After a chaotic year, national security legislation sets to right the wrongs in Hong Kong

After a chaotic year, national security legislation sets to right the wrongs in Hong Kong
Tam Yiu-chung (L), one of the organizers of the United Front Supporting National Security Legislation, hands the petition in support of the national security legislation for Hong Kong to Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in south China’s Hong Kong, June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Gang)Moving into an office in Admiralty, a sought-after location right at the center of Hong Kong’s most thriving business district, should have meant a career boost for Lucy Wu. Instead, it has made her a reluctant witness of violence and vandalism.Exactly one year ago on June 12, the businesswoman was discussing the design of their newly-rented office in a building when she saw a growing number of black-clad protesters surrounding the Legislative Council (LegCo) building across the street.As the situation evolved, rioters began to charge police cordon lines, set fires and use violent measures to repeatedly storm the LegCo complex.”That was the first time I had ever seen such crazy vandalism with my own eyes,” she said, adding that violence and vandalism continued to escalate in Hong Kong since then, even making daily commuting a difficult task and almost putting a halt to her company’s operation.Wu said she noticed that Hong Kong’s social order is “recovering somewhat” since the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, adopted a decision last month to institute Hong Kong national security laws. “I feel more and more Hong Kong residents are regaining confidence in Hong Kong’s future.”Organizers of the United Front Supporting National Security Legislation and guests attend a press conference in south China’s Hong Kong, June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)Nearly 2.93 million Hong Kong residents have signed a petition in support of the national security legislation for Hong Kong during an eight-day campaign starting from May 24.The large number of people signing the petition fully demonstrates that the national security legislation is an essential move that meets the aspirations of Hong Kong residents, Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) said while receiving the petition from organizers.Luo said the legislation will prevent, stop and punish acts and activities endangering national security, maintain Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability and better protect the legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong residents.Leung Fong-yuen, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Tourism Industry Employees General Union, is among those who felt the pains caused by the disturbances most acutely.”In the worst hit sectors such as tourism, retail, catering and hotels, many people are struggling with scarcely any hope for business in the coming year,” she said. “That’s why my colleagues and I fully support the national security legislation for Hong Kong.”Leung was one of the around 25,000 people who volunteered to collect public signatures for the petition at the more than 5,400 street stands set up across Hong Kong during the campaign.She recalled one day when she was appealing to passers-by, saying loudly that the violent incidents have resulted in a loss of 120 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 15.5 billion U.S. dollars) to Hong Kong’s services sectors. Hearing her words, many people came up to sign in support of the national security legislation.”It’s because it really hit a nerve for many people,” she said. 1 2 3 Next Page

Giant pandas to return to China from Canada two years earlier

Giant pandas to return to China from Canada two years earlier
Two giant pandas under a 10-year lease in Canada will return to China two years ahead of schedule as COVID-19 affects bamboo supplies to the zoo where the bears are staying.The pandas, Ershun and Damao, will return to China from the Calgary Zoo before its lease agreement with China expires. Fresh bamboo shoots from China cannot be delivered to the zoo as the coronavirus epidemic has reduced the number of international flights.”We have decided to end the cooperation after discussions with our Canadian partner,” said Zhang Zhihe, director of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.Zhang said they used to provide fresh bamboos to the zoo via flights, but the epidemic has made such delivery difficult.”The Canadian part has tried to find alternative bamboo shoots from other areas, but the pandas could not adapt,” Zhang said.Zhang said that the base looks forward to and has completed preparations for the return of the two pandas.The pandas arrived in Canada in March 2013. They were to stay in the Toronto Zoo and the Calgary Zoo under the agreement. In October 2015, Ershun gave birth to a pair of panda babies. Er Shun and Da Mao moved to the Calgary Zoo in 2018.

