Beijing to tighten vetting of Hong Kong legislators

05 Mars, 2021, 17:47 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang center bows after delivering a speech during the opening session of China's National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Friday

"The loss of political freedom and autonomy suffered by Hong Kong over the past two years has made that city nearly indistinguishable in many respects from other major Chinese commercial centres like Shanghai and Beijing", Edwin J. Feulner, the founder of the Heritage Foundation, wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

"In setting this target, we have taken into account economic recovery", said Li at the National People's Congress, China's annual parliamentary event.

Beijing aims to achieve the goal through a focus on clean industry and technology.

China didn't set a growth target past year due to the influence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The military budget has dipped during periods of slower economic growth, but has also been dropping steadily from the double-digit percentage increases over years as the increasingly powerful military matures and rapid expansion of what is already the world's second largest defence budget is no longer required.

In other comments at Thursday night's news conference, Zhang promoted China's development of COVID-19 vaccines and its provisioning of doses to developing countries, including 10 million donated through the World Health Organization's COVAX initiative.

The Biden administration in its vision document said that in many areas, China's leaders seek unfair advantages, behave aggressively and coercively, and undermine the rules and values at the heart of an open and stable global system.

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"A target of over 6 percent will enable all of us to devote full energy to promoting reform, innovation, and high-quality development", Li told delegates.

Brussels has previously chose to limit exports of equipment that could be used for surveillance in Hong Kong and European Union foreign ministers have discussed the possibility of broader sanctions if the situation worsens.

In the same report, China said it would resolutely guard the country against and deter foreign interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macao.

The size, composition and method of formation of the Hong Kong electoral committee would be "adjusted and improved", said Wang Chen, a vice-chairman of the standing committee of China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC).

HONG KONG-A court hearing for 47 democracy activists charged under Hong Kong's national security law was set to resume Tuesday after a marathon session that was adjourned well past midnight after one defendant appeared to collapse and was taken away in an ambulance. In June, 1984, Mr. Deng had described a patriot as "one who respects the Chinese nation, sincerely supports the motherland's resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong and wishes not to impair Hong Kong's prosperity and stability".

During last year's gathering of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, China introduced a sweeping Hong Kong security law created to stifle opposition to its control of the city. He pledged to complete the modernization of China's armed forces by 2035 and to build a world-class military capable of winning wars across all theaters by 2050.

China will boost military training and preparedness, as well as develop plans to respond to security risks in all areas, the governmental report added.

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