(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Profits at banking giant HSBC more than doubled in the first half of the year as it benefited from an economic rebound in Britain & H.K #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.02: Europe’s biggest bank by assets saw pre-tax profit for the period rise to $10.8bn (£7.8bn), compared to $4.3bn for the same time last year…….

#AceDailyNews says ….Banking giant HSBC sees first half profit more than double as the lender highlighted that its UK bank had reported profit before tax of more than $2.1bn in the period: HSBC boss to hot-desk as executive floor abolished

Pedestrians walk past the British multinational banking and financial services holding company, HSBC in Hong Kong.
The figures come as the global economy emerges from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

The UK-based bank said all regions had been profitable in the period.

The figures come as the global economy emerges from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’m pleased with the momentum generated around our growth and transformation plans, with good delivery against all four pillars of our strategy. In particular, we have taken firm steps to define the future of our US and continental Europe businesses”, said HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn.

Boosted by the economic rebound in its two biggest markets, Britain and Hong Kong, the bank reinstated dividend payments to shareholders.

It plans to pay an interim dividend of seven cents a share after the Bank of England last month scrapped curbs on such pay-outs to investors.

However, Laura Foll, manager of UK income funds at Janus Henderson Investors, told the BBC that the key factor behind the rise in HSBC’s profits had been the lower-than-expected losses on loans during the pandemic.

She said that last year most banks set aside money based on estimates of how much they could potentially lose if loans went bad and its customers were unable to repay them. In HSBC’s case, it set aside $700m.

“In all cases, the banks are now rolling back on that number… and it is that number that has boosted the profitability at HSBC more than any other improvement.”

Restructuring

HSBC said its restructuring programme remains on track after announcing in February last year that it would shed 35,000 jobs as part of a plan to cut $4.5bn of costs by 2022.

In February, HSBC had signalled a “pivot to Asia”, outlining plans to invest about $6bn in the region.

It said it would target wealth management and commercial banking to drive “double-digit growth” and has singled out Asian markets such as Singapore, China and Hong Kong. HSBC already generates the bulk of its revenues from Asia.

In January, UK MPs accused HSBC – a Hong Kong founded bank – of “aiding and abetting” China’s crackdown in Hong Kong. 

HSBC faced accusations of acting in a political manner and being too close to the Chinese authorities after it emerged that the bank had frozen accounts belonging to Hong Kong pro-democracy politician Ted Hui and members of his family.

Appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Quinn was told the bank was turning a blind eye to the situation.

Mr Quinn mounted a robust defence of the bank, saying: “I can’t cherry-pick which laws to follow.”

You may also be interested in: From protests to ‘patriots’: Why China is bent on crushing Hong Kong dissent

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#hong-kong, #hsbc, #profits, #u-k

(BEIJING) Sanctions Report: The ‘counter-sanctions’ are in response to Washington’s actions and are the first under China’s new anti-foreign sanction law #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.30: Barely 48 hours before the arrival in China of one of Biden’s most-trusted diplomats, Beijing has announced its decision to impose counter-sanctions on seven American citizens and entities, including former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, in retaliation against Washington’s earlier sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdowns….

#AceDailyNews reports that China retaliates with sanctions on former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross after the Biden administration announced sanctions on seven Chinese officials on 16 July and warned US businesses of the “growing risks” posed by Beijing & Hong Kong.

The Guardian by

Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory

Updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory

On July 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of State, alongside the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Department of Labor issued an updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory to highlight the heightened risks for businesses with supply chain and investment links to Xinjiang, given the entities complicit in forced labor and other human rights abuses there and throughout China. This updates the original Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory issued by U.S. government agencies on July 1, 2020.

It is not the first time Washington and Beijing have imposed mutual sanctions, but the latest round marks the first time China has done so using its new anti-foreign sanction law, which was passed in June.

Others affected in Beijing’s “reciprocal counter-sanctions” are the current or former heads of a range of US organisations, including the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the Washington-based Hong Kong Democracy Council.

In response to Beijing’s counter sanctions, one of the affected US citizens, HRW’s China director Sophie Richardson tweeted, sarcastically: “thanks, for the extra motivation!” She added in another tweet, in reply to Jo Smith Finley, a British Xinjiang expert who was sanctioned by Beijing in March: “Seriously: so much work to do! And this ain’t about us.”

Since the enactment of the anti-foreign sanctions law last month, Beijing’s decision to impose counter-sanctions has been expected, but the timing of it is indicative of the deteriorating US-China relations. It also comes just less than 48 hours before US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman’s China visit on Sunday.

“Washington has reiterated that Sherman’s visit and talk with the Chinese side will be from ‘a position of strength’, but Beijing may want to remind [the Biden administration] that they are equals,” said Ma Ji, a senior CV Starr lecturer at Peking University’s school of transnational law.

Ma added: “Of course, none of those targeted are in Biden’s inner circle, which means that Beijing still wants to continue the conversation with Washington. But by issuing this list shortly before Sherman’s visit, Beijing clearly intends to reduce her expectations.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.30: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #chinese, #hong-kong, #sanctions, #united-states, #washington

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Court Report: H.K. Man has been sentenced to nine years in prison on Friday ‘under new security law’ after he rode a motorbike into police officers while flying a flag with a protest slogan #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.30: Hong Kong activist Tong Ying-kit has been jailed for nine years, after he became the first person to be convicted under the national security law Beijing imposed on the city.

#AceDailyNews says …Hong Kong Press reports that Activist Tong Ying-kit was jailed for 9 years in H.K’s first national security case after Tong drove a motorcycle with a flag reading “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” into three police officers during a 2020 demo and with trials now being held in secret and without a jury: The law also allows for judges to be handpicked by Hong Kong’s chief executive, who is directly answerable to Beijing.

H.K. Press: Photo: Screenshot.

ZUMA Press Inc / AlamyTong Ying-kit was found guilty of inciting secession and terrorism….

by Kelly Ho: 30 July 2021Tong drove a motorcycle with a flag reading “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” into three police officers during a 2020 demo.

On Friday, in a landmark sentencing for the city four days after he was found guilty of inciting secession and terrorist activities, 24-year-old Tong was handed the custodial jail term by the the High Court. His sentencing marks the end of Hong Kong’s first-ever trial under the sweeping security legislation which was enacted on June 30 last year.

Tong Ying-kit, whose flag bore the phrase “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, was earlier found guilty of inciting secession and terrorism.

He was the first person to be charged under Hong Kong’s controversial national security law.

