The Ministry of Health confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Wednesday (25 November), taking the country’s total case count to 58,190.
Pro-establishment Hong Kong lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said the cases of two opposition activists, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting, would determine whether more laws need to be passed to close loopholes in the national security law that Beijing imposed this year.Wong, 24, and Chow, 23, were remanded in custody at West Kowloon Court on Monday after pleading guilty over their roles in a 15-hour siege of Hong Kong’s police headquarters during the anti-government protests last year.But they may not serve time after court proceedings are finalised, Ip said in an online debate with former US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Daniel Russel.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The exchange was part of a series organised by the Washington-based think tank Center for Security and International Studies (CSIS) and moderated by Bonnie Glaser, director of its China Power Project.“Both of them have pleaded guilty to public order … and they continue to make political speeches, after they pleaded guilty, before and even after they were remanded they still spoke to the media about ‘Hong Kong people add oil, don’t give up,’ and that sort of thing,” she added, saying it was evidence that freedoms guaranteed by the city’s Basic Law remain intact.Ip said it may take “two to three years” before the Hong Kong court renders final decisions on Wong and Chow because of the appeal process.“That’s why our government said recently – in fact, the secretary for security John Lee said recently, when people asked him, ‘Are you going to reactivate Article 23 and introduce local legislation to fill the other loopholes?” Ip said, referring to the part of the Basic Law that requires Hong Kong to enact national security legislation on its own.An attempt to do so in 2003 saw the bill shelved after an estimated half a million people took to the streets to oppose it. Fresh sanctions, criticism, charges mark Hong Kong security law’s fourth monthLee “said that we have to wait and see how the new national security law operates before we know whether there are other loose ends to tie up”, Ip added. “So the answer is, I don‘t know, these are early days.”Ip also asserted that Hong Kong’s courts remain independent from political interference and characterised the city’s “one country, two systems” framework after the imposition of the national security law as “a challenging enterprise” and “a work in progress”.Critics have said that the law – which gives authorities sweeping powers to target acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces – could fundamentally reshape the international financial hub, though the central and local governments have repeatedly pledged that the law would target only a minority of people.“One country, two systems is not easy … and what we see happening is a coming together of the two systems,” Ip said.“Although freedom has been restricted in some areas, and this is happening around the world, whenever you have terrorism threats or separatism threats, you have to introduce new legislation to restrict freedom, somewhat, but [to a degree that is] permissible” under the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.Ip’s position was in line with that of Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, who said last week that anti-China activism will no longer be allowed among legislators and officials by law, as a key step to ensuring the patriotism that must underpin the city’s political system.“People who love the country and Hong Kong will govern Hong Kong, and people who are anti-China and cause trouble in Hong Kong are out,” Zhang told the Basic Law 30th Anniversary Legal Summit. “This is a political rule under ‘one country, two systems’, and has become a legal requirement now.” Man ordered to foot government bill for challenging detention under security lawRussel rejected Ip’s contention that Wong’s and Chow’s continued ability to address the public proves that freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law remain intact.“What that means is that the crackdown is not yet complete,” he said.“The national security law supersedes Hong Kong’s courts. It’s exempt from judicial review. It creates an office with unchecked authority. And it‘s introduced mainland secret police, it’s taken a page out of the East German Stasi handbook by soliciting informers and encouraging anonymous accusations.”The new multi-platform tip line referenced by Russel received more than 10,000 messages in its first week in existence. The hotline allows the public to send information, photos, and audio and video clips to a designated email address. They can also send messages via SMS or WeChat, though officers do not pick up incoming calls.More from South China Morning Post: * ‘I’m ready for jail’: the Hong Kong dissidents who chose to stay and fight * Hong Kong opposition trio Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam, and Agnes Chow face jail after pleading guilty to charges over police headquarters siegeThis article Hong Kong lawmaker Regina Ip says Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow cases may determine if more national security legislation is needed first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Australia has hit out at "needlessly" worsening relations with China, with the country's prime minister appealing for smaller nations not to be caught in the crossfire of Sino-US rivalry.
