China announces new Hong Kong leader’s cabinet

China announces new Hong Kong leader’s cabinet

HONG KONG, June 19 (Reuters) - China unveiled on Sunday a list of Hong Kong government officials in the new administration of incoming leader John Lee, set to be sworn in on July 1, when the Chinese-ruled financial hub marks the 25th anniversary of its handover from Britain. Lists from the official Xinhua news agency and the Hong Kong government showed finance secretary Paul Chan retains his post, while Paul Lam replaces Teresa Cheng as justice secretary, and Eric Chan becomes the new chief secretary, or No. 2 official. Hong Kong Chief Executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu (L) and Chief Executive Carrie Lam…
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Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam says she will not seek a second term

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam says she will not seek a second term

HONG KONG, April 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who has governed the global financial hub through the unprecedented upheaval of anti-government protests and COVID-19, said on Monday she will not seek a second five-year term of office. Lam's announcement came as media said Chief Secretary John Lee, Hong Kong's second most senior official, was set to resign to join the race to replace Lam in May and become the Chinese-ruled city's next leader. "There’s only one consideration and that is family. I have told everyone before that family is my first priority in terms of my consideration. They think it’s time…
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Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam says leadership election to go ahead as planned

Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam says leadership election to go ahead as planned

HONG KONG, April 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's leadership election will go ahead on May 8 as planned, city Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Saturday, rejecting media speculation it might be delayed for a second time due to a major COVID-19 outbreak. Unlike previous years, no Beijing-backed front-runner for the top job has emerged at this late stage, adding to uncertainty about the financial hub's future as Beijing imposes its rule. Since the former British colony returned to China in 1997, it has had four chief executives, all of whom struggled to balance the democratic aspirations of some residents with the…
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Hong Kong “overwhelmed” as COVID infections hit record

Hong Kong “overwhelmed” as COVID infections hit record

The latest wave of COVID-19 infections has "overwhelmed" Hong Kong, the city's leader said on Monday as daily cases surged by some 20 times over the past two weeks, leaving hospitals short of beds and struggling to cope. Carrie Lam, the head of the administration in the Chinese ruled city, issued a grim update for residents already subjected to tight restrictions on social gatherings as health authorities reported a record 2,071 infections on Monday, with 4,500 separate preliminary positive cases. "The onslaught of the fifth wave of the epidemic has dealt a heavy blow to Hong Kong and overwhelmed the…
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Hong Kong orders hamster cull after COVID-19 hits pets

Hong Kong orders hamster cull after COVID-19 hits pets

Hong Kong ordered a cull of 2,000 hamsters on Tuesday and warned pet owners not to kiss animals after a new cluster of COVID-19 cases was traced to a pet shop. The outbreak of Delta variant cases in humans linked to the shop worker prompted tests on hundreds of animals, with 11 hamsters showing up positive. That has brought a pet rodent clampdown on Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, which is following the mainland's zero-tolerance approach to COVID-19 even as much of the world shifts to living with it. The territory's Health Secretary Sophia Chan stressed at a news conference that there was no evidence domestic animals can…
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Royal Caribbean pauses some cruise operations due to Omicron concerns

Royal Caribbean pauses some cruise operations due to Omicron concerns

(Reuters) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has paused some of its cruise operations amid rising numbers of COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant. The sailings of three ships - Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas - have been paused while the return of its Vision of the Seas to cruising has been postponed to March 7, 2022, the cruise line said in a statement on Friday. "We regret having to cancel our guests' long-awaited vacations and appreciate their loyalty and understanding," the company adding that these measures have been implemented "in an abundance…
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Hong Kong police charges two former Stand News editors with sedition

Hong Kong police charges two former Stand News editors with sedition

HONG KONG, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Two former senior editors arrested in a Hong Kong police crackdown on a pro-democracy media organisation were charged on Thursday with sedition-related offences, national security authorities said. About 200 police raided the office of the Stand News online publication on Wednesday, froze its assets and arrested seven current and former senior editors and former board members. The raid was the latest in a crackdown on the media and on dissent in general in the former British colony since China imposed a tough national security law in the city last year aimed at putting an end to…
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Hong Kong’s strict quarantine rules threaten to erodes allure of financial hub