Friday’s verdict has set the tone for how future cases might be interpreted.

More than 100 people have been arrested since the law came into force in 2020.

Critics say it reduces Hong Kong’s autonomy and makes it easier to punish activists. But Beijing insists that the law is needed to bring stability to the city.

“We consider that this overall term should sufficiently reflect the defendant’s culpability in the two offences and the abhorrence of society, at the same time, achieving the deterrent effect required,” the judges who presided over the case said in a written judgement, according to Reuters.

Tong’s conviction for secession was because of the slogan on his flag, with police adding that he was guilty of terrorist activities as his actions were a “deliberate challenge against the police”.

Why is the protest slogan so sensitive?

Part of Tong’s 15-day trial focused on the meaning of the “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” slogan, which was popular during pro-democracy protests.

The prosecution argued that the phrase literally called for Hong Kong’s independence from the mainland, while the defence said its meaning was more ambiguous.

In the end the judge ruled that the phrase was capable of inciting others to commit “secession” and found Tong guilty.

Hong Kong human rights lawyer Mark Daly told the BBC that he felt the sentence was “unreasonably long”, as dangerous driving offences usually result in jail sentences of only a few years in Hong Kong.

The “massive mark-up” to nine years was because of the political slogan, he said. “The casualty here is freedom of expression.”

But Andrew Powner, managing partner of Hong Kong law firm, Haldanes, felt the sentence was within guidelines for the national security law, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for grave offences.

The fact that Tong got nine years showed the judges felt his offence was on a “lesser scale” since it did not result in serious injuries but was still “an affront to law and order in Hong Kong”, he told the BBC.

‘Hang in there!’

Grace Tsoi, BBC News, from the court: The people were present in court to hear the sentencing. Tong, dressed in a navy suit, made a heart shape with his fingers to his family from the dock. The judge said that although Tong – who was the main breadwinner of his family – was “previously of good character”, it was not enough to mitigate the “serious offences”.

When the sentencing was read out, Tong remained expressionless, but his family was in tears,While being led out of the dock, he shouted: “You should hang in there!” to his family. At least a dozen police officers were stationed at a nearby shopping centre, where a crowd was waiting for Tong’s prison van to emerge.Why is the national security law controversial?

A former British colony, Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 but under the “one country, two systems” principle.This was supposed to guarantee certain freedoms for the territory – including freedom of assembly and speech, an independent judiciary and some democratic rights – which mainland China does not have.These freedoms are enshrined in Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which was meant to last until 2047.

But in June last year, Beijing passed the national security law – which lawyers and legal experts said would fundamentally change the territory’s legal system.

Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific regional director Yamini Mishra said Tong’s sentencing showed the law was “not merely a tool to instil terror into government critics… it is a weapon that will be used to incarcerate them”.

Additional reporting by Tessa Wong.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: July.30: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #court, #hong-kong, #jailed, #security-law

(HONG KONG) Court Report: Sentenced seven men to jail after they were convicted of violently attacking pro-democracy protesters and commuters at a train station in 2019 #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.25: The men got between three-and-a-half and seven years of jail time: The attack in Yuen Long, which was captured by victims and bystanders on mobile phones, left the city in shock.

#AceDailyNews reports on the Yuen Long Attack 2019: Hong Kong court jails seven men after violent attack on pro-democracy protestors and the men got between three-and-a-half and seven years of jail time: The attack in Yuen Long, which was captured by victims and bystanders on mobile phones, left the city in shock:

Men in white T-shirts with poles are seen in Yuen Long after attacked anti-extradition bill demonstrators at a train station, in Hong Kong, China July 22, 2019.
Men in white T-shirts with poles were seen in Yuen Long after the attack on protesters

Hong Kong reels from armed mob violence

Police were accused of arriving late to the scene and doing little to stop the violence, charges they have denied.

They were also accused of colluding with the attackers, some of whom had triad connections. 

However, these denials did little to stop to growing mistrust of the police at a time when Hong Kong was facing widespread anti-government protests. 

The footage inside Yuen Long, which went viral on social media, showed groups of men, suspected to be triad gangsters, dressed in white shirts and beating passengers with sticks, metal rods and bats.

Tens of thousands took to the streets in the days afterwards to protest against the violence.

The seven-year jail term for one of the convicted men is the highest sentence that the District Court could impose.

The judge was insulted by supporters of the men, with some referring to him as “dog judge” as he walked outside the court, AFP reported: HK police accused of ‘re-writing history’ of attack

Earlier, while hearing mitigation pleas from lawyers, the judge said that the “indiscriminate assault” needed to be “severely” punished. 

One of those convicted apologised to his victims and said he had acted on impulse. A large group of masked men in white T-shirts stormed Yuen Long station

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.25: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#hong-kong, #jailed, #pro-democracy, #protestors

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Police have arrested five people on sedition charges for publishing children’s books that allegedly incite hatred towards the city’s government #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.23: The arrests were the latest involving suspected critics of Hong Kong’s government that have raised fears about the shrinking space for dissent since Beijing imposed a national security law in June 2020 to put an end to pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous city.

HONG KONG: Police arrest publishers of ‘seditious’ children’s books featuring wolves and sheep and the General Union of H.K Speech Therapists could not be reached for comment.

Remember these faces, their trial and this moment in China’s history These people once ran for local office, founded unions and fought for democratic freedoms.

Police said one book, Defenders of the Sheep Village, was connected to the protests.

In the story, wolves want to occupy the village and eat the sheep, who in turn use their horns to fight back.

The two men and three women arrested were members of a speech therapists’ union who produced books for children.

The five were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to publish seditious material under a colonial-era law which had been rarely used before the anti-government protests began in the former British colony.

A person in handcuffs and with a bag over their head is escorted out of a building.
The five people arrested on sedition charges were all members of a speech therapists’ union.(Reuters: Tyrone Siu)

Senior Superintendent Steve Li told a media briefing that police were concerned by the books because the information inside for children “turns their mind and develops a moral standard to be against society”.

Another book told the story of 12 sheep taken by wolves to a beasts’ village where they would be cooked.

Allegedly it could be potentially seen as alluding to the 12 Hong Kong people captured by China in August last year at sea as they tried to flee the city by boat.

Superintendent Li said the story was not factual and incited hatred against authorities.

A third book told the story of wolves sneaking through a hole into a sheep village and shows the wolves as dirty and the sheep as clean.

This aimed to create hatred against the government, Superintendent Li said.

Piles of children's books with Chinese writing on the covers.
All three of the books cited by the police featured wolves and sheep.(Reuters: Tyrone Siu)

First convictions under the sedition law can carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison, the police said.

