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Q: Raid in HK on Pro-Democracy leaders ...

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/beijing-arrests-hong-kong-media-t...

Beijing Arrests Hong Kong Media Tycoon & 14 Activists In Sweeping Pro-Democracy Crackdown

We've been watching Hong Kong closely these past few weeks to see if Beijing, having mostly reopened the mainland economy, relieving the pressure for the first time in months, would turn its attention back to its top priority pre-corona: Crushing an insurgent pro-democracy movement in the Special Administrative Region.

Early on Saturday morning in Hong Kong, HK police arrested 15 pro-democracy movement activists, including a high-profile tycoon who was one of the few members of the HK business community to vehemently back the protest movement, according to the SCMP.

The targets included Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, and 14 other supporters. The pretext for the arrest was their involvement in last year's protests.

 

Jimmy Lai

Even if the name isn't widely known in the US, Lai is a major figure in the leaderless and mostly amorphous Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. He has been targeted before, including an attack on his home carried out last fall by thugs likely backed by the Communist Party.

The sweeping crackdown comes more than six months after the last major pro-democracy demonstration in the city, though some protesters took to the streets during the early weeks of the corona outbreak to demand that borders be closed and other heavy handed measures be taken by the city government to prevent a re-run of the SARS outbreak, which killed more than 300 in HK. That movement, of course, was first set in motion last spring in response to an extradition bill being expedited by the government that would have made Hong Kongers subject to prosecution (and, they feared, persecution) in mainland Communist Party-controlled courts.

Details provided by SCMP claimed that police tried to arrest Lai n the middle of the night, but were forced to wait until he returned home (American cops could definitely show their colleagues in Hong Kong a thing or two about how to pull off a 'tactical GPS takedown').

The arrest were reportedly sanctioned by Hong Kong Chief Executive and Beijing puppet Carrie Lam.

 

Officers earlier showed up at the home of the Apple Daily founder, but he was not in at the time. He returned in the afternoon and was arrested at 2.50pm. He was accused of organising and participating in unlawful marches on August 18 and October 1 from Causeway Bay to Chater Road in Central.

Police also entered and searched his place under a warrant.

Others arrested included former lawmakers Martin Lee Chu-ming, Albert Ho Chun-yan, Lee Cheuk-yan, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Au Nok-hin, according to legal sources.

Several former lawmakers were also detained and arrested (Beijing has already pushed out many of the most progressive pro-democracy hardliners from the HK legislature), including those named by the SCMP below:

Also held were former lawmakers Yeung Sum, Sin Chung-kai, Cyd Ho Sau-lan, and activists Raphael Wong Ho-ming, Figo-Chan Ho-wun and Avery Ng Man-yuen.

They were detained over organising and joining unlawful assemblies on August 18, October 1 or October 20 last year. The suspects were taken to several police stations.

Martin Lee was taken to Central Police Station in Sheung Wan, while Leung Kwok-hung was sent to Ngau Tau Kok Police Station.

Police also showed up at the home of former legal sector lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee. She later reported to Central Police Station and was arrested there. She was involved in the August 18 rally.

Several of those arrested were charged with additional crimes - that is, appearing at more rallies than the demonstrations cited above, according to a police superintendent. Lam added that the operations are "still ongoing" and that more arrests might follow. The arrested will be arraigned in a Hong Kong court on May 18.

 

Of course, this crackdown will be seen as nothing less than a brutal outrage and a betrayal by most democracy-minded Hong Kongers (the vast majority of the population). By arresting Lai and targeting other well-known figures in the movement, authorities almost seem like they're trying to bait Hong Kongers into returning to the streets.

Perhaps that's their strategy: If anybody tries to march this time, police can resort to brutally suppressive tactics in the name of safeguarding public health. However, we can't help but notice that it almost seems like Beijing is trying to trigger a return to the massive rallies of last summer.

But why is Beijing even willing to risk the possibility that thousands - potentially hundreds of thousands - of Hong Kongers might react by crowding into the streets in the middle of a resurgence of the virus? Recent reports from Hong Kong suggest the economy is already reopening, and locals are growing more comfortable being back out in the street.

Why did Beijing pick now to rock the boat, and prosecute individuals for crimes that roughly one-third of HK's population engaged in at one time or another?