Hong Kong’s strict quarantine rules threaten to erodes allure of financial hub

Hong Kong's government is facing growing pressure from business lobby groups to open borders or risk losing executives and investment as it shows no sign of easing one of the world's strictest quarantine programs. Working on billion-dollar deals locked in hotel rooms for three weeks is becoming common for bankers in Asia’s financial hub even as counterparts in places like London and New York go straight back to their offices after travel. Hong Kong's decision in August to increase mandatory hotel quarantine to three weeks for arrivals from most countries has prompted a backlash from banks, hedge funds and traders who say…
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Hong Kong proposes film censorship law to ‘safeguard national security’

Hong Kong proposes film censorship law to ‘safeguard national security’

Hong Kong said on Tuesday new film censorship legislation will be introduced to "safeguard national security", in another sign of shrinking freedoms in the former British colony. China introduced a sweeping national security law in June last year to crack down on what it deems subversion, secessionism, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, following months of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests in 2019. The new "film censorship" amendment bill will help enhance the regulatory framework, the government said in a statement, with a view to "ensuring more effective fulfilment of the duty to safeguard national security". "The main reference is the national security…
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Candidate pulls out of Hong Kong lawyers’ group election over safety fears

Candidate pulls out of Hong Kong lawyers’ group election over safety fears

HONG KONG, Aug 21 (Reuters) - A council member of a professional group of solicitors in Hong Kong on Saturday dropped his bid to seek re-election next week, citing fears for his safety and that of his family. Tuesday's elections to the Law Society, a professional body and regulator for 12,000 solicitors, come as critics say the legal system in the global financial hub faces pressure from a China-imposed national security law. Although officials in Hong Kong and Beijing have rejected these concerns, the normally low-key polls have drawn unusual levels of scrutiny from pro-Beijing media and senior city officials.…
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First person charged under HK security law found guilty of terrorism, inciting secession

First person charged under HK security law found guilty of terrorism, inciting secession

The first person charged under Hong Kong's national security law was found guilty on Tuesday of terrorism and inciting secession in a landmark case with long-term implications for how the legislation reshapes the city's common law traditions. An alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm was not considered. The High Court will hear mitigation arguments on Thursday and sentencing will be announced at a later date. Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, was accused of driving his motorcycle into three riot police while carrying a flag with the protest slogan "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times," which prosecutors said was secessionist. The…
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HK leader says ‘ideologies’ pose security risk, teenagers need to be monitored

HK leader says ‘ideologies’ pose security risk, teenagers need to be monitored

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday "ideologies" posed risks to national security and urged parents, teachers and religious leaders to observe the behaviour of teenagers and report those who break the law to the authorities. The financial hub has taken a swift authoritarian turn since China's imposition of a sweeping national security law last year and changes to its political system to reduce democratic participation and oust people deemed disloyal to Beijing. At her weekly news conference, Lam expressed dismay at some residents mourning the death of a 50-year-old who stabbed a policeman before killing himself on July 1, the…
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Closure looms for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily after raids

Closure looms for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily after raids

The pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily looked set to close for good by Saturday following police raids and the arrest of executives - a move that critics say undermines the city's status as a free and open society as Beijing tightens its grip. Mark Simon, an adviser to the jailed owner and staunch Beijing critic Jimmy Lai, told Reuters on Monday the newspaper would be forced to shut "in a matter of days" after authorities froze access to the firm's core operating capital on national security grounds that were needed for staff wages and other expenses. In an internal memo to some…
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Hong Kong passes immigration bill, raising alarm over ‘exit bans’

Hong Kong passes immigration bill, raising alarm over ‘exit bans’

