Who could possibly forget the actress who played Chuck Bass's French girlfriend?
Who could possibly forget the actress who played Chuck Bass's French girlfriend?
An unmanned Chinese spacecraft landed on the Moon Tuesday, state media reported, the latest milestone in a mission to collect samples from the lunar surface.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of noon on Tuesday (1 December), taking the country’s total to 58,228.
Despite high legal costs and a Singapore court ruling against her in a defamation suit filed by a surgeon, Serene Tiong has no intention of giving up the fight.
Beijing on Tuesday welcomed home a 160-year-old bronze horse head statue to the Old Summer Palace from which it was stolen, a donation from Macau’s late casino king Stanley Ho Hung-sun.It is one of 12 bronze animal head sculptures representing the Chinese zodiac that were part of a fountain at the palace known as the Yuanmingyuan.The pieces were stolen from Beijing in 1860 when Anglo-French troops invaded China during the Second Opium War and left the site burned and reduced largely to rubble.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The Chinese state’s watchdog for cultural relics, the National Cultural Heritage Administration, said the horse head marked the first important piece of Yuanmingyuan’s missing relic to return to its home, according to state media. Six other pieces previously brought back to China are being exhibited in museums.Ho, the patriarch of Asia’s largest casino empire for half a century, bought the artefact for US$8.9 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong in 2007, displaying the horse head in the city and neighbouring Macau for more than a decade.Ho later donated the 160-year-old sculpture to the Chinese government in 2019, before the “King of Gambling” passed away on May 26 this year.The Chinese Communist Party has portrayed the stolen animal heads as symbols of the nation’s “century of humiliation,” which started in the mid-19th century and ended when the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949. Over that period, China was invaded by numerous colonial powers.On Tuesday, the National Cultural Heritage Administration and Beijing People‘s Government hosted a ceremony to celebrate the return of the looted artefact under the care of the Yuanmingyuan administration.Liu Yuzhu, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, was quoted by state media as saying the repatriation of the horse head represented “a successful example of the return of lost cultural relics in the new era.”Over the past two decades, wealthy collectors have been buying the looted antiques at art auctions and returned them. To date, including the bronze horse figure, seven of the 12 animal head sculptures had been returned to China.Ho also paid HK$6 million for the collection’s pig head in 2003, donating it to the Poly Art Museum in Beijing.The statues representing the Chinese zodiac signs of the dog, rooster, dragon, sheep and snake remain missing.The Post contacted the Ho family for comment.This article Bronze horse head, donated by late Stanley Ho, becomes first of zodiac collection returned to Beijing’s Old Summer Palace after theft in 1860s first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
China’s vice-minister of commerce has thrown his support behind Hong Kong joining the world‘s biggest free-trade deal to expand cooperation with other Asian countries amid the economic turmoil of Covid-19, with the city’s leader hoping to begin accession talks “at the earliest opportunity”.Hong Kong’s accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – a Beijing-led trade pact between 15 countries, seen as a counterweight to US influence in the region – was highlighted by high-ranking Chinese officials at the annual Belt and Road Summit, which was held virtually on Monday.Addressing the audience of business leaders, Chinese vice-minister of commerce, Wang Bingnan, said he endorsed Hong Kong’s “very important role” in advancing the country’s development, and called for its accession to the deal.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“We proactively support Hong Kong in joining RCEP as early as possible, so that Hong Kong can further enhance its international and regional collaboration, as well as expand its own network,” he said.Speaking at the same session, Xie Feng, Beijing’s top diplomat in Hong Kong, said that with mounting protectionism and unilateralism challenging globalisation, RCEP was evidence that differences in systems, values and stages of development were “not necessarily obstacles to win-win cooperation”.“We should not form small circles to keep others out, draw ideological lines, resort to a zero-sum mentality … and pass judgments on other countries’ internal affairs,” Xie told the summit. What is RCEP and what does an Indo-Pacific free-trade deal offer China?Now the world’s largest free-trade bloc, covering 2.2 billion people, the RCEP agreement encompasses 15 nations, including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The agreement also brings China, Japan and South Korea together in a trade pact for the first time, along with Five Eyes members Australia and New Zealand. Hong Kong, Taiwan and India were among the very few major Asian economies that were not signatories.Hong Kong’s business leaders and officials have expressed hopes of being among the first economies to join the pact once it opens its doors to new members, with city finance chief Paul Chan Mo-po saying last week that it would benefit the business hub’s trade in services and investment.Reiterating the government’s interest, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Monday praised the new agreement as a testament to multilateralism that would “inject fresh impetus to the global economic recovery” in the post-Covid-19 period. Can China, Japan and South Korea follow RCEP with their own free-trade deal?She also vowed that Hong Kong would help to uphold a rules-based multilateral trade system, which she characterised as “essentially important” during the pandemic.