     

    38 weeks 6 days ago in  Health & Safety - China

     
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    Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Lawmakers Quit En Masse After Beijing Moves To Stamp Out Last Bastion Of Political Dissent

    Just like that, Hong Kong's last remaining bastion of political dissent has been crushed by a swift stomp of the CCP jackboot.

     

    NOV 11, 2020 6:22 AM

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    Rabobank's assessment: USA vs. China - Game Over angel

     

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/rabobank-game-over-man-game-over

     

    Moreover, we argued “we can expect a further significant deterioration in US-China relations.” This looks to be arriving – and yet it is not an area where the market seems willing to play fast-forward…for the moment.

     

    For example, from the US side President Trump openly says he is “not happy” with China and is threatening unspecified “consequences” if evidence emerges that Beijing was complicit in allowing COVID-19 to spread internationally. Even meeker voices such as the UK and Australia are demanding transparency on this front – and bolder ones, like the Henry Jackson Society, have posited that China could be liable for USD trillions in damages. Indeed, as we enter the 2020 US election run-up we also have Trump dubbing his likely Democratic challenger as “Beijing Biden”, while Biden is attacking Trump as having been duped by China’s leaders in allowing COVID-19 to spread. None of this bodes well for future US-China relations – or what parts of the “Phase One Trade Deal” will remain once the dust settles.

    Meanwhile, from the Chinese side we have seen aggressive “Wolf Warrior” rhetoric from Chinese diplomats, which has ruffled feathers globally. There have been widespread reports of discriminatory actions targeting foreigners in China, who are now seen as potential virus carriers: this has led to official protests from some African states, for example. Moreover, last week saw a slew of actions in Hong Kong, which has obviously slipped from global focus this year compared to last.

    First, China’s liaison office (the de facto embassy) accused opposition law-makers of “malicious filibustering”, suggesting they should be dismissed from office for breach of oath; Reuters reported three anonymous senior judges had told them that judicial independence and rule of law are under threat from Beijing interference – a claim rebutted by Hong Kong and Chinese officials; the liaison office then openly lobbied for the rapid passage of new national security legislation to “prevent foreign interference” and prohibit “treason, secession, sedition, and subversion” against Beijing, which Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam partly echoed; the same office then announced it is not bound by Article 22 of the Basic Law, which states mainland agencies cannot interfere with Hong Kong’s autonomy – again Lam demurred; and this weekend saw the arrest of 15 high-profile pro-democracy politicians, advocates, and activists in Hong Kong for partaking in illegal protests last year. This last step has drawn international condemnation and recent developments have worrying potential implications for the annual review the US undertakes on Hong Kong’s autonomous status. (And, again, Biden is attacking Trump for being too soft on China in this area.)

     One other recent action in China also speaks volumes. Taiwanese media reports that China is to ban online gamers from interacting with foreigners. (Note this is a massive industry where China is the world’s largest single market). What is a vast informal channel of communication between China and the outside world is apparently to be severed. Moreover, the report also claims that online games will be monitored at all times and can no longer contain plagues, zombies, map-editing, role-playing, or any in-game group organizations, clans, or unions. Does this all speak to far larger Great Game playing out?

     

    Of course, one can easily be distracted when China slashes its benchmark lending rate 20bp from 4.05% to 3.85% (for 1-year loans), which underlines that it is not recovering as well as it wishes to project, and yet is still far, far less stimulus than we are seeing elsewhere. Equally, one can be dragged aside by reports that the ECB is pushing for the establishment of a ‘bad bank’ in the Eurozone to suck up non-performing loans – which Brussels apparently does not want to see. Let’s also not forget chatter that the US might have to start using yield curve control policies to keep T-bill yields where they want them to be as issuance soars – which would be a further nail in the coffin for capital markets as actual markets rather than political liquidity channels, something we have long suggested would be logically congruent to MMT. Naturally we should also not overlook that West Texas Intermediate oil dipped below USD15 per barrel on Monday morning, a 21-year low.

    However, if we really are seeing 'game over' for US-China relations post-COVID then at some point markets are going to go into fast-forward again... and this time they can’t bully the Fed into cutting rates to zero because we are already there.

