China

Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadline

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Monday protesters who clashed with police on the weekend were rioters, a legally loaded term in the city, and she supported the police in upholding the law and seeking perpetrators. Carrie Lam made the comments at a hospital where she visited three police officers injured in violent disturbances on Sunday between police and demonstrators angry about an extradition bill. Hong Kong has been rocked by large and sometimes violent street protests over the past month against the extradition bill, which many city residents see as a threat to their freedoms, plunging the former British colony into its biggest political crisis since it was handed back to China in 1997. “We thank the police officers for maintaining social order loyally and professionally, but they have suffered in attacks from those rioters – they can be called rioters,” Carrie Lam said. RELATED COVERAGE Hong Kong police demand better protection ahead of more protests With more protests expected in coming days and weeks, her comments risk raising tension. Some activists have been demanding that the government avoid using the term “riot” to refer to the protests. A conviction for rioting in the financial hub can carry a 10-year prison sentence. Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s protest which ended in chaos in a shopping mall, with scores of protesters threw umbrellas, hard-hats and plastic bottles at police who fired pepper spray and hit out with batons. Lam said more than 10 police were injured withHere's the full story.

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Rare Earths Metal

The Pentagon is rapidly assessing the United States’ rare earths capability in a race to secure stable supply of the specialized material amid the country’s trade conflict with China, which controls the rare earths industry, according to a government document seen by Reuters. The push comes weeks after China threatened to curb exports to the United States of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used to build fighter jets, tanks and a range of consumer electronics. The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27. Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon’s urgency. The U.S. government’s fiscal year ends in September. The U.S. Air Force, which is part of the Pentagon and created the document, confirmed the document’s existence. The Pentagon’s headquarters did not respond to a request for comment. The responses will be reviewed by two government contractors, including Northrop Grumman Corp, which did not respond to requests for comment. “The government wants to know how much of these minerals we could eventually be producing, and how soon,” said Anthony Marchese, chairman of Texas Mineral Resources Corp, which is working to develop the Round Top rare earth deposit in the state’s western edge. Several miners, though, declined to comment when asked if they will reply to the Pentagon, a sign of the sensitivity around rareHere's the full story.

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Hong Kong Protesters

Hong Kong protesters clashed with police on Saturday in a town near the boundary with mainland China where thousands rallied against the presence of Chinese traders, seizing on another grievance following major unrest over an extradition bill. The demonstration in the Hong Kong territorial town of Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen, began peacefully but devolved into skirmishes and shouting. Protesters threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray. Later in the day Hong Kong police urged protesters to refrain from violence and leave the area. The protest was the latest in a series that have roiled the former British colony for more than a month, giving rise to its worst political crisis since its 1997 handover to China. Sometimes violent street protests have drawn in millions of people, with hundreds even storming the legislature on July 1 to oppose a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in courts under ruling Communist Party control. Critics see the bill as a threat to Hong Kong’s rule of law. Chief Executive Carrie Lam this week said the bill was “dead” after having suspended it last month, but opponents vow to settle for nothing short of its formal withdrawal. Protests against the bill had largely taken place in Hong Kong’s main business district, but demonstrators have recently begun to look elsewhere to widen support by taking up narrower,Here's the full story.

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UK Flag - China Flag

Relations between Beijing and UK have deteriorated in recent months, partly due to top British officials’ calls for China to honour its agreements on the former British colony of Hong Kong, which has been racked by protests in recent weeks, and China’s human rights record.Here's the full story.

Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

The extradition bill that sparked Hong Kong’s biggest crisis in decades is dead, the territory’s leader said on Tuesday, adding that the government’s work on the legislation had been a “total failure”, but critics accused her of playing with words. The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into turmoil. In mid-June, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responded to protests that drew hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets by suspending the bill, but demonstrations that shut government offices and brought parts of the financial centre to a standstill continued. Her latest attempt to restore order did not satisfy many protesters who stood by demands that she completely withdraw the bill and accused her of playing word games. “There are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries whether the government will restart the process in the Legislative Council,” Lam told reporters on Tuesday. “So, I reiterate here, there is no such plan, the bill is dead.” The bill triggered outrage across broad sections of Hong Kong society amid concerns it would threaten the much-cherished rule of law that underpins the city’s international financial status. Lawyers and rights groups say China’s justice system is marked by torture, forced confessions and arbitrary detention, claims that Beijing denies. University students who have been out in force during theHere's the full story.