Now, they’re political prisoners and the faces of dramatic change in Hong Kong.

The arrests came as a Hong Kong court denied bail to four top editors and journalists from the now-defunct Apple Daily pro-democracy newspaper.

They were arrested Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to collude with foreign powers to endanger national security.

So far, eight former employees have been arrested. Apply Daily ceased operations in June after police raided the newspaper’s offices, confiscating hard drives and laptops, and seized its assets.

Authorities have denied any erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong — which returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula aimed at preserving its freedoms and role as a financial hub — but say China’s national security is a red line.

Security officials have said law enforcement action is based on evidence and has nothing to do with an individual’s political stance, background or profession.

Reuters/AP

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: July.23: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#arrested, #books, #hate-crime, #hong-kong, #police, #sedition

(WASHINGTON) JUST IN: The Biden administration issued a blanket warning Friday to U.S. firms about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong as China continues to clamp down on political and economic freedoms in the territory #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.20: Four Cabinet agencies — the departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security — released the nine-page advisory that alerts companies about the shifting legal landscape in Hong Kong and the possibility that engaging with Hong Kong business could incur reputational and legal damages.

#AceDailyNews says that Biden has warned US companies about doing business in Hong Kong as control by China over political and economic freedoms

China News: July: 17, 2021

WPRI

People visit the annual book fair in Hong Kong

At the same time, Treasury announced sanctions against seven Chinese officials for violating the terms of the 2020 Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which calls for asset freezes and other penalties against those who participate in the crackdown.

President Joe Biden had previewed the new advisory Thursday, telling reporters at the White House that the business environment in Hong Kong is “deteriorating” and could worsen.

“Businesses, individuals, and other persons, including academic institutions, research service providers, and investors that operate in Hong Kong, or have exposure to sanctioned individuals or entities, should be aware of changes to Hong Kong’s laws and regulations,” said the notice, which is titled “Risks and Considerations for Businesses Operating in Hong Kong.”

“This new legal landscape … could adversely affect businesses and individuals operating in Hong Kong. As a result of these changes, they should be aware of potential reputational, regulatory, financial, and, in certain instances, legal risks associated with their Hong Kong operations,” it said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the advisory in a statement marking the one-year anniversary of the passage of China’s new national security law that he said had a profoundly negative effect on Hong Kong.

Blinken said the risks to business include “potential electronic surveillance and lack of data privacy, reduced access to information, and potential retaliation against companies for their compliance with U.S. sanctions.”

“The business advisory outlines these emerging risks to inform U.S. individuals and businesses and recommends increased awareness and due diligence,” he said.

Hong Kong’s government responded with a statement calling the U.S. advisory “totally ridiculous and unfounded fear-mongering” driven by ideology. “The main victims of this latest fallout will sadly be those U.S. businesses and U.S. citizens who have taken Hong Kong as their home,” the statement said.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, meanwhile, responded to the advisory by acknowledging the business environment “is more complex and challenging” but saying that it would continue its work.

“We are here to support our members to navigate those challenges and risks while also capturing the opportunities of doing business in this region,” it said in a statement. It added that “Hong Kong remains a critical and vibrant facilitator of trade and financial flow between the East and West.”

The United States under both the Trump and Biden administrations has determined that since the passage of the national security law, Hong Kong no longer enjoys the significant autonomy from mainland China that Beijing had pledged to respect for 50 years when it assumed control of the former British colony in 1997.

As such, Hong Kong no longer enjoys preferential U.S. trade and commercial privileges and certain officials in Hong Kong have been hit with U.S. sanctions for their actions in cracking down on democracy.

China is one of the rare areas in which the Biden administration has largely hewed to Trump’s policies.

Friday’s warning came on the heels of a similar advisory issued earlier this week reminding American companies about potential sanctions liability if they engage in business with Chinese entities that operate in the western Xinjiang region, where China is accused of widespread repression of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities.

The seven officials targeted for sanctions are Chen Dong, He Jing, Lu Xinning, Qiu Hong, Tan Tieniu, Yang Jianping and Yin Zonghua. All seven serve as deputy directors of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, an agency the U.S. accuses of repeatedly undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#china, #hong-kong, #united-states, #washington

(HONG KONG) #Coronavirus Travel Report: Ban on all flights from the UK to curb the spread of the Delta variant of #COVID19 #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – June.30: The UK is to be classified as an “extremely high-risk” country, the highest rating Hong Kong has for #pandemic travel.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Hong Kong bans all incoming flights from UK over #COVID19 concerns as the new ban comes into effect on 1 July and affect all incoming passenger flights from Britain amid rising tensions over Hong Kong’s recent pressure on opposition media and dissenting voices under a controversial national security law.

Cathay Pacific plane
No more flights to Hong Kong for now

It also comes amid political tensions between China and the West over a crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong. 

The ban means people who’d recently spent more than two hours in Britain wouldn’t be allowed to board flights to Hong Kong from any airport. 

The city’s authorities said the decision was based on the “recent rebound” of the pandemic in the UK and the “widespread Delta variant virus strain” in the country.

There are around 8 daily non-stop flights from the UK to Hong Kong, all flying out of London. 

Flights outbound from Hong Kong to the UK are not affected by the upcoming ban.

Record spike in the UK

Despite high vaccination rates, the UK is currently seeing Europe’s highest number of daily new cases by far. Most of the new infections are linked to the Delta variant, first detected in India. 

Hong Kong however confirmed its first local Delta variant only last week, ending a 16-day streak of zero local cases.

The city has had some of the strictest border curbs in the world since 2020, which helped to keep infections numbers low throughout the entire pandemic.

Officials said the city recently recorded a growing number of Delta variant cases in people arriving from the UK, who like all incoming travellers have to quarantine. 

According to news agency Reuters, parents in Hong Kong with children who are studying in the UK have reacted with shock that they would now be stranded abroad. 

Reuters: Throughtout the pandemic, Hong Kong has managed to keep cases low

The 1 July flight ban is the second time Hong Kong has stopped arrivals from Britain after a ban from December 2020 until May of this year.

Hong Kong already bars flights from several other countries over rising cases of the Delta strain, including Indonesia, India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.