“Hong Kong is more than qualified to join the partnership … We are grateful for the clear support we received from some of the partnership member states,” she told the summit, which was co-organised by the government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.“We look forward to beginning discussions on Hong Kong’s accession to the partnership at the earliest opportunity.”A director of Asean’s secretariat, Anna Robeniol, head of market integration, had previously said that the bloc had no reason to stand in the way of Hong Kong joining the deal, pointing out that any separate customs territory could accede to the agreement 18 months after it comes into forceThe deal, signed on November 15, eliminates tariffs mainly for goods that already qualify for duty-free treatment under existing free trade agreements.This article Mainland Chinese commerce official backs Hong Kong joining RCEP trade bloc, with city leader Carrie Lam hoping to start talks ‘at earliest opportunity’ first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
China has doubled down on its criticism of Australia after refusing to remove a tweet featuring a digital illustration of an Australian soldier appearing to murder a child in Afghanistan and accusing the Australian government of using the row to divert attention from alleged “atrocities” by Australian soldiers.Both governments issued statements on Tuesday as the matter spilled from Twitter to other public forums and the Australian government used the Chinese social platform WeChat to address “the fake photo” but also praise aspects of the Australian-Chinese relationship.The Chinese foreign ministry refused to take down the controversial tweet by its spokesman, Zhao Lijian, despite demands on Monday by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the tweet be deleted and China apologise.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The tweet included an image targeting the behaviour of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan as revealed by a recent domestic war crimes inquiry. It depicted a grinning Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of a child, who in turn is holding a lamb. The child’s face is draped in the Australian flag and a pained expression is visible.Morrison called Zhao’s tweet containing the image “falsified”, “repugnant” and “utterly outrageous”.On Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in Canberra issued a statement accusing the Australian government of trying to deflect attention from alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and stoking nationalism.The embassy said it had received a phone call on Monday from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson, who had complained to Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye about Zhao’s tweet.“We would like to further stress the following: the rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but a misreading of, and overreaction to, Mr Zhao‘s tweet,” the official statement said.“The accusations made are simply to serve two purposes. One is to deflect public attention from the horrible atrocities by certain Australian soldiers. The other is to blame China for the worsening of bilateral ties. There may be another attempt to stoke domestic nationalism.” Australian soldiers face dismissal over report on war crimes in AfghanistanCanberra later released a statement in Chinese on the prime minister’s official account on WeChat, the most popular Chinese social media messaging system.The article, titled “A message from the Prime Minister”, was written in the first person in an apparent attempt to appeal to a Chinese audience. Morrison said he was proud of the Australian army and emphasised that the Australian government would handle problems revealed in the war crimes report in a “transparent and honest way”.Morrison was quoted praising China’s contribution towards Australia throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and said he was happy to welcome overseas Chinese students who arrived in Australia.“The post on the fake photo of the Australian soldier will not weaken people’s respect and praise towards the Australian-Chinese community, and it will not cripple our friendship with the Chinese people,” the statement said.Twitter has not taken down Zhao’s tweet despite Canberra’s calls, but said it had labelled it as “sensitive media”. By Tuesday afternoon, the tweet was pinned to the top of Zhao’s tweets.Twitter said Zhao’s account was labelled as a Chinese government account and already provided the public with context to “better inform their interpretation of its intent”.“For world leaders, politicians and official government accounts, direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy sabre-rattling on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules,” the statement said.China’s state media repeated the narrative from the Chinese foreign ministry and echoed the sentiment of Zhao’s original tweet.“What the Australian government should do now is to reflect deeply and bring the perpetrators to justice, make a formal apology to the Afghan people and solemnly promise the international community they will never commit this terrible crime again,” a People’s Daily commentary said.State tabloid Global Times published an interview with the illustrator, known as Wuheqilin, who said his image was inspired by the findings of an Australian war crimes inquiry published last month. The inquiry found evidence that 39 unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians were killed by 19 Australian soldiers.“Although the image is not a factual photo, it was created on the basis of facts and expressed as a metaphor,” Wuheqilin said. “I hope more people will see this image and pay attention to this tragedy that took place in reality.”Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern weighed in and said her government had also raised concerns with China about the image.“New Zealand has registered directly with Chinese authorities our concern over the use of that image,” Ardern told reporters in parliament in the capital, Wellington.“It was an unfactual post, and of course that would concern us. So that is something we have raised directly in the manner that New Zealand does when we have such concerns.”In a show of American backing for Australia, the US National Security Council ridiculed China’s recent decision to impose a 212 per cent tariff on Australian wine, which the Chinese government said was to stop domestic production from being damaged by cheap imports. Australia vows WTO action over China barley trade spat“Australian wine will be featured at a White House holiday reception this week. Pity vino lovers in China who, due to Beijing’s coercive tariffs on Aussie vintners, will miss out. AussieAussieAussieOiOiOi!,” the NSC tweeted on Tuesday.The Twitter dispute is the latest in an intense downward spiral of Sino-Australian relations. Recently, trade has been the focus of the tensions, with China taking a range of informal actions against Australian products, including coal, timber, cotton, beef and wine.But the Chinese foreign ministry said the latest dispute had nothing to do with the Sino-Australia relations.More from South China Morning Post: * China-Australia relations: PM Scott Morrison responds to Beijing’s list of 14 grievances * China says Australia-Japan defence pact should not threaten other countries’ interests * Australia establishes Afghanistan war crimes prosecutor after years of whistle-blower reportsThis article China doubles down on criticising Australia over Afghanistan first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
CareShield Life covers some long-term care costs, but not all. With comprehensive benefits and higher payouts, rest easy knowing that you’re sufficiently covered by these top-notch CareShield Life supplements. When misfortune strikes and you are faced with disability, the last thing you need is financial […]The post Best CareShield Life Supplement Plans In Singapore (2020) appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
A top professor of National University of Singapore was dismissed on Tuesday (1 December) for sexual misconduct against a student.
Wuhan native Liu Pei'en shut down his investment business and converted to Buddhism to try to make sense of his father's death last January from suspected Covid-19.
A former Hong Kong grocer has been sentenced to 16 months in jail for threatening to kill a stolen poodle if the owner did not pay a HK$40,000 ransom.Lau Tsz-kit, 24, told his blackmail victim that he would throw the nine-month-old dog into the sea or chop the animal up in the absence of swift payment, behaviour the magistrate called “despicable”.West Kowloon Court heard on Tuesday that Coffee the poodle was stolen from the 37-year-old owner’s shop in Sham Shui Po at about 1am on September 5.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The thief was said to be Lau’s accomplice, a man only identified as Ah Dai and still on the loose.Three days later, the owner received the grisly threats to kill the dog via Facebook messages from an unknown person, later found to be Lau.Police arrested the defendant outside his residence in Tin Shui Wai on September 11, when he was about to walk the poodle. Under caution, the former vegetable stall owner denied stealing the dog, but admitted sending the messages.Lau, who pleaded guilty to blackmail in court last month, claimed Ah Dai paid him HK$500 a month to take care of the poodle, later accepting his offer of HK$5,000 to extort money from the owner.In Tuesday’s mitigation, Lau’s lawyers said he committed the crime because he was in financial difficulty.They urged the court to pass a short prison sentence, saying the defendant was a “kind” person and had taken good care of the dog before his arrest. Fear grips pet owners after gruesome smuggling find on Hong Kong shoresBut Magistrate Jeffrey Sze Cho-yiu said Lau’s offence had undermined the sense of trust among neighbours in the district, adding he had put the poodle’s health at risk by keeping it in an unfamiliar environment.“A dog is a living being. Stealing a dog is a more serious offence than stealing personal property like mobile phones,” Sze said.“The present offence was calculated and planned. It definitely cannot be said to be an offence out of momentary greed.“The defendant took advantage of the owner’s love for the dog and committed the offence out of personal gain … It was a despicable act.”The magistrate further pointed out that Lau had two previous convictions, but did not learn his lesson after he was spared jail on both occasions.He set a starting point of two years imprisonment – the highest that can be passed at magistrate level – before shaving eight months off for Lau’s timely guilty plea.More from South China Morning Post: * Hongkonger arrested for animal cruelty denies he planned to eat dog * Hong Kong woman, 64, arrested over animal cruelty after video of her bungled bid to stop her dog from attacking another went viralThis article Hong Kong blackmailer jailed for threatening to slay dog if owner did not pay HK$40,000 ransom first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