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Jeremy Hunt - UK Politics Headlines News Today

China on Wednesday said it lodged an official protest with London after British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Beijing of “serious consequences” if it breaches the Hong Kong handover agreement. “He seems to be fantasizing in the faded glory of British colonialism and in the bad habit of gesticulating while looking down on other countries’ affairs,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular briefing. It is the second day in a row that China has slammed Hunt for remarks he has made regarding the unprecedented anti-Beijing protests that have rocked the former British colony. Under the terms of the 1997 handover deal from British to Chinese rule, Hong Kong enjoys rights and liberties unseen on the mainland. But protesters accuse Beijing of reneging on that deal with the help of unelected leaders. “Hong Kong is part of China and we have to accept that. But the freedoms in Hong Kong are enshrined in a joint declaration” signed with former colonial ruler Britain, Hunt said Tuesday. “We expect that legally binding agreement to be honored and if it isn’t there will be serious consequences.” Hunt’s comments came after police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in the former British colony. Officers moved in after crowds stormed and trashed Hong Kong’s legislature on Monday, the anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, protesting against proposed legislation allowing extraditions to mainland China. “There is a way through this which is for the government of Hong Kong to listenHere's the full story.

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Protesters Took Control of Hong Kong Parliament

A ruling Chinese Communist Party newspaper has taken a hard line against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, saying demonstrators who broke into the local legislature showed their “arrogance” and had no regard for the rule of law. Chinese state media ran footage of police in Hong Kong clearing protesters from streets early Tuesday in a break with their silence over days of pro-democracy demonstrations that have challenged Beijing’s authority over the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. Beijing has largely sought to downplay the demonstrations that have highlighted doubts about the validity of its “one country, two systems” formula for governing the former British colony. Its coverage of the protests and the publication of a harsh editorial in the official Communist Party newspaper Global Times may indicate it is prepared to take a tougher line against the demonstrators following days of forbearance. “These violent assailants in their arrogance pay no heed to Hong Kong’s law, no doubt arousing the anger and sadness of all people of the city of Hong Kong,” the editorial said. Television images showed police moving into roads surrounding the legislative council, where protesters smashed through glass and metal barriers to occupy the space for about three hours on Monday night until police moved in shortly after midnight. Veteran opposition figure Joshua Wong acknowledged that the damage to the legislative offices has drawn criticism from some sectors in the Asian financial hub. But he said mass participation in marches and rallies over previous weeks showed there was a groundswell ofHere's the full story.

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Chinese Military - China News

“The notification letter of 6 June 2019 has been seen throughout the U.S. government and is fuelling speculation that this sudden change of policy could indicate larger plans for changes at Ream Naval Base, particularly ones that involve hosting Chinese military assets,” said the letter.Here's the full story.

Hong Kong New Extradition Law

A group of protesters smashed out the bottom of a floor-to-ceiling window at Hong Kong’s legislature Monday as a crowd of thousands marched through the city demanding democracy on the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China. The protesters repeatedly rammed a cargo cart and large poles into the glass panel. After the cart got wedged into the damaged window pane, police inside grabbed it and repelled the protesters with pepper spray. Officers lined up with riot shields on the other side of the broken window to prevent anyone from entering. The clash prompted organizers to change the endpoint of the protest march from the legislature to a nearby park, after police asked them to either call it off or change the route. Police wanted the march to end earlier in the Wan Chai district, but organizers said that would leave out many people who planned to join the march along the way. The protesters are opposed to a government attempt to change extradition laws to allow suspects to be sent to China to face trial. The proposed legislation, on which debate has been suspended indefinitely, increased fears of eroding freedoms in the territory, which Britain returned to China on July 1, 1997. Protesters want the bills formally withdrawn and Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, to resign. Lam, who has come under withering criticism for trying to push the legislation through, pledged to be more responsive to public sentiment. In an address after a flag-raising ceremonyHere's the full story.

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Carrie Lam and Xi Jinping - China and Hong Kong News

Faced with huge and disruptive protests in Hong Kong, China blinked. The decision to shelve the legislation that sparked the demonstrations shows that limits still exist to how hard China can, or is willing, to push. It also exposed a fundamental contradiction in the “one country, two systems” framework that governs the semi-autonomous city. Chinese President Xi Jinping has cemented his hold on power since taking the helm in 2012. His government has expanded control over information, religion and other aspects of society. In Hong Kong, the local government has disqualified a pro-independence party, sent the leaders of a 2014 protest to prison and denied a visa renewal to an editor for Britain’s Financial Times. Activists decried these moves as chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms, but residents largely went about their lives. Then the government, with China’s backing, chipped too deeply, propelling hundreds of thousands, possibly millions in a city of 7.4 million people, into the streets. For Xi, it apparently tipped the scales in a balancing act between attempts to tighten Communist authority and stability in the international financial center, and wanting to keep Hong Kong from slipping out of Beijing’s control — and even demanding independence. “It is a sign that Xi Jinping’s government is not totally impervious to pressure, despite the fact that he has consolidated so much power,” said Ben Bland, an expert at the Lowy Institute in Australia and author of “Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow.” It was in an atmosphere ofHere's the full story.

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