The UK government said it “restricts the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration”.From protests to ‘patriots’: Why China is bent on crushing Hong Kong dissent

#AceHealthDesk report …..Published: Jun.30: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#health, #hong-kong, #travel, #u-k

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: On June 14, China’s Taishan Nuclear Power Plant H.K experienced damaged fuel rods that triggered a build-up of radioactive gases #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.29: Radioactive gasses were released, and US officials at the time said the situation at the nuclear plant did not “pose a severe safety threat to workers at the plant or Chinese public.” But three days later, Zhang Zhijian, one of China’s top nuclear scientists and the Vice-President of Harbin Engineering University, allegedly committed suicide after jumping off a build.

Top Chinese Nuclear Expert Jumps To His Death After Accident At Taishan Nuclear Power Plant: French company Framatome, a part-owner of the plant, requested the US Department of Energy for assistance as an “imminent radiological threat” seemed inevitable according to South Front report

Published: 28.Jun: 2021:

Support SouthFront

Top Chinese Nuclear Expert Jumps To His Death After Accident At Taishan Nuclear Power Plant

Click to see full-size image

Originally published by ZeroHedge.

Here’s the video in GIF format in case it’s deleted (viewer discretion).

Top Chinese Nuclear Expert Jumps To His Death After Accident At Taishan Nuclear Power Plant

South China Morning Post (SCMP) said police in the capital of Heilongjiang ruled out homicide as the cause of death.

“Harbin Engineering University announces with deep grief that Professor Zhang Zhijian regrettably fell off a building and died at 9.34 am on June 17, 2021,” the university’s official account on Weibo wrote in a statement. “The university expresses deep sorrow over the passing of comrade Zhang Zhijian and deep condolences to his family.”

Zhang was a professor at the College of Nuclear Science and Technology at the Harbin Engineering University and was also the Vice President of the Chinese Nuclear Society.

In China’s northern Heilongjiang province, Harbin Technical University is one of two Chinese universities that have close relations with the People’s Liberation Army. Last June, the university was banned from using a US-developed computer software amid souring relations with the West.

What’s notable is that western media or most media outlets did not attempt to piece together the puzzle that days after a nuclear power plant mishap occurred, a top scientist in the country allegedly committed suicide. Seems odd right?

Except for the blog “Jennifer’s World,” which explains the possible connection between Zhijian’s death and his relationships to the plant. 

Now, the question is, why did Zhang Zhijian kill himself?

Let’s show picture 6. This is a screenshot of the Harbin Engineering University’s announcement about his death. It only says that he “unfortunately dropped from the building and passed away at about 9:34 am on June 17.” And the police had ruled out the possibility of murder, and we feel very sorry about his death, etc.

Top Chinese Nuclear Expert Jumps To His Death After Accident At Taishan Nuclear Power Plant

So, there was no explanation about the cause of his death.

An interesting thing is, as early as 2005, Taishan Nuclear Power Plant’s Chinese owner, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, signed a cooperation agreement with Harbin Engineering University. According to the agreement, Harbin Engineering University would on the one hand train more talents in nuclear power for  China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, and on the other hand, do more research.

It was said that the cooperation would promote the transformation of scientific research results into productivity through the combination of industry, academia and research.

Several months after the agreement was signed, in December 2005, Harbin Engineering University established its College of Nuclear Science and Technology, and Zhang Zhijian was the head of this college.

Then, two years later, in 2007, China and France signed an agreement to co-build Tashan Nuclear Power Plant.

The construction of Unit 1 and Unit 2 of Tashan Nuclear Power Plant started in 2009, and Unit 1 entered commercial operation on December 13, 2018.

Then, if you check Zhang Zhijian’s bio, you would find that he had been the head of the College of Nuclear Science and Technology for ten years, from 2005 to 2015. 

This overlapped with Tashan Nuclear Power Plant’s design and construction period. 

During this period of time, it is very likely that Zhang Zhijian had formed a huge network with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and maybe other companies, institutions and officials involved in nuclear energy.

So, Chinese commentator Zhou Xiaohui said in his article that he highly suspected that Zhang Zhijian’s suicide had something to do with the leak of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, given he killed himself right after the CCP publicly responded to the leak, and given his close ties with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, as well as the entire nuclear power industry in China.

Zhou Xiaohui said, maybe Zhang Zhijian had already been questioned by the authorities, or maybe he was given some sort of pressure, or maybe he was too frightened by the incident, or maybe he was afraid that he would be held responsible, or maybe there was something he needed to cover up with his death, etc. 

While nothing is conclusive, the tragic death of the top scientist coming days after the nuclear power plant mishap is certainly suspicious. A lot of questions remained unanswered.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Jun.29: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#chinese, #hong-kong, #taishan-nuclear

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Trading on the Stock Exchange finally got under way on Monday afternoon after its morning session was cancelled due to extreme weather #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.28: The decision to open the market came after the government cancelled an earlier “black rainstorm” warning: The city has three levels of rainstorm warning, with black being the highest after amber and red: Landslides and flooding were reported in some parts of Hong Kong as it was hit with high amounts of rainfall.

#AceNewsDesk says …..trading starts after ‘black rainstorm’ delay warning cancelled after landslides and flooding reported after being hit with the highest level of rainfall according to BBC Asia on Monday ..

A woman carries an umbrella as she crosses a street during a rain storm in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange announced that trading would start from 1.30pm local time after the black rainstorm warning was lifted as the extreme weather conditions eased.

It was the city’s first black rainstorm warning this year, with more than 150mm of rain reported in the Western part of Hong Kong and the islands of Lantau and Lamma. Several other districts saw at least 70mm of rain. 

The storm delayed a flight carrying Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and her delegation to Beijing for the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary celebrations by around an hour, according to the South China Morning Post.

Schools and Covid-19 vaccination services were also suspended due to safety concerns.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#black-rainstorm, #hong-kong, #stock-exchange

(HONG KONG) LATEST: Apple Daily largest pro-democracy paper has announced its closure, in a blow to media freedom in the city #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.24: We published an article about the publications offices that were raided last week over allegations that several reports had breached a controversial national security law:

#AceDailyNews recently reported that Apple Daily was rumoured closure on Wednesday BBC China & Asia confirmed thats its pro-democracy paper has CLOSED ITS DOORS in a another nail in the coffin of press freedom

Apple Daily logo
After 26 years, Apple Daily will shut down

Company-linked assets worth HK$18m ($2.3m; £1.64m) were later frozen. Police also detained its chief editor and five other executives. 

The tabloid has been critical of the Hong Kong and Chinese leadership.

Its founder Jimmy Lai is already in jail on a string of charges.

Board members said said in a statement that the 26-year old paper would publish its last edition “no later than Saturday” and that the digital version would go offline no later than 11:59 on Saturday evening. 