A lack of combat experience and knowledge of modern warfare at the top are hampering the Chinese military’s modernisation drive and ability to confront growing security challenges at home and abroad, analysts said.The People’s Liberation Army, which has 2 million troops, had tried to learn from the US military in the past few decades, but experts said intrinsic faults and China’s political system were compounding problems with the modernisation push.Over the last four years, the PLA has embarked on an unprecedented overhaul to transform the bulky military into a more nimble modern fighting force.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The ruling Communist Party wants the PLA to be a modernised force by 2027 and a world-class military by 2050.But there are signs of some way to go in crucial joint operations, with the all-powerful Central Military Commission (CMC) issuing new training guidelines in early November.Details of the guidelines were not released but they are meant to foster integration between the various combat forces and the PLA’s advanced weapon systems.A military insider said that more than 70 per cent of the document was based on US military guidelines for joint operations.Beijing-based military expert Zhou Chenming said the guidelines were drafted because the coronavirus prevented the PLA from meeting its training targets this year and the military needed to catch up.Signs of those missed targets were apparent at an annual training review conference in Beijing on November 25, when President Xi Jinping – who is also chairman of the CMC – called on top military brass to make “comprehensive and overall improvements” to PLA training when highlighting the new and growing security challenges facing China. China’s long battle to build a better soldier for a modern fighting forceMilitary observers and an insider said a lack of real combat talent remained a serious barrier to meeting those challenges.“When you take a look at the uniformed members in the CMC, just one of them has combat experience. But his experience could be dated to four decades ago,” said a military insider, who requested anonymity, referring to General Li Zuocheng, chief of the PLA Joint Staff Department. Li cut his teeth in the skirmish between China and Vietnam in the late 1970s.Other generals in the CMC leadership, including political chief Miao Hua, training and administration department head Li Huohui and his predecessor Zheng He, took part in missile tests in the Taiwan Strait in 1995-96, the insider said.The insider said strategies had changed since then and commanders today needed to oversee much more sophisticated systems.“In that time, civilian vessels were used to transport missiles, weapons and other equipment,” the insider said.“Now the navy owns enough supplies ships and their top task is how to work together with the air force, rocket force and marines in joint operation training to make everyone combat-ready.”Hong Kong-based military observer Liang Guoliang said Xi had felt a “strong sense of crisis” when tensions between China and the US escalated in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.“As the commander-in-chief of the PLA, Xi hopes the top brass could be more responsible for making training strategies that could efficiently bring all PLA service branches and their five theatre commands together,” Liang said.In the past, the PLA’s branches and five theatre commands operated independently, with the key responsibility of training taken by grass-roots level commanders. But Xi wanted to let top military officials lead the training plan, Liang said.Zhou said the PLA had boosted soldiers’ education, with 30 per cent of troops completing university. But it was also a challenge to get senior members to get used to rapid technological development.“Many weapons and equipment familiar to the top brass have been eliminated amid the PLA’s modernisation in the past few decades, replaced with new generation weapons, like the J-20 stealth fighter jet, Y-20 heavy transport aircraft, as well as the aircraft carrier and amphibious landing dock, which should be part of joint operations,” Zhou said. Xi tells PLA to step up combat readiness as ministry defends budget riseThe escalating border confrontations between China and India has pushed the PLA to deploy new weapons since summer – such as the Y-20 large military transport plane which is capable of carrying tanks, the J-20 stealth aircraft and advanced main battle tanks – to the extreme Himalayas in readiness for conflicts and skirmishes.“But how to use those weapons in a modern warfare fight is still a new topic for PLA top commanders,” Zhou said.Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Tong said the PLA’s training doctrine had long been inspired by the former Soviet Union, or today’s Russian military, as well as the US forces, in which senior officers and top generals “have all been trained by actual combat”.“Many of today’s US military commanders have experienced several wars in the Middle East in recent years, while Russia also trained and cultivated a lot of military talents after [President Vladimir Putin] decided to invade Chechnya in 2000 and intervene in the Syrian civil war in 2011.”As the PLA has not been involved in real battles since the late 1980s when China and Vietnam resolved their border conflicts, Wong said it was challenging for top brass “to recapture the consciousness of modern warfare”.“Indeed, as a party military, the overemphasis of political background rather than talent is also a big problem for the future modernisation of the PLA,” Wong added.More from South China Morning Post: * China troops settle in for Himalayan winter with hotpot deliveries and oxygen on tap * As China’s military confidence grows, it’s now looking to ‘design’ how war is fought * China overhauls military education, modernising troops to be ready to fight * Why Taiwan may be a key factor in China’s military modernisation planThis article China military: ‘leaders’ lack of combat experience’ a drag on modernisation drive first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
The Online Citizen’s chief editor was accused on 1 December of being disingenuous about a phrase used in the article at the centre of a defamation suit.
