Tag Archives: mainland

UK Hong Kong consulate worker Simon Cheng freed after detention in mainland China

UK Hong Kong consulate worker Simon Cheng freed after detention in mainland ChinaA British consulate employee in Hong Kong has been freed by China after being detained for 15 days on the mainland amid rising tensions between the former British colony and Beijing. Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer at the Hong Kong consulate’s Scottish Development International section, went missing on August 8 on his way back from a work trip in Shenzhen, a neighbouring Chinese city.  It was not until after the UK expressed “extreme concern” about his disappearance that China’s foreign ministry broke its silence, confirming Mr Cheng had been detained without releasing further details.  On Saturday, his family announced that he had come back. "Simon has returned to Hong Kong; thanks you everyone for your support! Simon and his family wish to have some time to rest and recover, and will not take any interview,” they said in a statement.   An activist holds an illustration of Simon Cheng during a gathering outside the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong  Credit: AFP Chinese police in Shenzhen confirmed that Mr Cheng had been detained for violating public security management regulations, and was released after that period on Saturday.  Police also said he had “confessed to the facts of his illegal activity,” without saying what those activities were. Mr Cheng was not formally charged or tried in court, and his family rejected allegations in Chinese state media that he had been detained for visiting prostitutes.  On Friday the UK issued a warning to all travellers to Hong Kong about increased scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings. The warning added that mobile phones and electronic devices were being checked by border patrol. Mr Cheng’s mysterious disappearance highlights China’s murky legal and judicial system – something that help kicked off mass protests early June in Hong Kong. Many fear freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong, guaranteed for at least 50 years under an agreement that became effective when the former British colony was returned to Beijing, are fast-disappearing under China’s ruling Communist Party.  Hong Kong crisis | Comment and analysis Millions first took to the streets against a now-suspended extradition proposal that would have sent people to face trial in mainland China, where Communist Party control of the courts contributes to a 99.9 per cent conviction rate. Forced confessions are also common with suspects paraded on state television. “What happened to Simong Cheng – this is a common tactic used by the central government to put pressure on people,” said Kammy Yang, 50, an office clerk at a protest on Saturday. “Many Chinese activists were accused of prostitution or tax scams; this is their strategy in China, trying to suppress freedom.” Thousands of protesters on Saturday engaged in a series of skirmishes, throwing projectiles from bricks to petrol bombs at police who responded with sprays of tear gas and rubber bullets. It was the first time tear gas had been deployed in 10 days, a period of relative calm as protesters recalibrated their approach in an otherwise tumultuous, violent summer.  Demonstrators join hands to form a human chain during the Hong Kong Way event in the Central district of Hong Kong, China, on Friday Credit: Bloomberg “The reasons why protesters are building roadblocks, surrounding police stations, and throwing bricks – it’s because the government doesn’t respond to us,” said Vaso Chan, 28, an office clerk. “It’s not fun for any of us to come out during summer break.” Protesters spray painted slogans like “Give me liberty or death,” Chinazi,” and “HK popo Gestapo,” on sidewalks and highways. As the political movement has grown, so have protesters’ demands, who are now calling for an independent inquiry into police handling of the protests, the resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and direct leadership elections.  City leaders however have made no concessions, instead thrusting the police to the front lines to handle the situation, further angering protesters.  Demonstrations are occurring nearly every day now in the financial hub, disrupting traffic and public transportation. On Saturday, several stations closed along a planned march route. But despite growing unrest, public support for the protesters has stayed strong, with marches and strikes planned through September. “No matter whether those protesters are peaceful protesters or protesters that are standing in the ‘front lines’, no matter what they do, we will support them,” said Mr Chan.



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UPDATE 2-China issues 'red alert' as super typhoon approaches mainland

UPDATE 2-China issues 'red alert' as super typhoon approaches mainlandSHANGHAI/TAIPEI, Aug 9 (Reuters) – China’s weather bureau issued a red alert early on Friday as super typhoon Lekima approached Zhejiang province on the eastern coast, after forcing flight cancellations in Taiwan and shutting markets and businesses on the island. The National Meteorological Center (NMC) said the typhoon, the strongest since 2014, was expected to hit the mainland in early on Saturday and then turn north.



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Hong Kong protesters clash with police on border with mainland China

