Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

HK activist and German FM meeting angers China

People crowd around a popular tourist spot on Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong Hong Kong August visitors plunge 40pc year-on-year, hotels half-full: finance chief
Steven Clarke | 11 September, 2019, 07:42

Football fans in Hong Kong on Tuesday loudly booed the Chinese national anthem before the start of the World Cup qualifier between their team and the team from Iran. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has since announced that the bill will be withdrawn.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched to the U.S.'s Hong Kong consulate Sunday in an appeal for support from President Donald Trump, many waving American flags. Her popularity rating rose to 25.4 out of 100 points in the latest survey conducted by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Program between September 2 and 4, up from from 24.6 in a similar poll in late August.

Total export fell 5.7% year on year in July, while re-export value to the United States from China via Hong Kong declined 15.2% from a year earlier, he said. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other prominent USA lawmakers, calls for annual assessments on whether the former British colony is sufficiently autonomous from Beijing to continue its special trading status.

Some local fans continued to chant protest slogans during the match, which saw Iran beat Hong Kong 2-0. Most also kept their phones held up high with the flash on in a mark of protest.

It is against the law to disrespect the Chinese national anthem, which was played in the stadium before the match started. The protests were originally triggered by a draft law which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. China denies the accusation of meddling in the city.

Beijing rebuked Germany on Tuesday for allowing prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong to visit "to engage in anti-China separatist activities".

Chinese officials have accused foreign forces of trying to hurt Beijing by creating chaos in the city and warned other nations against interfering in the territory, saying the situation is an "internal affair".

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On Monday, former U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the anti-government protests were "not an internal" Chinese matter and the United States should offer at least moral support to the demonstrators.

Beijing has condemned a meeting between Germany's foreign minister and a Hong Kong figurehead, and called on Berlin to stay out of its internal affairs.

Mr Wong launched his career as an activist when he was just 12 years old and later became the poster child of the huge pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement" protests of 2014 that failed to win any concessions from Beijing.

"If we are now in a new Cold War, Hong Kong is the new Berlin", he said, referring to the post-war split between communist East Berlin and the democratic West.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that guarantees freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.

The protesters now have four other demands-Lam's resignation, an independent inquiry into police conduct, universal suffrage and an amnesty for all those arrested in connection with the demonstrations.

In his first public comments, Li called youths the "masters of our future" and said the government should temper justice with mercy in resolving the crisis.

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