Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

China to impose visa restrictions on U.S. individuals over Hong Kong

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives a news conference about dealings with China and Iran and on the fight against the coronavirus disease pandemic in Washington U.S US Revokes Hong Kong Special Status Ends Exports of Defence Equipment Sensitive Technologies REUTERS POOL
Ginger Lawrence | 30 June, 2020, 17:08

Pro-China supporters display Chinese and Hong Kong flags during a rally in Hong Kong.

China's new national security legislation for Hong Kong was written and passed behind closed doors, without the consultation of the city's local government or legislature.

He added: "We would urge China to step back from the brink, respect the rights of the people of Hong Kong and frankly live up to its global obligations through the joint declaration and to the worldwide community".

"The fact that Hong Kong people will only come to know what's really in this new law after the fact is more than preposterous", Claudia Mo, an opposition lawmaker, told AFP.

As part of worldwide pressure efforts, on Friday the United States announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials "believed to be responsible for, or complicit in" undermining Hong Kong's autonomy.

The authority of the U.S. to condemn human rights abuses in Hong Kong has been diminished by revelations last week in the book by the former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton that Trump repeatedly refused to condemn China, believing its cooperation was critical to his re-election chances.

At her weekly press conference on Tuesday morning, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam - a pro-Beijing appointee - declined to comment on whether the law had been passed.

The statement said that the central and city governments would "jointly" work together to make sure the law is implemented, and "usher in a turning point, for chaos to turn into governance".

The State Department will end all exports to Hong Kong on its controlled list - items ranging from advanced ammunition to military hardware that already need the green light from the administration and Congress.

Beijing denies stifling Hong Kong's freedoms and has condemned Tsai's offer.

Cent Sends Iran A Message From Donald Trump After Arrest Warrant
Interpol has no requirement for making any of the notices public, though some do get published on its website. Iran asked Interpol for help in detaining Trump and others, a local prosecutor reportedly said on Monday.

Chan said the march on Wednesday will be held under the theme of opposing Beijing's national security law, as well as continuing the push for protesters' five demands-which includes universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into instances of police violence against protesters and journalists in the past year.

It criminalizes separatist activity, subversion, terrorist acts and foreign influence in Hong Kong affairs.

"The United States is forced to take this action to protect US national security", Pompeo said.

Critics have long accused Beijing of chipping away at that status, but they describe the security law as the most brazen move yet.

Lord Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, said: "This decision, which rides roughshod over Hong Kong's elected legislature, marks the end of "one country, two systems". Wong said "worrying about life and safety" has become a real issue and nobody will be able to predict the repercussions of the law, whether it is being extradited to China or facing long jail terms".

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few "troublemakers" and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.

The law was approved Tuesday on the eve of the anniversary of Britain's 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the new visa restrictions by Washington apply to "current and former" officials of China's ruling Communist Party "believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy".

And Beijing will have jurisdiction over some cases, toppling the legal firewall that has existed between Hong Kong and the mainland's party-controlled courts. It added that it will continue to push for Hong Kong's formal independence.