The announcement also thanked the readers for their “loyal support” as well as its journalists, staff and advertisers. 

Mark Simon, a close adviser of Jimmy Lai, told the BBC that police had disrupted a board meeting earlier on Wednesday and arrested one journalist. 

“We are already closing to be honest, but they still had to show up and to make an arrest,” he said. “[The police wanted to] influence the outcome of the board meeting… they wanted to make sure [Apple Daily] closes quickly.”

It later emerged that a 55-year-old man, identified as an Apple Daily columnist, had been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to collude with a foreign country or foreign forces, local media reports said. 

EPAAfter last week’s raid, the paper sold record numbers

Last Thursday, some 500 police officers raided the publication’s newsroom, saying its reports had breached the city’s controversial national security law.

In a press briefing following the raid, police accused the newspaper of publishing more than 30 articles calling on countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and mainland China since 2019.

Police also arrested the editor-in-chief and four other executives at their homes and froze assets owned by three companies linked to Apple Daily – Apple Daily Limited, Apple Daily Printing Limited and AD internet Limited.

The paper then said it only had enough cash to continue normal operations for “several weeks”.

Jimmy Lai, the paper’s founder, is currently in jail for a series of charges, including participating in an unauthorised assembly in 2019.

The media tycoon had been one of the most prominent supporters of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

In his last interview with the BBC before he was sentenced to jail, he said he would not give in to intimidation.Jimmy Lai: The Hong Kong billionaire becomes emotional as he faces prison

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Jun.24: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#apple-daily, #hong-kong, #lai

(HONG KONG) LATEST: Apple Daily Pro-Democracy Paper rumoured to close in days after raid by police officers and removal of material #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.22: Authorities last week froze HK$18m ($2.3m; £1.64m) of assets owned by three companies linked to Apple Daily:

#AceDailyNews reported that HK sends 500 officers to raid pro-democracy paper the other day as Pro-democracy paper Apple Daily could be forced to shut down in a “matter of days”, said an adviser of the paper’s jailed founder Jimmy Lai and there is a rush to buy Apple Daily after police raid

A supporter of two executives from Hong Kong's pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, chief editor Ryan Law and CEO Cheung Kim-hung, holds up a copy of the newspaper during a protest outside court in Hong Kong on June 19, 2021.

Mark Simon told the BBC that the paper could “do nothing while none of its bank accounts are functioning”.

Apple Daily, a well-read tabloid, is frequently critical of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese leadership.

“If you don’t have money you can’t order services. Most importantly, you can’t promise to pay people when you don’t have access to the cash to cover those expenses. That’s illegal in Hong Kong,” said Mr Simon.

“The paper is still on the news stands today but it is only a matter of days before it won’t be there unless its bank accounts are unfrozen.”

The paper’s publisher, Next Digital, is holding a board meeting on Monday to discuss the paper’s future.

Apple Daily had on Sunday said it only had enough cash to continue normal operations for “several weeks”

The Hong Kong paper that pushed the boundary

What has happened to Apple Daily?

Last Thursday, some 500 police officers raided the offices of Apple Daily in Hong Kong, saying its reports had breached the national security law.

Police also arrested the editor-in-chief and four other executives at their homes and froze HK$18m ($2.3m; £1.64m) of assets owned by three companies linked to Apple Daily – Apple Daily Limited, Apple Daily Printing Limited and AD internet Limited. 

Photos published online by Apple Daily showed police going through reporters’ computers.

In a statement, police said their warrant “covered the power of searching and seizure of journalistic materials”.

In a press briefing later that day, police said that Apple Daily had published more than 30 articles calling on countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and mainland China since 2019. 

Jimmy Lai, the paper’s founder, is currently in jail for a series of charges, including participating in an unauthorised assembly in 2019.

Who is Jimmy Lai?

Lai is one of the most prominent supporters of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Jimmy Lai: The Hong Kong billionaire becomes emotional as he faces prison

Estimated to be worth more than $1bn (£766m), he made his initial fortune in the clothing industry and later ventured into media and founded Next Digital.

In May, authorities froze assets belonging to Lai, including his bank accounts and his stake of 71.26% in Next Digital – estimated to be worth $45m. 

Banking giants HSBC and Citibank were also sent letters by Hong Kong’s security chief, who threatened up to seven years’ jail for any dealings with Mr Lai’s accounts in the city. 

In his last interview with the BBC before he was sentenced to jail, he said he would not give in to intimidation.

“If they can induce fear in you, that’s the cheapest way to control you and the most effective way and they know it. The only way to defeat the way of intimidation is to face up to fear and don’t let it frighten you,” he said.

How has China cracked down on Hong Kong dissent?

The national security law was introduced in 2020 in response to massive pro-democracy protests that swept the city state the previous year.

It essentially reduced Hong Kong’s judicial autonomy and made it easier to punish demonstrators. It criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces with the maximum sentence life in prison.

Beijing said the law would target “sedition” and bring stability, but critics have said it violates the agreement under which Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997.

Since the law was enacted in June, more than 100 people have been arrested under its provisions, including Lai.

Reporting by the BBC’s Peter Hoskins

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#apple-daily, #hong-kong, #lai, #pro-democracy

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Free Press Report: Police raid ‘Apple Daily News’ office and seize journalistic materials saying they are being arrested under national security #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.17: It was the second time in 10 months that the newspaper, founded by Jimmy Lai, had been raided. Police said the warrant used on Thursday was issued under the security legislation, and gave them power to search for and seize journalistic material:

#AceDailyNews says for a second time ……HONG KONG: Police raid Apple Daily office, editor-in-chief among 5 arrested under national security law over articles: Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers raided the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily on Thursday and arrested five senior executives on suspicion of violating the national security law by publishing articles which called for sanctions on Beijing or the city.

HFP by Kelly Ho14:00, 17 June 2021 Secretary for Security John Lee meets the press on June 17, 2021 after police arrested senior executives of local pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Dozens of Hong Kong police enter Apple Daily’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O on June 17, 2021. Apple Daily

by Kelly Ho14:00, 17 June 2021

Lai, 73, who was arrested during the first raid last August, is serving 20 months in prison for protest-related offences and also faces charges under the Beijing-imposed security law, which provides for penalties of up to life imprisonment.

Police said four men and one woman – aged 47 to 63 – were apprehended for allegedly colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security. At least two of them were handcuffed.Apple Daily’s editor-in-chief Ryan Law is led away. Photo: Apple Daily.