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Hong Kong's legislature passed on Wednesday a controversial immigration bill, which lawyers, diplomats and right groups fear will give authorities unlimited powers to prevent residents and others from entering or leaving the Chinese-ruled city. The government has dismissed those fears as "complete nonsense," saying the legislation, which will come into effect on Aug. 1, merely aims to screen illegal immigrants at source amid a backlog of asylum applications and does not affect constitutional rights of free movement. "We are facing increasing challenges, especially preventing the number of illegal immigrants from rising and claimants from abusing the system,"…
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Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai gets 14 months in prison for unauthorised assembly

Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai gets 14 months in prison for unauthorised assembly

HONG KONG, April 16 (Reuters) - Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai will serve 12 months in prison for taking part in an unauthorised assembly during the 2019 mass pro-democracy protests in the Chinese-ruled financial hub. Hong Kong's District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock gave Lai a 15-month sentence, reduced by three months in mitigation. Martin Lee, who helped launch the city's largest opposition Democratic Party in the 1990s and is often called the former British colony's "father of democracy," was given a suspended sentence of 11 months in the same case. (Reporting by James Pomfret; Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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China approves sweeping electoral shake-up for Hong Kong -HK politician

China approves sweeping electoral shake-up for Hong Kong -HK politician

Beijing approved a sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong's electoral system on Tuesday, a senior politician who works with China's parliament on matters relating to the former British colony's mini-constitution, told Reuters. The measures are part of Beijing's efforts to consolidate its increasingly authoritarian grip over the global financial hub following the imposition of a national security law in June, which critics see as a tool to crush dissent. Maria Tam said Hong Kong's election committee, in charge of selecting the city's chief executive, will pick 40 representatives of the city's legislature as part of the reforms approved by the National People's Congress Standing…
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Hong Kong orders compulsory coronavirus testing after gym cluster hits financial community

Hong Kong orders compulsory coronavirus testing after gym cluster hits financial community

HONG KONG, March 13 (Reuters) - Some law firms and banks in Hong Kong face compulsory testing for coronavirus as most of the 47 news cases recorded on Saturday were linked to a gym used by the financial and expatriate community. The city's government said 35 of the new cases were related to the outbreak at Ursus Fitness, a gym in the city's Sai Ying Pun district. The health department told a briefing that so far 99 cases have been confirmed as related to the centre, which is popular with expatriate lawyers, bankers and hedge fund executives. The government published…
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End of the road for Hong Kong’s democratic dream as China “improves” its voting system

End of the road for Hong Kong’s democratic dream as China “improves” its voting system

HONG KONG, March 5 (Reuters) - Ever since Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997, opposition activists have tried to bring full democracy to the city, believing that China would live up to its promise to one day allow universal suffrage to elect the city's leader. On Friday, that campaign was dealt its biggest blow. Chinese parliamentarians in Beijing unveiled details of a plan to revamp the political structure of China's freest city that critics say has all but killed off the pledge of one person, one vote. China's move comes months after a sweeping national security law was imposed on the…
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China’s electoral reform set to upend Hong Kong politics

China’s electoral reform set to upend Hong Kong politics

China's plan to dramatically reform Hong Kong's electoral system, expected to be unveiled in a parliamentary session in Beijing starting this week, will upend the territory's political scene, according to more than a dozen politicians from across the spectrum. The proposed reform will put further pressure on pro-democracy activists, who are already the subject of a crackdown on dissent, and has ruffled the feathers of some pro-Beijing loyalists, some of whom may find themselves swept aside by a new and ambitious crop of loyalists, the people said. "It will be an earthquake shaking up local political interests," said one person briefed on the impending changes. The…
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UK opens special visa route for Hong Kong residents to become citizens

UK opens special visa route for Hong Kong residents to become citizens

HONG KONG, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Hong Kong residents can apply from Sunday for a new visa offering them an opportunity to become British citizens after Beijing's imposition of a national security law in the Asian financial hub last year. The move comes as China and Hong Kong have said they will no longer recognise the British National Overseas (BNO) passport as a valid travel document from Sunday, Jan. 31. Britain and China have been arguing for months about what London and Washington say is an attempt to silence dissent in Hong Kong after pro-democracy protests in 2019 and 2020.…
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UK offers Hong Kong residents a route to citizenship, angering China

