UK says China’s security law is “clear violation” of Hong Kong treaty

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020   •   510

The United Kingdom said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and called on the People’s Republic to honor its international obligations.

“We have very carefully now assessed the contents of this national security legislation since it was published last night,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters and the BBC.

“It constitutes a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people, and therefore I’m afraid to say it is a clear and serious violation of the Joint Declaration treaty between the United Kingdom and China.”

Raab said he would set out shortly the action Britain would take with its international partners.

Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule – imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War. (Reuters)

(Production: Will Russell, Hanna Rantala, Polly Rider)

China suspends entry of non-Chinese travelers from PH to prevent imported cases of COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — China announced it is temporarily closing its borders to non-Chinese nationals from the Philippines in a move to prevent entry of fresh cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The announcement was made by the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Thursday (November 6) through its official social media platforms to notify Filipinos and foreign nationals in the country who intend to travel to China.

“The suspension is a temporary response necessitated by the current situation of Covid-19,” the statement said.

Similar entry ban was also imposed on British and Belgian nationals.

The entry restriction applies to all non-Chinese nationals in the Philippines regardless of whether their visas or residence permits are still valid.

It added that all Chinese embassies and consulates in the Philippines would no longer issue certified health declaration forms to those affected by the entry ban.

“The above-mentioned measures will be assessed in accordance with the evolving situation and any adjustment will be announced accordingly,” the embassy said.

Meanwhile, members of the diplomatic service or holders of C-visas are not covered by the ban including international transport workers such as airline crews. Those who were given a visa after November 3 will also not be affected.

However, foreign nationals visiting China for emergency needs may apply for a visa in Chinese embassy and consulates.

Burger King asks customers to order from rival McDonald’s in support of its employees

Marje Pelayo   •   November 5, 2020

UNITED KINGDOM — In a surprising marketing move, Burger King’s UK arm has asked its customers to order from other fast-food chains, including rival McDonald’s, to support its employees and the restaurant itself amid the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the fast-food chain industry.

“We never thought we’d be asking you to do this, but restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment,” reads the tweet shared by Burger King on Monday.

The burger chain posted the tweet prior to England’s second lockdown which forced restaurants, cafés, and bars to stop dine-in services at least until December 2, and will only be allowed to offer takeout services.

Industry body UK Hospitality said during the early days of the pandemic that it was the hospitality sector that was the first to suffer from the impact of the lockdowns. With the second lockdown, the government sees even worse effects.

According to the agency, the hospitality sector is UK’s third largest employer and many service workers have lost their jobs or were put on hold since the pandemic began early this year.

At the end of its announcement, Burger King UK directly mentioned its rival McDonald’s signature burger that usually competes with its famous Whoppers.

“Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing,” it said.

Joint oil exploration with China won’t compromise Phl position on WPS — Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration stands firm that the Philippines’ position will not be compromised should a joint oil exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea pushes through.

This is in relation to the country’s arbitral award on the disputed territory against China.

“First, this lifting of the moratorium is an exercise of our sovereign rights. In no way it weakens the arbitral decision, and our MOU to explore a joint development program or cooperation with China, in no way that it weakens or gives away our sovereign rights,” noted Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Energy (DOE) to lift the suspension and once again issue a resume to work notice for service contractors for oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“Although sovereign rights are defined as exclusive rights, that exclusive rights may be shared to others. The decision to share it is part of the sovereign rights,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. –MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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