Tag Archives: Beijing

Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent as Beijing Beefs Up Troop Presence

Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent as Beijing Beefs Up Troop PresenceChina has doubled the number of troops in Hong Kong as pro-democracy protests there escalated over the weekend.About 12,000 Chinese troops are now stationed in Hong Kong, according to reports. The semi-independent territory's citizens have protested all summer, sometimes engaging in violent clashes with police, against what they say is stifling authoritarianism from China.Over a dozen people have been injured and over 150 arrested, during the 17th consecutive weekend of protests, police said.The demonstrations were originally sparked by outrage over an extradition law that Hong Kong residents say would allow Chinese authorities to effectively “kidnap” them on little evidence and force them to face the court process in mainland China. The concern over the law soon ballooned into fear that China plans to throw out its “One Country, Two Systems” policy regarding Hong Kong.Last month, about 5,000 protesters swarmed Hong Kong International Airport, causing the major travel hub to shut down and cancel all flights.The latest protests over the weekend were peaceful at first and meant to celebrate five years of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, but they quickly turned ugly, protesters starting street fires and throwing bricks on government buildings and petrol bombs while police responded with force. Protesters sang their anthem, "Glory to Hong Kong," and chanted "Fight for Freedom; Liberate Hong Kong" during the demonstrations.Police said they used a warning shot of live ammunition against protesters in Wan Chai after police were "surrounded and attacked by a large group of violent protesters." Police also shot tear gas and a water cannon filled with blue dye at demonstrators, which is meant to make them easier to spot later.The weekend's particularly violent spate of protests come just before the mainland celebrates the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday.China previously vowed a severe response to the demonstrations, saying protesters were engaging in “terrorist activities.”



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Beijing hopes glitzy new airport will take off as aviation hub

Beijing hopes glitzy new airport will take off as aviation hubBeijing’s new futuristic airport that resembles a giant starfish — opened days before the country celebrates the 70th anniversary of communist rule — promises to transform the Chinese capital into a major Asian aviation hub. Located 46 kilometres (29 miles) south of Tiananmen Square, Beijing Daxing International Airport will be able to handle 45 million passengers by 2021, with plans for 72 million by 2025 and 100 million by 2040. It was opened by President Xi Jinping Wednesday, but had an immediate hitch when its maiden commercial flight — an A380 superjumbo heading to the southern city of Guangzhou — was delayed by nearly 30 minutes.



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Malaysia PM says can't provoke Beijing on South China Sea, Uighur issue

Malaysia PM says can't provoke Beijing on South China Sea, Uighur issueMalaysia does not want to take a confrontational stance toward China over the disputed South China Sea and Beijing’s alleged mistreatment of its minority Uighur Muslims, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in an interview published on Saturday. Malaysia is too small to face up to the Asian powerhouse, even though Chinese ships surveying its waters for oil and gas in South China Sea do so without permission, he told an online news service during a visit to New York this week. “We watch what they are doing, we report what they are doing, but we do not chase them away or try to be aggressive,” Mahathir told BenarNews www.benarnews.org/english/news/malaysian/question-answer-09272019150003.html.

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Beijing opens glitzy airport ahead of China's 70th anniversary

Beijing opens glitzy airport ahead of China's 70th anniversaryA futuristic airport that resembles a giant starfish opened in Beijing Wednesday, as China unveils another massive infrastructure project just days before it celebrates 70 years of Communist Party rule. Located 46 kilometres (29 miles) south of Tiananmen Square, Beijing Daxing International Airport will operate at full capacity in 2040, with eight runways and the potential to receive 100 million passengers per year. The airport was opened by President Xi Jinping, but had an immediate hitch when its maiden commercial flight — an A380 superjumbo heading to the southern city of Guangzhou — was delayed by nearly 30 minutes.



