PH Consulate in Hong Kong advises Pinoys to stay away from protests

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 13, 2019   •   2191

Courtesy : Reuters

The Philippine Consulate has advised Filipinos in Hong Kong to stay away from the on-going protests against the proposed extradition law.

READ: Hong Kong lawmakers double down on extradition bill following massive protest

In a statement, the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong said the protests are mainly outside the government central offices, particularly the Legislative Complex, in Admiralty and in Tamar Park.

“Should our nationals find themselves among the crowds of protesters, they should exercise extreme caution and vigilance in order to keep themselves safe from any isolated act of violence that might occur,” the statement reads.

The Consulate also advises Filipinos to be updated with the current security situation.

Meanwhile, the Consulate will continue to “monitor the situation and provide public advisories from time to time as necessary.”

China detains employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang confirming detention of Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate, Simon Cheng | Courtesy: Reuters

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)

(Production: Martin Pollard)

Hong Kong leader says she hoped peaceful protest as turning point

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday (August 20) she hoped the peaceful protest over the weekend was the start of an effort to restore peace in the city and that the government would speak to peaceful protesters as well as tackle complaints against police.

Lam said the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPPC), had set up a task force to investigate complaints about police actions, whilst also reiterating that there is no plan to revive the controversial extradition bill.

“One is an important fact-finding study in addition to a very robust system to investigate and look at the complaints against police over this prolonged period of confrontations and violence. The other is a more rare arrangement, is for the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Council), which is statutory and independent, to create a fact finding study into the causes and the facts of these incidents. So, I hope that this is a very responsible response to the aspirations for better understanding of what has taken place in Hong Kong,” she said.

“The second area of work that I have announced, which will give us much better basis to address some anxieties and differences in society, is we will start immediately a platform for dialogue with people from all walks of life. So, this is something that we want to do in a very sincere and humble manner. I and my principal officials are committed to listen to what the people have to tell us and we want to reach out to the community as soon as possible,” she added.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully in the Chinese-ruled city amidst torrential rain on Sunday (August 18) in the eleventh week of what have often been violent demonstrations.

Aside from Lam’s resignation, demonstrators have five demands – complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, a halt to descriptions of the protests as “riots”, a waiver of charges against those arrested, an independent inquiry and resumption of political reform. (Reuters)

(Production: Ronn Bautista, Joyce Zhou, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

Chinese paramilitary continues to hold exercises near Hong Kong border

Robie de Guzman   •   August 16, 2019

Hundreds of members of China’s People’s Armed Police (PAP) continued to conduct exercises on Friday (August 16) at a sports stadium in Shenzhen.

Paramilitary soldiers could be seen marching and holding anti-riot drills outside of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre.

Hundreds of armored vehicles remained parked on surrounding streets.

The Shenzhen stadium sits across the water from Hong Kong’s rural hinterland, near a bridge straddling the border.

Chinese state media have made several mentions of exercises in Shenzhen.

The U.S. State Department expressed concern on Wednesday (August 14) that the People’s Armed Police could be deployed across the border in Hong Kong to break up protests wracking the city. (REUTERS)

(Production: Martin Pollard, Joseph Campbell)

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