UK offers Hong Kong residents a route to citizenship, angering China

Britain on Friday hailed a new visa offering Hong Kong citizens a route to citizenship after China's crackdown but Beijing said it would no longer recognise special British passports offered to residents of the former colony. Britain and China have been bickering for months about what London and Washington say is an attempt to silence dissent in Hong Kong, though Beijing says the West's views are clouded by misinformation and an imperial hangover. Britain says it is fulfilling a historic and moral commitment to the people of Hong Kong after China imposed a tough new security law on the city that Britain says breaches the terms of agreements…
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Hong Kong’s new top judge points to importance of city’s rule of law

Hong Kong’s new top judge points to importance of city’s rule of law

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's new top judge stressed on Monday the importance of the city's judicial independence and rule of law, describing them as crucial to business confidence and the international reputation of the global business hub. Andrew Cheung made his remarks hours after he was sworn in to replace Geoffrey Ma, 65, who is retiring after a decade as chief justice in the former British colony. Cheung, 59, takes office at a pivotal moment for the city's judges - long seen as the pillars of support for its broad rights and freedoms - amid rising political pressures…
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U.S. slaps sanctions on 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdown

U.S. slaps sanctions on 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States on Monday imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing's disqualification last month of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong. The move, which was first reported by Reuters overnight and sent Asian stock markets lower, targeted the vice chairpersons of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), the top decision-making body of the Chinese legislature. The action was widely seen as part of an effort by outgoing President Donald Trump to cement his tough-on-China legacy and also box president-elect Joe Biden, before he takes office on…
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People visit Instagram Pier in Hong Kong

People visit Instagram Pier in Hong Kong

A dog sits in a dog pram on a pier in Hong Kong, 06 December 2020. The pier, nicknamed 'Instagram Pier' by locals, is located on the west side of Hong Kong Island and is originally a container terminal that has become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE
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Hong Kong’s top leader piles up cash at home after U.S. sanctions

Hong Kong’s top leader piles up cash at home after U.S. sanctions

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she has to pile up cash at home as she has been unable to open a bank account in the global financial centre since Washington sanctioned her shortly after Beijing imposed a national security law on the city. Beijing circumvented Hong Kong's legislature and imposed a national security law on the former British colony on June 30, a move condemned by some foreign governments, business groups and rights groups. Hong Kong and authorities in Beijing said the law was necessary to restore stability after more than a year of anti-government protests. "Sitting in front…
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Britain considering removal of judges from Hong Kong

Britain considering removal of judges from Hong Kong

Britain is considering pulling its judges out of Hong Kong's highest court, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday, in its latest response to what it considers China's breaches of its international obligations in the territory. Britain, which ruled Hong Kong for over 150 years until it handed it back to China in 1997, says a new security law imposed on the territory by Beijing just before midnight on June 30 was a breach of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration that paved the way for the handover. London has also objected to new rules imposed by mainland China to disqualify…
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Hong Kong authorities arrest seven opposition activists

Hong Kong authorities arrest seven opposition activists

Seven prominent Hong Kong opposition activists were arrested on Sunday on charges related to obstructing a legislative council meeting in May, the latest move by authorities amid a broader crackdown on anti-government forces. The arrests come just four months after Beijing imposed a contentious national security law on the city that has seen some activists flee for safe havens overseas out of fear they could be targeted and face lengthy jail sentences. The arrests, which took place early in the morning, did not appear to be linked to the security law, which punishes what Beijing broadly defines as secession, sedition,…
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Hong Kong postpones annual policy address until talks with Beijing

Hong Kong postpones annual policy address until talks with Beijing

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has postponed her annual policy address scheduled for Wednesday in order to go to Beijing for talks on how the central government can help with the financial hub's economic recovery. Lam said she would go to Beijing this month and aimed to hold her policy address by the end of November. She said she would discuss wide-ranging measures with the central government, including some related to the Greater Bay area - a region that includes Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in China's Guangdong province - the finance sector and tech innovation, without giving…
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Hong Kong researchers report first documented coronavirus re-infection