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    38 weeks 6 days ago
     
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    it's convinient to do this now. I certainly am not watching anything but Covid news

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    38 weeks 5 days ago
     
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    Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Lawmakers Quit En Masse After Beijing Moves To Stamp Out Last Bastion Of Political Dissent

    Just like that, Hong Kong's last remaining bastion of political dissent has been crushed by a swift stomp of the CCP jackboot.

     

    NOV 11, 2020 6:22 AM

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    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/hong-kong-activists-joshua-wong-a...

     

    Hong Kong Activists Joshua Wong & Agnes Chow Jailed For Defying Beijing

    Wed, 12/02/2020 - 07:02

     

    Wong on Wednesday was sentenced to 13.5 months in jail, while Chow was given 10 months.

     

    In the latest act of repression from the Hong Kong government, which recently presided over the expulsion of pro-democracy 'opposition' lawmakers from its Legislative Council, activists Agnes Chow and Joshua Wong have been sentenced to prison time for their roles in the 2019 pro-democracy movement.

    Wong on Wednesday was sentenced to 13.5 months in jail, while Chow was given 10 months. The former student leaders, along with another activist named Ivan Lam, who also received a short prison sentenced, pleaded guilty last week to charges related to a protest on June 21, 2019, just one of dozens of chaotic street protests/skirmishes between demonstrators and the HK Police.

    They stood accused of organizing, taking part in and inciting others to participate in an unauthorized assembly. They had faced maximum sentences of five years.

    Wong also faced other protest-related charges tied to "unauthorized" assemblies in October 2019 and on June 4, 2020, when Hong Kongers gathered to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre, officially known in China as "the June 4th incident".

    Chow is also accused of inciting secession, a charge under the new national security law, which could lead to her extradition to mainland China to face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

    The 23-year-old who turns 24 on Thursday told friends visiting the detention center that she was "prepared" to go to prison for the first time, although she was "a bit worried" and disappointed she wouldn't get to celebrate her birthday with family.

    Before a hearing on Monday, Wong, who first came to international prominence for his role in the 2014 Umbrella movement demanding universal suffrage in the city-state, vowed to continue his activism despite the "political suppression" he faced under Hong Kong authorities, and the Beijing-imposed 'national security' law that was effectively bolted on to Hong Kong's constitution (known as the "Basic Law") by the CCP earlier this year.

    For Wong, this will be his third jail term in 4 years.

    "I want to be frank that, in the face of uncertainties, I just feel uneasy and anxious," Wong wrote in an open letter penned during his detention. "However, as I said when I stepped into the dock in the courtroom, 'Hang in everyone, I know the situation that the people outside face will be more difficult. Keep fighting.'"

    Wong also called attention to the plight of 12 Hong Kong activists who were arrested this past summer and detained in mainland China after attempting to flee to Taiwan by boat.

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    Former Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui says his bank accounts frozen 

    Former Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui said on Sunday his local bank accounts appeared to have been frozen after fled to Britain with his family to continue his pro-democracy activities.

    DECEMBER 6, 2020 8:20AM EST

     

    Hui told Reuters via social media WhatsApp that bank accounts belonging to him, his wife and his parents at Bank of China Hong Kong, HSBC and Hang Seng Bank were frozen. He gave no further details.

     

    Democracy activists say conditions have worsened in the former British colony after China imposed security legislation on the financial hub in June, making anything Beijing regards as subversion, secession, terrorism or colluding with foreign forces punishable by up to life in prison.

     

    China, which promises Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, denies curbing rights and freedoms, but authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing have moved swiftly to quash dissent after anti-government protests erupted last year and engulfed the city.

     

    Local media reported that at least five accounts worth hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars belonging to Hui and his family had been inaccessible since Saturday.

     

    Hui contacted the banks and was told there were “remarks” placed on his accounts, but the staff refused to provide further information, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported.

     

    “We do not comment on the details of individual accounts,” a Hang Seng Bank spokesman told Reuters by email. HSBC and Bank of China did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

     

    Hong Kong police said late on Sunday that they were investigating a Hong Kong person, who had absconded overseas with bank accounts being frozen, for suspected money laundering and possible violation of the new national security law.

    It was not immediately clear who police were referring to.

     

    Hui said on Thursday he had fled Hong Kong after facing criminal charges and would seek exile in Britain.

