab, published a report on Zemodo, an open-access digital platform, alleging the SARS-CoV-2 virus is manmade. According to Dr. Li’s abstract, “SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus.”
After hundreds of people in Hong Kong were arrested by the police during a demonstration last Sunday, experts believe that as Beijing expands the scope of arrests through the Hong Kong National Security Law, Hong Kong will enter a difficult period. Hongkongers were supposed to vote for the Legislative Council in elections on Sunday.
A Hong Kong man was arrested by the Hong Kong Police National Security Service on suspicion of “publishing sedition” on Sunday. According to Hong Kong media reports, the man is Tan Dezhi, the vice-chairman of “People’s Power.” Later that afternoon, nearly 300 people were arrested at a demonstration against the postponement of the Legislative Council election.
The United States has announced sanctions against 14 companies in Iran, China, and the United Arab Emirates for violating sanctions against Iran’s oil and petrochemical industries. The US Treasury Department has added a number of individuals and companies to its sanctions list as part of its “Maximum Pressure” policy.
United Nations human rights experts jointly sent a letter to the Chinese government stating that the Hong Kong National Security Law “infringes certain fundamental rights,” and expressed concern that the law may be used to prosecute political dissidents in Hong Kong.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on China to withdraw the “Hong Kong National Security Law” when meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Berlin on Tuesday. He said to Wang, “we hope that the principle of “one country, two systems’ can be implemented.”
The US Department of Defense submitted its annual “China’s Military and Security Development Report” to Congress on Tuesday. It is estimated that in five years, China will double the number of nuclear warheads in the next 10 years from the current 200. It may threaten the United States.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after meeting with German Foreign Minister Maas that there is still a great opportunity to complete the negotiations on the China-EU investment protection agreement within this year. Maas said the EU will also defend its values beyond its borders.
Ant Financial Services Group, the world’s highest valued FinTech company, released its prospectus on August 25. Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba empire, will have a shareholding of no more than 8.8%. Furthermore, Jack promises to donate 610 million stock shares to charity (which will account for around 2% of the company’s market value), especially on education, entrepreneurship and female leadership. On August 26, Alibaba reaches its highest ever stock price. The total value passes 6 trillion HKD, which is over $774 billion.
The Hong Kong police launched another large-scale arrest on the morning of August 26. At least 16 people were arrested, including pro-democracy members Xu Zhifeng and Lin Cheuk Ting. Ten people were arrested for the Tuen Mun incident on July 6 and the Yen Long incident on July 21 last year.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on Sunday released a joint statement in which they urged Hong Kong to hold elections “as soon as possible,” and warned the city’s local authorities to stop “undermining the democratic process.” in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s National Security Law has been implemented for more than one month. On the morning of August 10, the National Security Office of the police arrested seven people, including Jimmy Lai Chee-ying of Next Media, and accused them of colluding with foreign forces.
The US has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on the grounds that she is “undermining the autonomy” of Hong Kong. The US Treasury Department made an announcement on Friday to the effect that any assets belonging to Lam, as well as ten other officials, would henceforth be frozen.
The US visas of a group of Chinese journalists in the United States expired on Thursday. China pointed out that no one has been informed of the visa extension application result, and warned that it will retaliate against the United States. The two have recently fought many rounds since at least 2018.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned the one-year postponement of the Hong Kong legislative elections, which had initially been scheduled for September 6, saying that there wasn’t sufficient justification for the move. Pompeo made a statement published on the State Department website.
The Hong Kong government confirmed on Thursday that twelve Democrats were notified by the Returning Officer that they were disqualified from running for the Hong Kong Legislative Council election in September. Potential candidates are questioned by the authorities before they are approved.
The United Kingdom has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, “immediately and indefinitely,” in protest of China’s new security law in Hong Kong. They are they fourth country to do so. China, on the other hand, has expressed outrage at the decision, warning that Britain is “going the wrong way.”
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced today that the Chinese region is in a “critical” situation, following the registration of a record 100 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours. Lam announced new measures aimed at halting the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
A new security law issued by China in Hong Kong has brought fear among the population that the freedom of religion which they have enjoyed is in jeopardy. Under Article 29 of the new law, anyone who conspires with a foreign country or an institution or individual outside China could be prosecuted.
Hong Kong police arrested a pro-democracy activist, Tam Tak-chi, a candidate in the region’s September Legislative Council elections. The former radio host and activist has been slammed with a number of charges, including incitement to participate in an unlawful assembly.
The World Health Organization once again warned countries that if they cannot comply with medical precautions, the global coronavirus epidemic will continue to deteriorate. WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also admitted that in the foreseeable future, it will be difficult for the world to restore its original lifestyle.
EU foreign ministers met on Monday to discuss China’s countermeasures against the implementation of the National Security Law against Hong Kong. Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, said that the EU continues to pay attention to the Hong Kong Security Act that came into effect last month.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Monday that the Executive Council had met in advance to pass emergency legislation to fight the new coronavirus pandemic. There has been a clear local outbreak of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, leading the government to tighten its epidemic prevention and control measures.
In the past year, hundreds of Hong Kong demonstrators have fled to Taiwan. However, the current laws and regulations governing the admission of Hong Kong people in Taiwan are unclear. Most people have been unsure how to obtain the right of abode, and have difficulties in schooling and employment.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced that the government will provide temporary visas for Hong Kong students in Australia and help them become permanent residents of the country. There are currently about 10,000 Hong Kongers staying in Australia on a temporary or student visa.
With the opening of a “security office” in Hong Kong, the Chinese leadership has taken another step toward abolishing the “one country, two systems” principle. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam spoke at an official unveiling of a memorial plaque next to the “Security Office” mansion.
The Chinese government has opened a “National Security Safeguard Office” in Hong Kong, as enshrined in the newly adopted controversial national security law. The move comes barely a week after the enforcement of the new legislation, imposed on the city of Hong Kong by Beijing.
After the entry into force of the controversial National Security Act, the leading US technology company, Microsoft, and the recently popular video software, Zoom, joined the ranks of other technology companies in refusing to cooperate with Hong Kong. Specifically, they would temporarily not comply with the government’s requests for personal data.
China today accused the United Kingdom of “gross interference in Chinese internal affairs,” following Britain’s recent decision to facilitate access to citizenship for Hong Kong residents, in reaction to its great opposition to Beijing’s new security law. The accusation was made by the Chinese ambassador in London, Liu Xiaoming.
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong implored the world today to stand in solidarity with Hong Kong after Beijing imposed its national security law that threatens freedoms in the territory. “We still have to let the world know that now is the time to stand with Hong Kong,” he told reporters.