Hong Kong protesters clash with police on border with mainland ChinaHong 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, more domestic issues. A supporter begs police officer not to attack protesters Credit: AP In Sheung Shui, protesters rallied to oppose small-time Chinese traders who make short trips into the territory to buy goods that they then haul back to China to sell. The demonstrators chanted demands in Mandarin, China's official language, for the Chinese traders to go home. Many street-level shops were shuttered during the march. The traders have long been a source of anger among those in Hong Kong who say they have fuelled inflation, driven up property prices, dodged taxes and diluted Sheung Shui's identity. "Our lovely town has become chaos," said Ryan Lai, 50, a resident of Sheung Shui, where so-called "parallel traders" buy bulk quantities of duty-free goods to be carried into mainland China and sold. "We don't want to stop travel and buying, but please, just make it orderly and legal. The extradition bill was the tipping point for us to come out. We want Sheung Shui back." When Britain returned Hong Kong to China 22 years ago, Chinese Communist leaders promised the city a high degree of autonomy for 50 years. But many say China has progressively tightened its grip, putting Hong Kong's freedoms under threat through a range of measures such as the extradition bill. Hong Kong's lack of full democracy was behind the recent unrest, said Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights Front, which organised protests against the extradition bill. "The government, Carrie Lam, some legislators in functional constituencies are not elected by the people, so there are many escalating actions in different districts to reflect different social issues," he said. "If political problems are not solved, social well-being issues will continue to emerge endlessly." Major demonstrations in the past month against a proposal to change extradition laws have reawakened other movements in Hong Kong Credit: AP One protester said Saturday's scuffles started when demonstrators charged the police after the latter came to the assiatcne of mainland traders who had assaulted demonstrators. "Some people were attacked and got injured in a stampede. I tried to save some girls so I was also attacked by pepper spray by police. Now I feel so bad. The cops are dogs," said the man, who would only give the name Ragnar. Protesters ripped up median barriers and fences to set up roadblocks and defences. A young man was treated for a bloody head wound metres from where surrounded police were hitting activists armed with umbrellas. A baton charge by police in riot gear cleared the street minutes later to free trapped officers. "We have no weapons and we were peaceful. When we saw them taking photos of us in the crowd we had to react," said another protester, surnamed Chan, who declined to give his full name. "We are all scared now. How can they hit us with batons?" he said, staring at a pool of blood where one of his peers was treated. Last week nearly 2,000 people marched in the Tuen Mun residential district to protest against what they saw as the nuisance of brash singing and dancing to Mandarin pop songs by middle-aged mainland women. On Sunday, tens of thousands marched in one of Kowloon's most popular tourist shopping areas, trying to persuade mainland Chinese tourists to back opposition to the extradition bill. "We want to raise awareness in Washington that the United States has to do more now to help Hong Kong become fully democratic," said a resident of the nearby town of Fanling, who was one of five people in Saturday's crowd carrying U.S. flags. "They are the most important power left that can stand up to China," added the 30-year-old man, who gave his name only as David. Anti-extradition protesters plan another demonstration on Sunday in the town of Sha Tin, in the so-called New Territories between Hong Kong island and the border with China.



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China's Xi Seeks Talks to Unify Taiwan With Mainland

China's Xi Seeks Talks to Unify Taiwan With MainlandChinese President Xi Jinping suggested that mainland China and Taiwan enter into “in-depth democratic consultations” and work toward unification, in the clearest sign yet that he wants to settle the 70-year dispute during his tenure. “China must and will be united, which is an inevitable requirement for the historical rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era,” Xi told a gathering in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of a landmark Beijing overture to Taipei after the U.S. and China established relations. The two sides have been ruled separately since Chiang Kai-shek moved his Nationalist government across the Taiwan Strait during the Chinese civil war.



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China Officially Launched the World's Longest Sea Bridge Linking Hong Kong and Macau to the Mainland

China Officially Launched the World's Longest Sea Bridge Linking Hong Kong and Macau to the MainlandThe 34-mile mega-bridge connects Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau



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The World's Longest Sea Bridge, Connecting Hong Kong To Mainland China, Is Open

The World's Longest Sea Bridge, Connecting Hong Kong To Mainland China, Is OpenThe world's longest sea bridge, an engineering feat almost a decade in the



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Pitbull Is Flying Cancer Patients From Puerto Rico To Mainland U.S. On His Private Jet

Pitbull Is Flying Cancer Patients From Puerto Rico To Mainland U.S. On His Private JetPitbull sent his private jet to Puerto Rico to transport cancer patients on the hurricane-ravaged island to mainland U.S. for chemotherapy treatment, CNN reports. Puerto Rico Congresswoman Jenniffer González thanked the rapper on Twitter for the kind act on Tuesday. “Thank you @pitbull for lending your private plane to move cancer patients from PR to USA so that they can get chemo,” she wrote.



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Syria looks to peace, North Korea to attack on US mainland

Syria looks to peace, North Korea to attack on US mainlandUNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria's foreign minister told world leaders Saturday that victory against terrorists in his war-ravaged nation "is now within reach" while North Korea's foreign minister said U.S. President Donald Trump's insult to his country makes an attack against the U.S. mainland inevitable.



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North Korea says it needs nuclear missiles capable of striking heart of US mainland to prevent invasion

North Korea says it needs nuclear missiles capable of striking heart of US mainland to prevent invasionNorth Korea has defended its weapons programme, saying it needs the capability to launch intercontinental missiles at the heart of the United States to prevent an invasion. In a transcript of a statement by the North’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, Pyongyang called new UN sanctions “fabricated” and warned there would be “strong follow-up measures” and acts of justice. The statement said the North’s intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July proved that the entire United States was in its firing range, and those missiles were a legitimate means of self-defence.



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North Korea Says U.S. Mainland ‘Within Our Target Range’ for Missiles

North Korea Says U.S. Mainland ‘Within Our Target Range’ for MissilesStriking new images released by North Korea on Saturday allegedly showed the intercontinental ballistic missile that could put major US cities in striking range.



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