Friday, 17 January, 2020


Hong Kong Protesters Sing US Anthem to Thank Trump

Protesters in Hong Kong are pushing for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability but the city's pro Beijing leadership has refused any major political concessions China suspends US Navy visits to Hong Kong over support for protests
Bennie Garza | 06 December, 2019, 09:40

China will ban United States warships and military aircraft from making a stop in Hong Kong in the wake of Washington passed legislation supporting the pro-democracy protesters in the region, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The spokesperson said the United States has seriously violated the worldwide law and basic norms governing global relations, and interfered in China's internal affairs by signing the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 into law despite China's firm opposition.

The steps are "in response to the US' unreasonable behaviour", foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said, adding that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act "seriously interfered" in China's internal affairs.

China denies interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" formula enshrined at the handover.

Last week, US President Donald Trump signed two bills that backed protesters in Hong Kong and threaten China with possible sanctions on human rights.

In more bad news for the city, China on Monday banned U.S. military ships and planes from visiting Hong Kong - rest and recreation halt for the U.S. Seventh Fleet - in countering the U.S. legislation.

Au and Chu want to slash the maximum sentences for rioting, now 10 years' imprisonment, and unlawful assembly, now at five years, to three years and six months, respectively.

Beijing has repeatedly blamed Washington and other western countries for fueling the protests have rocked the financial hub of Hong Kong since June. "Thank you so much", said protester Eddy Wong.

Lam has offered dialogue, but protesters have ruled out talking to the government until their demands are met.

The protests were sparked by a controversial and since-withdrawn extradition bill and have swelled into broader calls for greater democratic freedoms.

Chu said police - amid ever louder calls from Beijing to "put an end to violence as soon as possible" - have charged far more people with serious offenses like "rioting" in this year's protests than they did during the Occupy Central movement three years ago, including peaceful protesters and bystanders. "I hope that Carrie Lam won't pass up this opportunity".

The foreign ministry said it would suspend the reviewing of applications to visit Hong Kong by USA military ships and aircraft from Monday - and warned that further action could come. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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