According to local media, those arrested included Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung and Chief Operating Officer Royston Chow, Apple Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, Associate Publisher Chan Pui-man and Cheung Chi-wai, who manages the newspaper’s online news platform. All were arrested in the early hours at their homes.

National Security Unit Senior Superintendent Steve Li said the operation was launched at 6 a.m. and involved around 500 officers. He said HK$18 million worth of assets belonging to three companies linked to Apple Daily had been frozen.

Li said the alleged offence involved around 30 Chinese and English Apple Daily articles published since 2019. He said the articles were “strong evidence” and the “focus” of an alleged conspiracy of asking foreign powers to impose sanctions on China or Hong Kong.

Asked whether the articles in question were news articles or opinion pieces, Li did not give a direct response: “The natures of the articles is very simple, just inciting, requesting the foreign country to impose sanctions to Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China. Very straightforward.”Photo: Apple Daily.

Asked whether citizens would risk violating the security law by sharing such articles, Li said police would have to look at the intention. “But as a law enforcer, I have some advice for people – do not draw suspicion to yourself, if it is not something you wish to spread.”A police private vehicle carries Apple Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law to the Apple Daily office on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau.

Editors handcuffed

Police said the five arrested senior executives are being detained for investigation. The tabloid’s chief editor Law was seen being escorted by police to the newspaper’s office at around 9.30 am.

Next Digital chief executive Cheung Kim-hung arrived in the Tseung Kwan O office in handcuffs at around 10 am. Police forced their way into Chan Pui-man’s flat, according to StandNews. Photo: StandNews.

Police broke into his flat in the early hours, according to StandNews.A police private vehicle carries Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung to the office on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau.

Lawyer Barry Hoy was seen outside the Apple Daily office in Tseung Kwan O. He entered the building shortly after Cheung was brought inside. Lawyer Barry Hoy arrives at the Apple Daily office at around 9.50 am on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP. 

Police said their operation was not targeting the press, adding the force “had no choice” but to enforce the law inside a media company.

Office raided again

Photo: Apple Daily.

“The operation, still ongoing, aims at gathering evidence for a case of suspected contravention of the National Security Law,” a police statement read. 

According to Apple Daily, some police officers accessed reporters’ computers and searched for information. Journalists were told to leave the editorial department and wait elsewhere. They could not move around freely inside the building.Apple Daily said some officers accessed reporters’ computers during the raid. Photo: Apple Daily.

Some officers stopped reporters from filming the search, the newspaper said.Photo: Apple Daily.

Reporters were told by editorial management to carry on with their work assignments today, a senior reporter told HKFP.

Trading halted

Next Digital suspended trading before the market opened, according to a stock exchange notice.

Lai was arrested last August for alleged collusion with foreign forces and conspiracy to defraud. Over 200 police entered the newspaper’s headquarters on that occasion and seized at least 30 boxes of evidence. Police register information of those who enter the Apple Daily office building on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau. 

The media mogul later faced an additional charge in April for allegedly conspiring to collude with foreign powers. He was said to have connived with his top aide Mark Simon, activist Andy Li, legal assistant Chan Tsz-wah and self-exiled activist Finn Lau. He also stands accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by allegedly helping activist Li flee Hong Kong.Jimmy Lai. File photo: StudioIncendo.

Lai is set to stand trial in the city’s High Court, where the maximum penalty is life in prison. He is currently serving 20 months behind bars for three unauthorised 2019 protests.

In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, colliusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure. The move gave police sweeping new powers, alarming democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China. However, the authorities say it has restored stability and peace to the city.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.17: 2021:

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#apple, #free-press, #hong-kong, #jounalism, #youtube

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Censors have been given the power to vet films that authorities say may endanger national security, as a clampdown on dissent continues #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.12: Hong Kong’s thriving film industry had previously enjoyed freedoms not seen on the mainland:

HONG KONG: Chinese officials to censor films that ‘endanger national security’ The order also instructs censors to prevent and suppress acts that do not uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

Moviegoers buy tickets at a cinema during its reopening on February 18, 2021 in Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s thriving film industry had previously enjoyed freedoms not seen in mainland China

Last year Beijing imposed a new law to stamp out pro-democracy protests: The national security law can carry a maximum term of life in prison in a crackdown on HK’s only public broadcaster

The Film Censorship Authority should stay “vigilant to the portrayal, depiction or treatment of any act or activity which may amount to an offence endangering national security”, the government said in a statement as protest singers fear for their future

“Any content of a film which is objectively and reasonably capable of being perceived as endorsing, supporting, promoting, such act or activity” will be censored, according to the guidelines.

It also cites “the common responsibility of the people of Hong Kong to safeguard the sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China.”

Films go through strict censors on the Chinese mainland and only a select few Western films or documentaries are released commercially each year. Historically Hong Kong has taken a far more liberal approach. 

The order has been met with anger and sadness by many on social media who say it will curtail artistic expression. 

What’s the background? ……….The former British colony was handed back to China in 1997 under a model called “one country, two systems”.Under the deal, which gave the territory freedoms not available in mainland China, Hong Kong also had its own mini-constitution and an elected parliament.

These freedoms are enshrined in Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which was meant to last until 2047.From protests to ‘patriots’: Why China is bent on crushing Hong Kong dissentBut fears that this model was being eroded led to huge pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Some protests turned violent and in 2020, China introduced the national security law in the territory: Beijing said the law would target “sedition” and bring stability. Since the law was enacted in June last year, around 100 people have been arrested:

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Jun.12: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#censors, #china, #film, #hong-kong, #industry, #security, #sovereignty

(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Sixty-five-year-old pro-democracy activist Alexandra Wong Fung-yiu, affectionately known as “Grandma Wong” to the 2019 freedom movement, was arrested on Sunday for staging a solo protest march in commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.02: Wong’s “crime” involved walking up to the China Liaison Office by herself, carrying a yellow umbrella festooned with Union Jacks and a card that said “32, June 4, Tiananmen’s lament.”

HONG KONG: Police Arrest Veteran Activist ‘Grandma Wong’ The umbrella is a symbol of resistance against Chinese tyranny in Hong Kong, the British flag is a symbol of better times before the United Kingdom handed control of Hong Kong to Beijing in 1997, and June 4 is the day in 1989 when countless pro-democracy activists were murderedby the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at Tiananmen Square. The exact death toll has never been established because the Communist Party forbids discussion or investigation of the event.