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Hong Kong Protests Threaten Billionaires' Ties With Beijing

Hong Kong Protests Threaten Billionaires' Ties With Beijing(Bloomberg) — Less than a decade ago, Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, was granted an exclusive audience with China’s then-President Hu Jintao, a rare honor. State television lauded the September 2010 meeting, saying Hu lavished praise on the tycoon for contributing to the city’s prosperity and stability.These days, as Hong Kong reels from months of violent demonstrations, China’s government is weaving a much harsher narrative around the billionaires who dominate the business and politics of the city. In recent weeks, it’s linked them to the rising inequality it blames for the social unrest, a new stance that threatens the close ties Hong Kong dynasties have forged with Beijing.While most of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families have sprawling property holdings, they also dominate industries from telecommunications to retail, giving them outsize influence. The 20 Hong Kong tycoons tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — including moguls like Li and property magnate Lee Shau Kee — have a combined net worth of more than $ 200 billion. So any shift in China’s posture toward those wealthy families has the potential in coming years to ripple through the city’s $ 360 billion economy.In a scathing article posted on social media earlier this month, China’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the nation’s most powerful law-enforcement body, lashed out at Hong Kong’s property tycoons for “hoarding land and grabbing money.” Next, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, said the government should take away land from Hong Kong developers through compulsory acquisition.“It is very clear that Beijing’s attitude toward Hong Kong’s property tycoons has changed,” said Joseph Wong, who was secretary for commerce, industry and technology under the city’s former leader, or chief executive, Donald Tsang.China appears to be encouraging state-backed enterprises to expand in Hong Kong, a special administrative region, and, over the coming years, these companies likely will play a leading role in industries the tycoons have controlled, Wong said.China Mobile Ltd., the mainland’s biggest carrier, has increased its subscriber base in Hong Kong by more than 50% since 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Mainland developers, including China Resources Land Ltd., bought almost 60% of the residential land sold by Hong Kong’s government in the first half of this year.Representatives at family holding companies of Li and Lee didn’t respond to requests for comment.While much of their power comes from these informal relationships, members of the wealthiest families in Hong Kong also have official positions, including on the election committee of about 1,200 people that selects the city’s leader. Hong Kong business people sit on the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body that meets once a year in Beijing.Chinese leaders were friendly toward the tycoons when the mainland economy was opening up because they wanted to encourage them to invest across the border, said Ding Yifan, a former senior government researcher who now teaches world economy at Beijing Foreign Studies University.“Now that things have hit the fan, they realize there are many things quite unfair in Hong Kong,” he said. “Of course they need to deal with these problems.”Hong Kong’s protests erupted in June in response to a proposed bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. They’ve continued even after that legislation was shelved, with protesters making other demands, including universal suffrage and an investigation into police actions toward demonstrators.China’s office for Hong Kong and Macau affairs this month said it would support Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, in efforts to address social problems such as the housing shortage, the large wealth gap and the difficulty in upward social mobility. Hong Kong has the world’s least affordable housing.At the end of July, about half of Hong Kong’s new apartments for sale came from five of its largest developers — including the Li family’s CK Asset Holdings Ltd.; Henderson Land Development Co. of the Lee family; and Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., controlled by the Kwok family — according to an analysis of data from realtor Centaline Property Agency.Meanwhile, half of the city’s mobile-phone users subscribe to providers controlled by the Li and Kwok families, according to government data and earnings reports. In some industries, the wealthiest Hong Kong Chinese families share power with dynasties that are a holdover from the British.The Li family’s AS Watson Group and Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd., linked to the Keswick family, control 70% of the supermarkets, according to data from Euromonitor International. Representatives for the Kwok and Keswick family businesses declined to comment.Beijing’s priority has shifted toward pursuing social equality, said Li Xiaobing, a professor at Nankai University in Tianjin who has written on Chinese regional politics. “The central government wishes tycoons to contribute more to society,” Li said. That shift has come as China searches for answers to end Hong Kong’s protests.On Wednesday, developer New World Development Co., run by the billionaire Cheng family, announced that it will donate 3 million square feet of land to help ease Hong Kong’s housing crisis. In recent weeks, several tycoons, including real-estate and casino magnate Lui Che-woo, have attempted to show Beijing their loyalty by issuing statements or placing newspaper advertisements condemning violence and pledging full support to the government.Li earlier this month called for the government to “have mercy” on Hong Kong’s young people and for the youth to show more understanding. But China’s highest law-enforcement body lashed out, accusing Li of encouraging crime. The 91-year-old billionaire then said his remarks were misinterpreted.Hong Kong’s billionaire families long hedged their risks because they knew their political and economic favors wouldn’t last forever, said Joseph Fan, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who studies family-run businesses.Some tycoons, in recent years, sold their businesses to mainland firms. In 2018, former city Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa’s family sold its stake in a shipping line to state-owned Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. That year, the real-estate arm of Li’s business group sold its stake in an office tower, The Center, for about $ 5 billion to a consortium controlled by mainland companies.Michael Tien, a pro-Beijing lawmaker in Hong Kong and a deputy to China’s National People’s Congress, expects more mainland firms to play leading roles in Hong Kong industries traditionally controlled by tycoons.“In the long run, we all know that the future belongs to mainland Chinese capital,” he said.\–With assistance from Dandan Li.To contact the reporters on this story: Shirley Zhao in Hong Kong at xzhao306@bloomberg.net;Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at beinhorn1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Anjali Cordeiro, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Beijing opens glitzy airport ahead of China's 70th anniversary