Hong Kong researchers report first documented coronavirus re-infection

A Hong Kong man who recovered from COVID-19 was infected again four-and-a-half months later in the first documented instance of human re-infection, researchers at the University of Hong Kong said on Monday. The findings indicate the disease, which has killed more than 800,000 people worldwide, may continue to spread amongst the global population despite herd immunity, they said. The 33-year-old male was cleared of COVID-19 and discharged from a hospital in April, but tested positive again after returning from Spain via Britain on Aug. 15. The patient had appeared to be previously healthy, researchers said in the paper, which was accepted by the international medical journal Clinical…
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Hong Kongers purchase Apple Daily in masses after Chinese Govt arrests owners

Hong Kongers purchase Apple Daily in masses after Chinese Govt arrests owners

Hong Kong's Apple Daily tabloid responded with defiance on Tuesday to the arrest of owner Jimmy Lai under a new national security law imposed by Beijing, promising to "fight on" in a front-page headline over an image of Lai in handcuffs. Readers queued from the early hours to get copies of the pro-democracy tabloid a day after police raided its offices and took Lai into detention, the highest-profile arrest so far under the national security law. It's 2am in #Hongkong. There is a long line of people queuing up for the first batch of @appledaily_hk in Mongkok. We are livestreaming,…
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China sends team to Hong Kong for widespread coronavirus testing

China sends team to Hong Kong for widespread coronavirus testing

Seven Chinese health officials arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread COVID-19 testing in the territory as it races to halt a third wave of illness. The initiative marks the first time mainland health officials have assisted Hong Kong in its battle to control the epidemic. The city has reported around 3,500 coronavirus cases and 34 deaths since January, far lower than many other global metropolitan centres. But the daily number of new infections has been in three digits for the past 12 days. Members of the testing team,…
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China to respond to British sanctions ‘resolutely’

China to respond to British sanctions ‘resolutely’

China will respond resolutely to any attempt by Britain to sanction Chinese officials following the imposition of a security law in Hong Kong, its ambassador in London said on Sunday. "If UK government goes that far to impose sanctions on any individual in China, China will certainly make a resolute response to it," Liu Xiaoming told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. "You've seen what happens in the United States, they sanction Chinese officials, we sanction their senators, their officials - I do not want to see this tit-for-tat happen in... China-UK relations." Reuters 
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Coronavirus spread risks going out of control – Hong Kong Leader

Coronavirus spread risks going out of control – Hong Kong Leader

Hong Kong's leader said Sunday that coronavirus was spreading out of control in the city as she announced a record daily high of more than 100 cases and ordered new social distancing measures. Although Hong Kong was one of the first places to be struck by the virus when it emerged from central China, the city had impressive success in tackling the disease, all but ending local transmissions by late June. However, in the last two weeks, cases have begun to spike once more and doctors fear it is spreading undetected in the densely packed territory of 7.5 million people.…
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Trump orders end to Hong Kong’s special status

Trump orders end to Hong Kong’s special status

President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status under U.S. law to punish China for what he called "oppressive actions" against the former British colony, prompting Beijing to warn of retaliatory sanctions. Citing China's decision to enact a new national security law for Hong Kong, Trump signed an executive order that he said would end the preferential economic treatment for the city. "No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies," he told a news conference. Acting on a Tuesday deadline, he also signed a bill approved by the U.S. Congress…
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Hong Kong opposition’s primary elections underway

Hong Kong opposition’s primary elections underway

Hong Kong’s opposition camp set up polling booths across the Chinese-ruled city on Saturday for primary elections aimed at selecting democracy candidates who stand the best chance of success in Legislative Council elections in September. The primaries come less than two weeks after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the Asian financial hub, stoking concerns that wide-ranging freedoms not seen in mainland China will be crushed. The law punishes what China describes broadly as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison and allows mainland security agents to operate officially in Hong Kong…
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