Azerbaijan on Tuesday completed reclaiming territory held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter-century after a peace deal ended six weeks of fierce fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev hailed the restoration of control over the areas as a “historic victory” and a demonstration of his nation's “unbending spirit.” “We all lived with one dream, and now we fulfilled it," Aliyev said in an address to the nation.
A Turkish research ship at the centre of a row with Greece over potential gas riches in the eastern Mediterranean has returned to port, Turkey's energy ministry said Monday.
Petrol bombs were hurled at a Hong Kong police recreation club in the early hours of Tuesday, a rare attack on a police facility since Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law.
China’s broadly defined export control law came into effect on Tuesday, expanding Beijing’s arsenal of countermeasures to trade restrictions imposed by other countries.The law, first drafted in 2017 and approved in late October, bears resemblance to US Export Administration Regulations, including a list of controlled items like sensitive technology, military goods, dual-use items that have both civil and military uses, and a licence requirement for anyone who intends to export or re-export these goods.The regulation is widely viewed as a response to United States’ restrictions on Chinese technology firms like Huawei Technologies Co., which has seen access to American technology severed amid a growing tech war between the world’s two largest powers.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.“I see the Export Control Law as a milestone for China because this new law provides [it] with the first comprehensive regulatory framework for restricting exports of military and dual-use products and technology for national security and public policy reasons,” said Julien Chaisse, a law professor at City University of Hong KongVirtually all major economies already had similar laws and framework to regulate foreign export control practice in place, so China is filling a major gapJulien Chaisse“Virtually all major economies already had similar laws and framework to regulate foreign export control practice in place, so China is filling a major gap and catching up with what has been done in many other places.”The new law explicitly allows China to retaliate against a country that violates export controls and endangers national security, although the definition of abuse is not clearly defined. Deadline passes for US firms to cut Xinjiang goods from supply chainsChaisse said the regulation would allow Beijing to take “radical positions in terms of trade exports” as it was much broader than similar legislation in other countries.For instance, the government would be authorised to restrict exports to foreign companies deemed to threaten China’s national security or national interests, he said.What is the US-China trade war?It would also require exporters to apply for licenses for export transactions not covered by published control lists that might potentially harm China.Already, there appears to be discussion within China about using the law to retaliate against future US export restrictions.“The new law could pave the way for state-sanctioned export bans on rare earth metals, in what [analysts] described as a ‘no chips, no rare earths’ tactic, with reference to the US export control abuses against Chinese technology company Huawei Technologies Co.,” said a now-deleted article published by state-run tabloid the Global Times in late October, quoting several Chinese experts.While the control list is not yet available, the Ministry of Commerce published an expanded list of Chinese technologies restricted for export at the end of August. The updated list, which should give a clue on controlled items, added two dozen technologies, including lasers and drones, that need government approval for sale overseas.The new law also allows Beijing to impose temporary export controls on goods, services and technologies that are not on the official export control list for up to two years, providing the government with ample flexibility to impose restrictions.It is unclear whether Beijing will use US-style “long-arm jurisdiction” to penalise foreign companies that violate Chinese export controls by selling products that consist of restricted technology.A draft version of Beijing’s export control law published in 2017 contained something similar to long-arm jurisdiction, but was removed in the final version because of concerns over its negative impact on China’s role in the global supply chain.Importers and end users of controlled items also face greater scrutiny. An end use certification document issued by the destination country is a prerequisite to getting an export license.Companies or individuals that break the law could have illegal gains confiscated and be levied with fines of up to 20 times the value of transactions. Business licences could also be suspended and export permission revoked.More from South China Morning Post: * China to tap elderly population in bid to tackle looming demographic crisis, boost economy * Donald Trump’s mooted China sanctions to throw spanner in the works of C919 passenger jet plans, sources say * US-China tech war: battle over semiconductors, Taiwan stokes trade feud * China urged to flex long-arm jurisdiction to protect its companies from foreign hostility * US sanctions on China’s Huawei spell trouble for Shenzhen economyThis article China tightens export rules for sensitive tech, boosts power to retaliate against foreign sanctions first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.