     

    One of the pro-democracy activists arrested last month and charged with disturbing legislature proceedings, Hui arrived in Copenhagen last week on an invitation from Danish lawmakers.

     

    Hong Kong’s Security Bureau issued a statement on Friday that, while not naming Hui, said “running away by jumping bail and using various excuses such as so-called ‘exile’ to avoid one’s responsibility is a shameful, hypocritical and cowardly act of recoil”.

     

    Hui was one of several opposition lawmakers who quit Hong Kong’s Legislative Council last month in protest at the dismissal of four colleagues in what they called another push by Beijing to suppress democracy in the city.

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    Hong Kong Arrests 8 More Pro-Democracy Activists As Opposition Crackdown Intensifies

    Beijing has made it clear: Hong Kong is no longer safe for those who assiduously supported the pro-democracy movement.

     

    Tue, 12/08/2020 - 10:29

     

    As Britain processes hundreds of visa applications for Hong Kongers seeking to flee the territory now that Beijing has extinguished its Democratic freedoms, local police on Tuesday continued their roundup of top opposition officials after sentencing two former student activists to brief prison terms and denying bail to one of the island's most visible media moguls.

    Hong Kong police arrested eight more activists on Tuesday over an anti-government protest in July, the latest move by authorities in a relentless crackdown on opposition forces in the Chinese-ruled city. Meanwhile, at least one former opposition lawmaker from Hong Kong's LegCo - all 19 opposition lawmakers quit en masse last month - has fled to Europe and been granted asylum in the UK, a move that will likely infuriate Beijing.

    Perhaps in an attempt to prevent anybody else from running off, Beijing is rounding up and arresting activists left and right. On Tuesday morning in Hong Kong, it was reported that police had arrested another 8 activities between the ages of 24 and 64. One day earlier, police arrested 8 activists said to be between the ages of 16 and 36. None of their names were released.

    The latest activists were charged with participating in a skirmish with police on July 1, the anniversary of the colony's handover to China from the UK. More than 300 people were arrested during the demonstration. Participants were protesting the new national security law, which had just been approved by top CCP leaders in Beijing and signed by President Xi.

    Here's more from Reuters:

    Hong Kong police arrested eight more activists on Tuesday over an anti-government protest in July, the latest move by authorities in a relentless crackdown on opposition forces in the Chinese-ruled city.

    The police did not identify the people, saying only that they were aged between 24 and 64. Local media said former pro-democracy lawmaker and veteran activist Leung Kwok-hung, known as Long Hair, was among those arrested.

    The move comes a day after eight people aged between 16 and 34 were arrested, including three on suspicion of violating a sweeping national security law, over a brief demonstration at a university campus last month.

    Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse protesters on July 1, the anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese rule, as thousands demonstrated despite a police ban on the annual protest.

    In an attempt to discourage Beijing from robbing Hong Kongers of their democratic feedoms and closing a long time "gateway to the West", the Trump Administration slapped new sanctions and travel restrictions on 14 CCP officials believed to be responsible. The Trump Administration also recently stopped issuing visas longer than 1 month for any known members of the CCP trying to visit the US.

    Still, Beijing is doing a pretty good job of making it clear that Hong Kong is no longer safe for those who assiduously supported the pro-democracy movement.

     

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    China Arrests US Lawyer During "Massive Crackdown" In Hong Kong

     

    China's unrestrained aggression, using the National Security Law pretext to crack down on anyone, just crossed a thick red line when Hong Kong Police arrested a US Citizen.

    WED JAN 6, AT 5:18 AM

     

    Update 11:00pm ETIn what would be a shocking development, Bloomberg reports that during its "massive crackdown" purging countless local activists and politicians, the Hong Kong police - i.e. China - has arrested American Lawyer, John Clancey, using as a pretext the National Security Law, which everyone warned China would use as strawman to crack down on Hong Kong citizens and activists. Well, it now appears that the emboldened Beijing - which is delighted by the ascent of pro-China pushover Joe Biden to the White House  - is also using that law to arrest American citizens.

    • H.K. ARRESTS AMERICAN LAWYER JOHN CLANCEY, COLLEAGUE SAYS
    • CLANCEY ARRESTED UNDER NATIONAL SECURITY LAW: COLLEAGUE

    In response, Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent out a harshly worded tweet, warning China that the "Biden-Harris administration will stand with the people of Hong Kong and against Beijing’s crackdown on democracy."