31: May 2021Anthony Kwan/Getty

HONG KONG, CHINA - APRIL 01: Police officers surround Alexandra Wong, also known as Grandma Wong, as she waves a U.K. national flag outside the West Kowloon Magistrates Courts ahead of a hearing on April 1, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. Seven prominent democratic figures, including Apple Daily founder Jimmy …
HK Activist Arrested

The Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported Wong was arrested for singlehandedly carrying out the march originally planned by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. The march was originally supposed to include 3,000 to 5,000 participants.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) cited local media reports that said Wong began her march at a playground in the early afternoon, chanting slogans for about 40 minutes before she set off along the planned demonstration route for the China Liaison Office, followed by police officers who videotaped her every step.

The police stopped her for questioning after about five minutes, then stopped her again when she passed police headquarters, physically accosted her, and carried her into a van. In a video clip of her arrest, Wong could be heard saying, “I’m only by myself, just an old lady here. Why stop me?”

The Hong Kong police banned the island’s traditional commemorations of Tiananmen Square last week, for the second year in a row, ostensibly due to the risk of coronavirus transmission – even though Hong Kong has few coronavirus cases at the moment. Police have offered no credible explanation for how a  65-year-old woman walking by herself presented a public health menace. Pro-Beijing officials have suggested they might suppress Tiananmen observances forever under the draconian national security law China imposed on Hong Kong last summer to crush the pro-democracy movement.

Police officials told HKFP they gave Wong a verbal warning to desist, then arrested her when she refused to comply, charging her with “attempting to incite others to participate in an unauthorized assembly and knowingly taking part in an unauthorized assembly.”

The HKFP noted the dauntless Grandma Wong has been arrested on several previous occasions for participating in the 2019 movement. She disappeared in August 2019 and resurfaced the following October, saying she had been jailed in the mainland city of Shenzhen on the CCP’s all-purpose dissent-crushing charge of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.”

“Wong was released without charge on Monday afternoon, but she refused bail conditions,” the SCMP reported. Police officials took the occasion of her arrest to remind all Hong Kongers that any participation in banned Tiananmen Square vigils will be punished.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Jun.02: 2021:

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#activist, #arrested, #hong-kong, #tiananmen

(HONG KONG) Court Report: Pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for participating in an unauthorised assembly in 2019 #AceNewsDesk

#AceNewsReport – June.01: He will serve part of his new sentence consecutively, meaning Mr Lai faces a total of 20 months in jail: The verdict comes as mainland China is increasingly cracking down on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms:

HONG KONG: ‘Jimmy Lai jailed again for pro-democracy protests and at 73, he is currently already serving time for participating in other demonstrations that year’

File photo of Jimmy Lai
Mr Lai faces a total of 20 months in jail

Lai is among 10 prominent activists who were sentenced on Friday for participating in an unlawful assembly on 1 October 2019. 

Other activists include Figo Chan, Leung Kwok-hung, known as “Long Hair”, and Lee Cheuk-yan – who were sentenced to 18 months in jail. Leung and Lee are currently both in jail and will also serve their sentences consecutively. 

At the sentencing on Friday, Judge Amanda Woodcock said she found claims by some of the defendants that their march on 1 October would be peaceful to be “naïve and unrealistic”, according to a Reuters report.

The protests on China’s national day saw major clashes between protesters and police, with the police chief later calling it “one of Hong Kong’s most violent and chaotic days”.

The tycoon faces at least two other charges imposed under the country’s new national security law, which can carry a maximum term of life in prison: The crackdown on HK’s only public broadcaster

Lai is one of the most prominent persons to be arrested under the law, which criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. 

It makes it easier to punish protesters, and reduces Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Who is Jimmy Lai?

Lai is one of the most prominent supporters of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Jimmy Lai: The Hong Kong billionaire becomes emotional as he faces prison

Estimated to be worth more than $1bn (£766m), he made his initial fortune in the clothing industry and later ventured into media and founded Next Digital.

Next Digital publishes Apple Daily, a well-read tabloid which is frequently critical of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese leadership.

Earlier this month, authorities froze assets belonging to Lai, including his bank accounts and his stake of 71.26% in Next Digital – estimated to be worth $45m (£31m). 

Banking giants HSBC and Citibank were also sent letters by Hong Kong’s security chief, who threatened up to seven years’ jail for any dealings with Lai’s accounts in the city. 

In his last interview with the BBC before he was sentenced to jail, he said he would not give in to intimidation.

“If they can induce fear in you, that’s the cheapest way to control you and the most effective way and they know it. The only way to defeat the way of intimidation is to face up to fear and don’t let it frighten you,” he said.

What’s the background to this?

Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997, and the Basic Law was created under the handover agreement under the “one country, two systems” principle.

This is supposed to protect certain freedoms for Hong Kong: freedom of assembly and speech, an independent judiciary and some democratic rights – freedoms that no other part of mainland China has.

But fears that this model was being eroded led to huge pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Some protests turned violent and in 2020, China introduced the national security law in the territory.

Beijing said the law would target “sedition” and bring stability. Since the law has been enacted in June, around 100 people have been arrested.

#AceNewsDesk report ….Published: June.01: 2021:

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#court, #demonstrations, #hong-kong, #lai, #protests

(HONG KONG) HKU REPORT: The University announced on Friday that its research team had found a mutant strain of #COVID19 at the early phase of the pandemic with the characteristics of an attenuated vaccine, bringing a major breakthrough in the further development of related vaccines #AceHealthDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.16: According to the researchers, findings of the study also suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a cross-species event of infection from animals

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – HKU finds mutant strain that may shed light on virus vaccine: ‘In the study with hamsters, researchers from the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases of the university found that the mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2 with no basic amino acid motif is almost non-pathogenic to hamsters’ These findings have recently been published in the science journal Nature Communications.

HKU REPORT:

This handout illustration image obtained Feb 27, 2020 courtesy of the National Institutes of Health shows a transmission electron microscopic image that shows SARS-CoV-2. (HANDOUT / NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH / AFP)

HK-led study finds hepatitis C drug as potent COVID-19 treatment

Hamsters that have been infected with the mutant virus can completely resist the re-infection of the wild-type virus, suggesting that this non-pathogenic mutant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 has the characteristics of an attenuated vaccine, the study revealed.

The research also found that in human cell culture, the virus with the mutant strain has a reproductive rate even higher than that of the prototype virus, which is of great significance for the preparation of inactivated vaccines from the new coronavirus.

HKU shares quick COVID-19 testing technology with the world

According to the researchers, findings of the study also suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a cross-species event of infection from animals.

