VPN downloads soar in Hong Kong following new China law

23 Mai, 2020, 01:23 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • China introduces new security bill in parliament to tighten controls over Hong Kong

The Hong Kong dollar, which has been at the strong end of its trading band with the United States dollar for several weeks, also dropped as dealers began selling the unit.

Last year, Hong Kong was rocked by months of protests sparked by a bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. U.S. President Donald Trump, when asked about China's moves, pledged to respond "very strongly".

Over the past year, the CCP and its puppets have quashed Hong Kong's anti-regime booksellers, arrested many top democracy advocates (such as barrister Martin Lee and media tycoon Jimmy Lai) and made it a crime to insult the national anthem.

Visa-free travel access to Hong Kong could revert to strict Chinese visa rules, impeding business travel and work visa approvals. "That is one of the reasons why we want to ensure that one-country, two-systems approach continues for Hong Kong". The conflict was clear to anyone following this gambit: Either China had to become more like Hong Kong, or Hong Kong had to become more like China. Many foreign social networks and services including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more that are blocked in China are legal in Hong Kong, though residents fear they may not be for long.

In a show of support for demonstrators, the US Congress past year overwhelmingly approved a law that would end Hong Kong's preferential trade access to the world's largest economy if it is no longer certified as enjoying autonomy - which Beijing promised before regaining control of the then British colony in 1997.

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said China risked a major flight of capital from Hong Kong that would end the territory's status as the financial hub of Asia.

Beijing's proposed legislation follows repeated warnings from China's leaders that they would no longer tolerate dissent in Hong Kong, which endured seven months of massive pro-democracy protests previous year.

"Numerous American companies invest in Hong Kong because of its special status, its geographic location and market-based economic system", the U.S.

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That could include police cracking down on demonstrators and Chinese officials involved in Hong Kong policy - as well as banks that conduct transactions with anyone involved in curbing the territory's freedoms.

The holding of the "two sessions", as the annual meetings are known, is a further sign of what the party says is its success in bringing the outbreak under control, although clusters of cases are still popping up in some parts of the country.

The Hong Kong dollar weakened for a second day after hovering near the strongest it can trade versus the greenback for two months.

"More than 20 years after Hong Kong's return, relevant laws are yet to materialize due to the sabotage and obstruction by those trying to sow trouble in Hong Kong and China at large, as well as external hostile forces", Wang said.

Now Lam is arguing in lockstep with Beijing's talking points, saying that the new law is necessary for security and is in the interest of all Hong Kong residents. This year, under cover of COVID, there've been a wave of arrests of prominent lawmakers and activists, more protesters being jailed.

The Globe and Mail reported Friday that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and USA law enforcement authorities are warning academics and corporations in both countries that they are at increased risk of having their data and technology stolen, especially research on vaccines and other treatments for the coronavirus. "It is a complete dishonor of promises made under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, as well as all the promises made by the Chinese government to us and the world", she said, referring to the deal that saw Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 from colonial power Britain. "I find it hard to believe this will not trigger either a massive peaceful and orderly demonstration or more vocal and aggressive protests..."

This was enshrined in the Basic Law, which runs out in 2047.

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