    The sweeping arrests of pro-democracy demonstrators are an assault on those bravely advocating for universal rights. The Biden-Harris administration will stand with the people of Hong Kong and against Beijing’s crackdown on democracy. https://t.co/nSj8dr3OEg

    — Antony Blinken (@ABlinken) January 6, 2021

    We eagerly await to see just what the Blinken Biden administration will do, besides tweeting angrily in China's general direction, to secure release of an American citizen unjustly arrested by Chinese proxies in Hong Kong.

    *  *  *

    Earlier: "Massive Crackdown": Hong Kong Police Arrest Dozens Of Politicians & Activists

    2021 is less than a week old and already Beijing is ramping up its efforts to suppress what's left of the pro-democracy opposition in Hong Kong. Right now, China hawks are preoccupied right now by a number of issues: the disappearance of Jack Ma (note: CNBC claims the Alibaba founder is just "laying low"), Beijing's refusal to allow international investigators inside the Wuhan Institue of Virology and, finally, the CCP's abusive treatment of China's Uyghur Muslim minority.

    Now, less than two months after the last 19 members of the HK LegCo's pro-democracy opposition quit en masse over Beijing's demands that they swear a loyalty oath to uphold the new national security law and the supremacy of the CCP, Hong Kong police have rounded up dozens of pro-democracy activists. The arrests - described by western journalists as a "massive crackdown" - essentially confirm what many feared: all pro-democracy activists who haven't escaped Hong Kong will likely face arrest and imprisonment.

    According to various media reports, police are rounding up dozens of pro-democracy politicians and activists.

    Massive crackdown underway in Hong Kong.

    — Jillian Kay Melchior (@JillianKayM) January 6, 2021

    With at least two student leaders - including Joshua Wong - already heading to prison, Wednesday's arrests mark the biggest crackdown under the new national security law, according to the NYT, one former opposition lawmaker was participating in a live video chat when he got the knock at the door.

    A twitter account run by Wong's supporters claimed that his house was raided during the sweep with the arrests.

    #BREAKING Police also raided Joshua’s home for allegedly violating the national security law this morning as he took part in the primary election last year. 50+ democratic activists were arrested.

    — Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 ???? (@joshuawongcf) January 6, 2021

    Another six former LegCo members were among those who were arrested.

    The alleged offenses also underscored government officials’ efforts to weaken any meaningful opposition in the city’s political institutions. Among those arrested were at least six former Legislative Council members, a number of district councilors — a hyperlocal elected position dominated by pro-democracy figures — and several activists. They included figures who had called for aggressive confrontation with the authorities and those who had supported more moderate tactics.

    According to social media pages belonging to some of those arrested, the activists were accused of trying to "subvert state power". The charges were tied to their participation in the informal LegCo vote held over the summer.

    An informal primary election for the LegCo held in July delivered an uncomfortably large margin of victory to the pro-Democracy candidates. It's widely believed this vote deeply bothered Beijing, possibly prompting it to accelerate its crackdown on HK, which once functioned as a that once functioned as an autonomous city state. With its political independence now in tatters, any pro-democracy activists who haven't already left the city will probably be on the next train or plane out - unless they're detained first.

    But an even bigger question: With Beijing's crackdowns growing increasingly brazen, how will American institutions like the NBA continue to justify doing business in China?

     *HONG KONG EX-LAWMAKERS ARRESTED UNDER NATIONAL SECURITY LAW

     

    Beijing will have to double its payments to the NBA to keep this under wraps

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    A: Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were loo
    A:Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were looking for a church wedding. Chinese weddings are pretty grim IMO - you go to a barren govt dept with souless officials and navigate red tape so some guy can give you a red stamp and a marriage book. You get expensive pictures taken of you both posing in places you'd never go to in everyday life that is somehow supposed to represent your wedding, then a while later it's off to a restaurant where a game show host kind of guy makes sure it's as tacky as possible while the guests eat as fast as they can so they can leave as soon as they finish eating and gave you money. Hell, I'd go to Thailand or the Philippines and get married in Paradise.   -- Stiggs