Chen Honglin, a professor from the university’s department of microbiology and also a member of the research team, said the study indicated that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is still in the process of adapting to humans, and more mutant strains will occur in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the same time, the mutant virus that loses the basic amino acid of the spike protein has low pathogenicity and higher reproductive ability in cultured cells than the original wild-type virus, and is an ideal strain for use in the production of inactivated vaccine,” Chen said.

#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: May.16: 2021:

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#covid19, #hku, #hong-kong, #vaccine

(HONG KONG) HKMA Report: Discussions are underway for #BRICS member to set-up digitalisation of their sovereign currency for wider adoption in the future #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.13: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) recently conducted tests with the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China, involving a bank designated by the mainland authority, as well as merchants and bank staff, the HKMA said in an e-mailed response to questions:

HONG KONG: ‘Looking to expand cross-border tests in talks with the Chinese mainland to expand cross-border testing of the digital yuan after the first phase proceeded smoothly, another step toward wider adoption of the currency’

Having put in place since 2018 provisions for the eventual BRICS trading of these countries according to Ace Finance & Business News

Yuan Currency Report:

This undated photo captures a sign promoting e-CNY payment at a department store in Shanghai. (LIU XIN / FOR CHINA DAILY)

We are discussing and collaborating with the PBOC on the next phase of technical testing, including the feasibility of broadening and deepening the use of e-CNY for cross-boundary payments.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

“We have tested the use of the related app, system connectivity and certain use cases such as cross-boundary purchases,” it said. “We are discussing and collaborating with the PBOC on the next phase of technical testing, including the feasibility of broadening and deepening the use of e-CNY for cross-boundary payments.” As China explores digital yuan for cross-border transactions

The PBOC is well ahead of other major central banks in developing its own digital currency, seeking to replace cash and maintain control over a payments landscape that has become increasingly dominated by technology companies not regulated like banks.

China has been expanding trials in major cities like Shenzhen, with wider adoption planned for the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year. Cross-border use of the digital yuan would be an important step toward global adoption of the currency for financial transactions.

PBOC officials confirmed in April the central bank had conducted the cross-border tests with the HKMA.

The use of the digital yuan in Hong Kong could lead to a much faster and cheaper cross-border payment and clearing process, consultancy Oliver Wyman said in a report released Wednesday. It estimated that costs related to cross-border payments in the city are about US$20 billion to US$40 billion per year, the equivalent of as much as 11 percent of the city’s gross domestic product in 2020 and they should play a key role in digital yuan rollout

“If the payment infrastructure underpinning e-CNY were to roll out for cross-border payments at scale, we believe it can address a substantial portion of this cost base,” said Michael Ho, principal of financial services at Oliver Wyman and co-author of the report.

China could promote the digital yuan’s overseas use starting with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the consultancy wrote in the report. It could also potentially use the digital yuan to settle oil contracts, given its growing influence as an oil buyer, and create an “e-CNY bubble” among countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, it said.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.13: 2021:

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#brics, #china, #hong-kong

(HONG KONG) Court Report: Democracy Activist Joshua Wong has been sentenced to another 10 months in jail for participating in last year’s gathering to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.07: Tens of thousands of people lit candles across the city in what was largely a peaceful event, bar a brief skirmish with riot police in one neighbourhood:

HONG KONG: Activists including Joshua Wong jailed over banned Tiananmen Massacre vigil over democracy sentenced to over Tiananmen Square vigil: Last year was the first time the annual June 4 vigil had been banned in Hong Kong, with police citing #coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings, as they did for all demonstrations in 2020

Published: https://t.me/hongkongfp/12960
Hong Kong Free Press, [May 6, 2021 at 4:53 AM]

You see the back seat of a white police van carrying three young Hongkongers handcuffed with Joshua Wong at their centre.
At only 24 years old, Joshua Wong is currently serving his third jail term.(Reuters: Tyrone Siu)

Wong, 24, is already in prison due to other illegal assembly convictions and was among 47 activists who faced charges under the city’s sweeping national security law. 

On Thursday the District Court reduced his proposed 15-month sentence to 10 months after he pleaded guilty.

Judge Stanley Chan also sentenced Lester Shum, Jannelle Leung and Tiffany Yuen to between four and six months.

Pro-democracy activists outside the court said they were “disappointed” in the sentencing, emphasising that the June 4 rally was a “peaceful assembly”.

Twenty others facing similar June 4-related charges are due to appear in court on June 11.

The June 4 vigil is expected to be banned again this year.

Reuters/ABC/HKFreePress/

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: May.07: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#activist, #democracy, #hong-kong, #tiananmen

HONG KONG: ‘ Legislature vetoes China-backed electoral reform plan ‘

#AceNewsReport – HONG KONG:June.18: Hong Kong’s legislature on Thursday vetoed a China-backed electoral reform package criticized by opposition lawmakers and activists as undemocratic, Reuters said.

The Legislative Council’s move is expected to ease for now the prospect of fresh mass protests in the financial hub. The rejection will likely appease some activists who had demanded a veto.

“Today 28 legco members voted against the wishes of the majority of Hong Kong people, and denied them the democratic right to elect the chief executive in the next election,” said the city’s current leader, Leung Chun-ying.

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MERS virus spreading across Asia, South Korea fails to contain outbreak

#AceNewsServices -Featured Post: South Korea:June.11: Hong Kong issued a red alert and advised against travelling to South Korea, where an epidemic of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is gaining pace. The virus is spreading despite attempts to contain the outbreak.

Workers in full protective gear disinfect the interior of a subway train at a Seoul Metro’s railway vehicle base in Goyang, South Korea, June 9, 2015 (Reuters / Kim Hong-Ji)

In Korea, the number of infected people passed 100 this week, reaching 122 on Thursday. Tenth patient died from the disease, health officials said on Thursday. Most of the victims are elderly patients with other health problems unrelated to the virus. Over 3,250 people remain in quarantine.

Two people in Hong Kong who traveled to South Korea recently are being tested for possible MERS contagion, the authorities said on Thursday. Previously 31 people were tested negative in Hong Kong.

Earlier a man tested positive for the disease in China after coming from S. Korea, and a man in Taiwan was taken to hospital with symptoms consistent with MERS.

South Korean authorities are trying to stop the spread of the virus by closing schools and canceling public events. Neighbors in the region are scaling down tourist travel to South Korea, with Hong Kong alone scrapping 600 tours to the MERS-hit country.

MERS virus spreading across Asia, South Korea fails to contain outbreak
http://rt.com/news/266464-mers-virus-hong-kong/

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