HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was jailed for 14 months on Friday (Apr 16) along with four other veteran democracy activists for their roles in protests that helped trigger a sweeping crackdown on dissent by China. Lai was given two jail terms for separate rallies in August 2019, at the peak of a democracy uprising that paralysed the financial hub for months. The jail terms were the first ever for the 73-year-old millionaire, who has spent decades using his media empire to support democracy in Hong Kong, a campaign that has seen him denounced by China as a "traitor". The sentences on Friday were the latest in a relentless and successful campaign by China since the protests to silence dissent. Lai and four other campaigners were initially sentenced for leading a rally that organisers said attracted up to 1.7 million people. READ: 'Stand tall': Hong Kong media tycoon Lai writes letter from jail READ: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai charged under national … [Read more...] about Jimmy Lai among 5 Hong Kong democracy activists jailed
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HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday (Apr 27) the government could intervene if necessary in the Bar Association, whose chief has been labelled an "anti-China politician" by Beijing's top representative office in the city. Paul Harris, chairman of the Bar Association, has been repeatedly targeted by pro-Beijing forces, with the latest remarks coming from the Liaison Office on Sunday criticising him for speaking out against jail terms handed down to several democracy activists this month. READ: Jimmy Lai among 5 Hong Kong democracy activists jailed Speaking at her weekly press briefing, Lam said that while Hong Kong respects freedom of expression, there are limits. "For the time being I do not see the case for any government intervention into the affairs of the Hong Kong Bar Association," Lam said. "But, of course, if there are instances or complaints about the bar not acting in accordance with the Hong Kong law, then of course the government would be … [Read more...] about Carrie Lam says Hong Kong government could intervene in Bar Association if necessary
The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday decided to move forward with a plan to revise Hong Kong's electoral system that expands the number of seats in Hong Kong's legislature but limits its number of elected officials. China's top legislative body announced plans earlier this month to increase the number of seats in Hong Kong's legislature from 70 to 90. Thirty-five of the 70 legislative members currently in Hong Kong's Legislative Council are elected, but the new changes approved by China will reduce Hong Kong's number of elected officials to 20, according to the Associated Press. Officials announced last week that China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress decided to proceed with debating the proposed amendments to Hong Kong's legislature on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The decision to move forward with the changes was made official on Tuesday. Newsweek reached out to Hong Kong's Legislative Council for comment … [Read more...] about Democracy in Hong Kong Dwindling as China Cuts Down on Elected Officials
As democracies grapple with the challenge of China, our first impulse is to worry about our own vulnerabilities. After all, we Canadians are painfully aware of our own direct exposure — economic, political and personal: We are consumed by the protracted hostage-taking of our “two Michaels;” our foreign policy is distracted by the increased risks for Canadian expatriates in Hong Kong; and our $25 billion in exports remain in the line of fire. The rest of the West frets about the rapid economic and geographic gains of China versus the alleged decline of democracies — a topic we debated on Thursday’s most recent co-production between the Toronto Star and TVO’s The Agenda . But the collective introspection about our supposed weaknesses, and our preoccupation with Chinese trend lines, overlooks the broader point — the bigger flashpoints on the front lines of China’s borders. Think of Taiwan, directly in China’s sights. Spare a thought for Hong Kong, deep in China’s grip. While … [Read more...] about China has reclaimed Hong Kong. Is Taiwan next?
HONG KONG - An American fighter pilot was downed in the territory of enemy control. A boy hid him in a foxhole and found local guerrillas for help. On a dark night, they decided to break the blockade by 1,000 enemy soldiers. The episode, which sounds like some fictional story, was actually the true experience of "Flying Tiger" Lieutenant Donald W. Kerr in Hong Kong during World War II. Hong Kong, then a British colony, fell into the hands of Japanese invaders, about 80 years ago. On Feb 11, 1944, Kerr's plane, flying in formation with 19 other P-40 fighters and twelve B-25 bombers, was on a mission to bomb Kai Tak airport located on the coast of Hong Kong's Kowloon, which had been turned into a Japanese airbase. After shooting down one Japanese Zero fighter, Kerr's aircraft was hit and caught fire in a dogfight with three Zeros. He had to eject from the burning cockpit. "Jeez, I'm going to land in a company of Jap soldiers -- very convenient for them. Some little white … [Read more...] about Hong Kong rescue: the saga of CPC-led guerrilla force in WWII