Britain scolds China over use of security law in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG/LONDON: Britain has scolded China for its broadening use of a nationwide security law in Hong Kong, detailing attacks on the city’s vaunted judiciary, civil society groups and foreign diplomats.
“The erosion of liberty in Hong Kong is an affront to flexibility and democracy,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated in the publication on Tuesday of her federal government’s latest six-monthly report on Hong Kong.
“Just over a year considering that the intro of the nationwide security law, the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong authorities have actually used the law and related institutions versus all opposition, totally free press and civil society in Hong Kong,” Truss said in a foreword to the report.
“This cutting of space for the complimentary expression of alternative views continues to damage checks and balances on executive power.”
The report, which covers events approximately June 30, appears to be more powerful than earlier ones targeting the impact of the nationwide security law.
Both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments released declarations condemning the report, with a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London alerting that British “efforts to create trouble in Hong Kong or utilize Hong Kong to consist of China will not prosper.
Beijing enforced the law on the Asian monetary hub in June 2020 after months of often violent anti-government protests rocked the city in 2019.
Noting use of the law versus some media and reporters, the report charts pressure by pro-Beijing media that has actually forced trade unions and other groups to disband.
Describing criticism from some mainland authorities, it states that “judicial independence is significantly carefully balanced”.
Truss stated, however, she thought British judges could still “play a favorable function in supporting this judicial independence.”
British judges have long served among the foreign jurists selected to Hong Kong’s greatest court, a plan created to keep self-confidence in the city’s legal system that is seen as the bedrock of its wider social and commercial liberties.
Britain handed its former nest back to Chinese rule in 1997 amid warranties that its way of living would be safeguarded under a “one nation, 2 systems” model.
Truss stated Britain was devoted to continuing to keep an eye on the scenario in Hong Kong, consisting of speaking to a broad series of politicians.
She expressed concern at the “growing pattern of the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong authorities misrepresenting such regular diplomatic contact as foreign collusion”.
The Hong Kong federal government stated it “strongly opposed the unproven accusations”, urging Britain to “stop interfering into the internal affairs of China through Hong Kong affairs”.
It also stated it opposed the report’s criticism of the government’s overhaul of the electoral system. Hong Kong is because of elect a new Legislative Council this weekend, with numerous opposition figures in jail or exile and just those classified as “patriots” permitted to run.

Released at Wed, 15 Dec 2021 02:24:40 -0600

UK to remove all countries from Covid travel red list from Wednesday

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LONDON: Britain will remove all 11 countries from its Covid-19 travel red list from Wednesday, health secretary Sajid Javid told parliament.
“Now that there is neighborhood transmission of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has actually spread so widely across the world, the travel red list is now less efficient in slowing the attack of Omicron from abroad,” he stated.
“Whilst we will preserve our short-lived screening procedures for international travel we will be getting rid of all 11 countries from the travel red list effective from 4 am tomorrow morning.”

Published at Tue, 14 Dec 2021 14:32:40 -0600