Beijing opens glitzy airport ahead of China's 70th anniversaryA futuristic new airport in Beijing, which is expected to become one of the busiest in the world, was opened by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday. Xi declared the starfish-shaped airport open in brief remarks at a ceremony inside the huge terminal, days before the country holds a grand celebration to mark 70 years of Communist rule. Located 46 kilometres (29 miles) south of Tiananmen Square, the Beijing Daxing International Airport will operate at full capacity in 2040, with eight runways and the potential to receive 100 million passengers per year.



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UPDATE 1-China's Xi declares new $63-bln Beijing airport is formally open

UPDATE 1-China's Xi declares new $  63-bln Beijing airport is formally openBeijing’s new multi-billion dollar airport, Daxing International, was formally declared open by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, days ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The 450-billion-yuan ($ 63-billion) project, completed in less than five years, will give a boost to infrastructure growth, flagging amid the biggest economic slowdown in decades, as China and the United States remain locked in a trade war. The airport was hailed as “a new powerful source of national development” at a ceremony overseen by Xi in which top government officials, including He Lifeng, the head of the state planner and a vice premier, Han Zheng, participated.



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UPDATE 1-Afghanistan's Taliban meets Chinese government in Beijing

UPDATE 1-Afghanistan's Taliban meets Chinese government in BeijingA Taliban delegation met China’s special representative for Afghanistan in Beijing to discuss the group’s peace talks with the United States, a spokesman for the Islamist insurgency said. The meeting, on Sunday, comes after U.S. President Donald Trump’s 11th-hour cancellation earlier this month of negotiations with the Taliban, which many had hoped would pave the way to a broader peace deal with the Afghan government and ending an 18-year war. The Taliban’s nine-member delegation travelled to Beijing and met Deng Xijun, China’s special representative for Afghanistan, said Suhail Shaheen, the Afghan group’s spokesman in Qatar, on his official Twitter account on Sunday.



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Afghanistan's Taliban meets Chinese government in Beijing

Afghanistan's Taliban meets Chinese government in BeijingA Taliban delegation met China’s special representative for Afghanistan in Beijing on Sunday to discuss the group’s peace talks with the United States, a spokesman for the Islamist insurgency said. The meeting comes after U.S. President Donald Trump’s eleventh-hour cancellation earlier this month of the negotiations between his country and the Taliban, which many had hoped would pave the way to a broader peace deal with the Afghan government and ending a 17-year war. The Taliban’s nine-member delegation travelled to Beijing and met Deng Xijun, China’s special representative for Afghanistan, said Suhail Shaheen, the Afghan group’s spokesman in Qatar, on his official Twitter account.



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Beijing confirms arrest of Australian for spying

Beijing confirms arrest of Australian for spyingAn Australian academic has been arrested in China for spying, Beijing said Tuesday, prompting Canberra to demand the country upholds “basic standards” of justice. Yang Jun, who also goes by his pen name Yang Hengjun, was detained in January shortly after making a rare return to China from the United States. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said earlier on Tuesday that she was “very concerned” that Yang — a former official turned author — had been arrested on “suspicion of espionage”.



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