An English and Literature teacher invited a student for a car ride and later sexually assaulted her.
Meghan Markle has revealed she suffered a miscarriage in July this year, writing in The New York Times on Wednesday of the deep grief and loss she endured with her husband Prince Harry.
There’s nothing quite as magical as these words: ‘1-for-1’. We’re talking about 1-for-1 buffet deals across Singapore’s celebrated hotels and restaurants. It’s time we helped you know where to go get these and how to save 50% or more for a sumptuous, leisurely meal with […]The post 1-for-1 Buffet Dining Promotions In Singapore appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
John Kerry’s appointment as US climate envoy and Washington’s expected pivot on climate change policy could help find common ground with Beijing under president-elect Joe Biden, Chinese foreign policy observers said.The return of former secretary of state Kerry to a cabinet-level role was an early sign of the Biden administration setting a more predictable course for its dealings with China, some argued. However, one said renewed engagement by a more multilateral Washington could bring it into conflict with Beijing over who should lead on certain issues globally.Even if US-China tensions were to remain over economic, technological and other issues, having familiar faces from past administrations could stabilise relations after four tumultuous years under President Donald Trump, they said.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Kerry’s appointment was one of six National Security Council positions filled on Monday. They also included Antony Blinken being picked for secretary of state when Biden takes office in January.“Kerry is seen as a very experienced official, with a good knowledge of China, and having him as climate ambassador brings new opportunities for Sino-US cooperation,” Tao Wenzhao, a US-China relations expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.Both Kerry and Blinken served under Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama. Kerry made annual trips to China as secretary of state between 2013 and 2017.In 2015, Kerry said China and the US had “cooperated quite extraordinarily” on climate change during his meetings with China’s then foreign minister Yang Jiechi in Washington, despite disagreements over security issues including Beijing’s island-building in the South China Sea.And in the autumn of 2018, after Trump had initiated a trade war with Beijing, Kerry said China “[does] not react well to bludgeoning”.It was Kerry who signed on behalf of the United States as 171 nations sealed 2016’s historic Paris climate accord – from which Trump announced his country’s withdrawal the following year. Biden has vowed to rejoin the accord on the first day of his presidency.“The Trump administration has done a lot to undo what Kerry did as secretary of state on climate change and other multilateral issues of agreement like the Iran nuclear deal – which will give Kerry and Blinken a lot of work to do,” Tao said.“I don’t believe the Kerry appointment will bring the US back to the way things were before. The US will have room to renegotiate on any number of things it may rejoin, from climate change to the Iran nuclear deal to the World Health Organization.” China’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2060 to cost US$15 trillion, report saysChinese President Xi Jinping pledged in September his country would be carbon-neutral by 2060. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said the pledge would be a “game-changer” if China turned words into actions.“The Kerry appointment demonstrates a typical liberal priority from the Democrats on climate issues, highlighted by placing such a high-level diplomat in the job,” Yu Wanli, a Beijing-based international security analyst, said.Bringing back Washington policy veterans would aid interactions between the two countries, Yu predicted.“The appointment of Kerry and other familiar faces definitely makes things much more predictable for China, but also the whole world,” he said.Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, warned that the US-China relationship might still be overshadowed by deepening competition regardless of who occupied senior positions in Washington.“While some economic and diplomatic issues may be mitigated by bringing in more predictable politicians, I expect that technological and general strategic and ideological rivalry will continue,” he said.“Even though the Democratic administration and China may agree on climate change, both countries will want to take global leadership roles on the issue, and may easily fall into ideological competition.”More from South China Morning Post: * Joe Biden cabinet: US Treasury Secretary pick Janet Yellen faces huge challenge to reconcile China trade policy, support American economy * US-China-Taiwan: how will Joe Biden change the balance?This article Joe Biden cabinet: John Kerry as climate tsar ‘may cool US-China tensions’ first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
HDB's last BTO launch for 2020 saw 5,795 new BTO units spread over 5 locations across Singapore. HDB has just concluded its last BTO launch for 2020. Earlier in November, HDB launched 7 projects at 5 locations, namely Sun Sails at Sembawang (Non-Mature Estate), Garden […]The post HDB BTO Launches In 2020 (Sembawang, Tengah, Bishan, Tampines, Toa Payoh – Bidadari) appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
