Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam evades question on having autonomy over decisions
Robie de Guzman • August 13, 2019 • 742
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam faced a tough grilling by reporters on Tuesday (August 13) during a weekly news briefing, in which she evaded questions on whether she has the autonomy to scrap an extradition bill without Beijing’s approval.
The increasingly violent demonstrations have plunged the Chinese-ruled territory into its most serious crisis in decades, presenting Chinese leader Xi Jinping with one of his biggest challenges since he came to power in 2012.
Lam, once again, defended the police’s actions towards young protesters during the weekend’s hit and run protests.
She also reiterated her role as chief executive, saying she can only ‘support’ law enforcement but has no say towards police actions.
“The chief executive’s responsibility is to ensure that Hong Kong remains a safe and orderly and law-abiding city. That is my utmost responsibility,” Lam said.
“I, as the chief executive will be responsible to rebuild Hong Kong’s economy, to engage as widely as possible, to listen as attentively as possible to my people’s grievances and try to help Hong Kong to move on,” she added.
The protests began as opposition to a now-suspended bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China for those facing criminal charges but have grown into wider calls for democracy.
Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement enshrining some autonomy for Hong Kong when China took it back from Britain in 1997. (REUTERS)
(Production: Aleksander Solum, Juarawee Kittisilpa)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will raise the arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea when he visits China next week.
Duterte is scheduled to fly to China for a working visit from August 28 to September 3.
He will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and talk about the Hague ruling, the code of conduct, as well as the proposed joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
“So whether you like it or not, would it make you happy or not, angry or otherwise. Sorry, but we have to talk the arbitral ruling, then what we get, if there is a start of the exploration and extraction of whatever there is in the bowels of the earth,” the President said during the inauguration of the 7.5 megawatt peak solar power project in the municipality of Odiongan, Tablas Island in Romblon on Wednesday (August 21).
“The proposal of 60-40 in our favor, would be a good start. I hope it would graduate to something like towards how do we solve the arbitral ruling peacefully,” he added.
The event was the President’s first public engagement after being out of the public eye for more than a week. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
A Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China’s border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday (August 21), likely worsening already strained ties between Beijing and London.
Simon Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported.
Cheng’s family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday (August 20) night, saying he travelled from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the morning of Aug. 8 for a business trip.
Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Cheng had been detained for 15 days by Shenzhen police for violating public security management regulations, though he gave no details.
“He is not a UK citizen. In other words that means he’s Chinese, so it’s entirely an internal matter for China,” Geng said.
“We’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” he added.
Britain has said it is “extremely concerned” by reports that the staff member at the consulate in its former colony had been detained.
Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with Beijing accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs. (Reuters)
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