Thai police charged five key leaders of the country's pro-democracy protest movement Monday under the kingdom's tough royal defamation laws, the first such use of the controversial legislation in two years.
It was his first contact with another elephant in eight years.
Looking for travel insurance? Save more with these promo codes and discounts from insurers such as FWD, MSIG, AXA, and more! To find out if your travel insurance covers COVID-19, read this article for the latest updates. No matter your travel itinerary, travel insurance is […]The post Travel Insurance Promotions and Discounts appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will not extend the city’s anti-bribery laws to cover her own chief executive position, reneging on a promise she made in her election manifesto three years ago.Lam said amending the law would affect her “constitutional role” in the political system, insisting Beijing – which the Post earlier reported was opposed to the change – would take any necessary actions were she to be involved in misconduct.“[The amendments] were far more complicated, and could end up with … very difficult situations for the chief executive to discharge his or her duties. That’s why, despite attempts being made, we could not overcome those difficulties,” she said ahead of her weekly meeting with her policy advisers on Tuesday.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.If there are other brighter ideas on how we could do this without violating the constitutional position of the chief executive, then [future administrations] could always look at the issue againHong Kong Chief Executive Carrie LamLam was referring to Sections 3 and 8 of the anti-bribery ordinance, which govern the conduct of ministers and civil servants, but exempt the chief executive.Calls to address the issue first emerged in 2012, when then chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen faced allegations of accepting bribes from a businessman. A special committee chaired by former chief justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang later recommended the law be revised to cover the city leader and require he or she to obtain permission before accepting advantages.Running for the top job in 2017, Lam vowed to revise the ordinance as suggested and to “resolve as soon as possible those constitutional and legal issues” necessary for an amendment. Following her victory that same year, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said in a reply to lawmakers that the government would “initiate the legislative procedure as early as possible”.But on Tuesday, Lam insisted that revising the provisions could affect her “constitutional role” in the city’s political system, saying the central government would take “appropriate actions” against any wrongdoings committed by a city leader.“If there are other brighter ideas on how we could do this without violating the constitutional position of the chief executive, then of course in the future administration, they could always look at the issue again,” she said, adding the revision would no longer be a priority in her remaining 1½ -year term.Hong Kong still needs mechanisms in place for monitoring. If we only rely on Beijing’s political decisions, that is not a healthy, well-established systemLam Cheuk-ting, former opposition lawmakerThe Post reported last year that Beijing officials found it unacceptable to amend laws in a way that would put the chief executive under the supervision of city ordinances.Former opposition lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting called the chief executive’s exclusion from monitoring under the anti-bribery ordinance a “so-called loophole”. Amending the law, he said, would put in place necessary checks and balances on the city’s leader.“The system of Hong Kong is very clear that no one is above the law. Right now, the chief executive is the only exception in the government not abiding by Section 3,” said Lam. The section noted criminalises the solicitation or acceptance of advantages by civil servants without the city leader’s permission, but does not cover those who occupy the top post. Hong Kong’s leader on protests, political turmoil and what’s next for the city“Of course, Beijing could terminate the chief executive’s service at any time, but Hong Kong still needs mechanisms in place for monitoring. If we only rely on Beijing’s political decision, that is not a healthy, well-established system,” he added.Separately, Carrie Lam on Tuesday said the government remained undecided about whether to require teachers and those working in government-subsidised organisations to swear allegiance to the city, alongside all the other civil servants now required to do so.“Hong Kong’s legislation, as far as public office, is pretty loose and wide, so we are still deliberating carefully on this issue,” she said.Considerations include whether employees’ positions are statutory, and if institutions are government-funded or public offices that discharge public power.In her annual policy blueprint unveiled last week, Lam said all civil servants would be required “in due course” to sign a declaration pledging to uphold the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution, a requirement already compulsory for those who joined the public service from July 1 this year.This article Carrie Lam drops plan to extend Hong Kong’s anti-bribery laws to chief executive post, says amendment could create ‘difficult situations’ for city leaders first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.