Hong Kong police arrested an elderly taxi driver and a motorist in a Lamborghini after the two had a fight in the middle of a road in the early hours of Tuesday.The pair came to blows at the junction of Chatham Road South and Gascoigne Road in Yau Ma Tei shortly before 1am, after the sports car had driven into the back of the cab.According to police, the taxi was slowing down as it approached the junction and the sports car failed to brake in time and rammed into it.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Neither the 29-year-old driver of the Lamborghini, nor the 81-year-old cabby, were seriously hurt in the incident.“The two drivers were suspected of fighting each other in a dispute over the issue of compensation [for the collision],” police said in a statement.Officers were called and arrested the two men on suspicion of fighting in a public place.The two motorists suffered minor injuries in the altercation, and were taken to the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.Separately, a 47-year-old man escaped serious injury when his car smashed through railings, crashed 20 metres down a hill and turned upside down in Sha Tin around 2am.The vehicle was travelling along the Sha Tin Heights section of Tai Po Road, heading toward Kowloon at the time of the incident. A 20-metre stretch of railings and a traffic sign were damaged in the crash.“An initial investigation showed the driver veered to avoid hitting a dog and lost control of his car,” a police spokeswoman said.The driver managed to climb out of the vehicle and left the scene before emergency personnel arrived.The spokeswoman said the man went to Caritas Medical Centre in Cheung Sha Wan to seek medical treatment, adding the driver passed a breathalyser test and no one was arrested.This article Elderly cabby and Lamborghini driver arrested over Hong Kong street fight first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
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China’s top diplomat to Germany has dismissed concerns that Beijing will rely less on the European Union as a result of focusing more on its internal market after signs of rapprochement between the EU and US since the American electionAn assurance on Tuesday from Beijing’s ambassador Wu Ken that the bloc will still be a key partner of China – along with a telephone call between the nations’ leaders Angela Merkel and Xi Jinping – came as China and Germany face difficult bilateral challenges, including completing a major EU investment deal and facing falling public opinion of China in Germany.Addressing German and Chinese business leaders and politicians during the Belt and Road Economic Dialogue, held online on Tuesday, Wu sought to explain Beijing’s economic strategy after concerns that it would lead to China turning inward and relying less on imports.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“Germany and Europe will gain more momentum from China’s new ‘dual circulation’ development pattern,” Wu said, referencing a phrase used in Chinese policy circles since September.Dual circulation, or developing “internal circulation” and “external circulation” in tandem, has been billed as a means to boost China’s internal market growth.Wu said the policy would not mean decoupling from the global economy.“The internal circulation is not to be developed behind closed doors, but to further revitalise and release China’s market potential, promote a higher level of opening up, and make better use of both domestic and international markets,” he said. “China will continue to expand and open up. This is China’s basic national policy.”Following the US election, EU leaders are looking to US president-elect Joe Biden to work with Europe to counter Beijing, with Germany and France calling for unity in opposing countries such as China, Russia and Iran.In a rare joint opinion piece, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Heiko Maas outlined their call in The Washington Post in mid-November, saying the US and the EU should “consult each other” to coordinate their approach to China on human rights, digital infrastructure and fair trade.China has been one of the largest buyers of goods from the export-dependent German economy. Last year, China was Germany’s third-largest export market, and second-largest source of imports, according to official Chinese statistics.Wu added that China and the EU were both increasing the pace of negotiations for a long-awaited bilateral investment treaty, scheduled to be completed before the end of the year.The pressure is on for both sides to produce concrete results with the political leadership about to change in both the US and Europe, according to Ding Chun, an expert in China-Germany relations at Fudan University in Shanghai.“There’s a very short window,” he said. “Merkel will probably be leaving soon, and Germany is drawing near to the end of its rotating term in the EU presidency. There’s enormous pressure for both sides to make good on their promise to complete the investment agreement.”Thomas Gnocchi, head of the EU’s office in Hong Kong and Macau, said both the EU and China maintained their objective of concluding negotiations by the end of the year. China must deliver on opening up promises ahead of ‘last chance’ EU summit“These ongoing negotiations, we believe it’s very important to finalise them,” Gnocchi said at an event at Hong Kong’s Baptist University on Wednesday.The deal was mentioned in Tuesday’s phone call between Xi and Merkel, according to a brief statement from Germany’s foreign ministry. Along with progress on the deal, the two also discussed vaccine development and joint efforts to combat climate change, the statement said.There are unfavourable opinions of China in Germany, according to new polling data in a study of 13 nations released last week by Sinophone Borderlands, a research organisation in the Czech Republic. It found that more than 60 per cent of Germans viewed China either negatively or very negatively.More detailed data from the German polling in the report was released this week, and showed that close to half of Germans felt their perception of China had got worse over the past three years.Additional reporting by Kristin HuangMore from South China Morning Post: * China reminds EU to chart its own course as European leaders reach out to Biden * China must strike a balance between opening up and protecting its markets, EU diplomat saysThis article EU will not be snubbed by Beijing, Chinese ambassador assures Germany first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Pop queen Beyonce on Tuesday led the Grammys pack with nine nominations, as music prepares to celebrate its hitmakers in a year that saw the coronavirus crisis deal devastating blows to the industry.
The Dow surged past 30,000 points for the first time Tuesday as receding US political uncertainty and hopes for coronavirus vaccines offset worries over spiking Covid-19 cases.
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International pressure mounted Tuesday on Ethiopia's warring parties to cease fighting and protect civilians in Tigray, where the army says it has encircled the capital ahead of a threatened bombardment.
Hundreds of flights at one of China's busiest airports were cancelled Tuesday as Shanghai raced to bring a local coronavirus outbreak under control.
President Xi Jinping has urged Germany and Europe to “remain open to Chinese companies” and vowed to reach a deal this year giving European businesses greater market access in China.Xi made the remarks during a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday, and as the European Union plans new restrictions on Chinese state-owned giants.It came hours after EU leaders pledged to rebuild the transatlantic alliance in a phone call with US president-elect Joe Biden.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“We hope that Germany and the European Union will remain open to Chinese companies,” Xi told Merkel, according to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.“China and the EU should strive to be mutually respectful and grasp the main themes of dialogue and win-win cooperation,” the president was quoted as saying.The EU is at present consulting on ways to beef up trade defence mechanisms against state-owned enterprises and other companies receiving state aid – a move seen as targeting Chinese businesses.EU member states are also tackling the controversial issue of 5G security, with more countries deciding to bar China’s Huawei Technologies, although Germany has been a notable exception.During the discussion, Xi also told Merkel that Beijing wanted to conclude an investment agreement being negotiated with the EU this year.He said Chinese economic development would benefit Germany, the biggest EU investor in China.Merkel told Xi that China’s swift economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic was good news for German businesses, according to Xinhua.She congratulated China on signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 14 other Asia-Pacific countries, adding that she hoped to “put in more efforts” to conclude the investment deal between the EU and China.Merkel also said she hoped to strengthen cooperation with China on trade and investment and new energy vehicles such as electric cars.Germany’s desire to sell more new energy vehicles to China comes as its traditional carmakers have been seen as slow to adapt to the changing consumer preference for such cars in Europe.The conversation followed Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s call for the EU to keep charting is own course on Beijing during a phone call with Josep Borrell, his counterpart in Brussels, on Monday. Wang urged the EU to avoid a new cold war and economic decoupling during the discussion.Biden also approached the EU leadership on Monday. In their phone conversations with Biden, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed interest in rekindling a transatlantic alliance upset by US leader Donald Trump.More from South China Morning Post: * China reminds EU to chart its own course as European leaders reach out to Biden * China supports European push for ‘strategic autonomy’, Wang Yi says * China-EU investment talks: both sides upbeat in public but quiet doubts in Beijing about Biden effect * China loses its lustre among Europeans but doors remain open: surveyThis article Xi Jinping calls for Germany, Europe to ‘remain open to Chinese companies’ first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
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