Flights resume between Wuhan, Beijing

Flights resume between Wuhan, Beijing
Commercial flights between Beijing and Wuhan, Hubei province, were set to resume after Beijing lowered its public health emergency status from the second-highest level to third level on Saturday.Wuhan’s transportation authority said China Southern Airlines would operate a daily round-trip flight starting on Tuesday.The flight was scheduled to depart at 4 pm in Wuhan and arrive at Beijing at 6:05 pm. It was to return to Wuhan an hour later.Starting on Saturday, people who return to Beijing from Hubei no longer require 14 days of quarantine.

More flights to resume, says regulator

More flights to resume, says regulator
Passengers of flight MU2527 of China Eastern airlines get off the plane at the Phoenix International Airport in Sanya, Hainan Province, on April 8, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)China’s top aviation regulator said on Wednesday that international flights with some qualified countries are expected to moderately increase in the coming days.Civil Aviation Administration of China spokesman Xiong Jie said at a news conference that the country has eased restrictions on international passenger flights recently, allowing a modest increase in flights from some countries under the conditions of controllable risks and adequate receiving capacities.”The administration is currently in negotiation with related countries on the adjustment of international passenger flights,” he said, adding that a moderate increase could be expected in the near future.The qualified countries include those having so far exported few COVID-19 cases to China while maintaining close economic and trade ties with China, as well as those meeting the remote prevention and control requirements to effectively reduce the risk of imported cases, he said.Countries with a large number of overseas Chinese nationals who have a strong demand to return, as well as countries that have established “fast tracks” with China to meet work and production resumption needs, are also qualified under the conditions, he added.So far, China has signed fast track agreements with Germany, South Korea and Singapore, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Xiong also noted that an important prerequisite for increasing international passenger flights is to resolutely contain the risk of imported coronavirus cases.As a result, the administration has a set of risk prevention and control measures, including the recent adoption of a “reward and circuit breaker mechanism” for the carriers to increase or suspend flights in light of their epidemic control work, he added.As an incentive, carriers will be allowed to increase the number of international flights to two per week on one route if the number of passengers who have a positive nucleic acid test on their flights stands at zero for three consecutive weeks, according to the administration.The airline must suspend the operation of the route for one week if the number of passengers who test positive for the novel coronavirus reaches five. If the number exceeds 10, the airline will suspend the flights for four weeks, it said.”For airlines that have effective prevention and control measures in place and meet the requirements, we will make good on this. For those that do not take adequate prevention and control measures and trigger the ‘circuit breaker’, we will take decisive action,” Xiong said.Some airlines have already taken measures in accordance with the administration’s requirements by rejecting passengers who have not taken a nucleic acid test for the novel coronavirus, he said.The administration will continue to resume international passenger flights in a safe and orderly manner under the conditions of controllable risks to further meet the needs of stranded Chinese people to return home and to ensure the stability of industrial and supply chains, he added.

Govt encourages poor to train in domestic services

Govt encourages poor to train in domestic services
Women attend a training program for baby care in Suichuan county, Jiangxi province, on May 28. LI JIANPING/FOR CHINA DAILYThe central government is encouraging poverty-stricken people to serve in the domestic services sector to consolidate the nation’s poverty alleviation work.Ten ministries and central departments including the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security as well as the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development jointly released a notice on Thursday to help channel more poor workers into the domestic services industry by improving job information platforms and giving preferential policies to the sector’s companies.According to the notice, the commerce ministry will organize companies to post job information on the ministry’s website and help connect job seekers and employers.More training courses on domestic services will be open to those from poverty-stricken areas. Companies are encouraged to join the government-initiated campaign on skills training, which offers free training courses for poor people.The government is emphasizing more quality training courses, which support industry associations and large-scale companies in domestic services to evaluate the workers by their skills and grant them certificates. These certificates will be uploaded to domestic services platforms and be open for queries from the public.The notice also said that more financial support will be given to small and medium-sized domestic services companies that didn’t reduce employees in previous months. The central government will financially support companies that organize their poor employees to join skills training programs.The government will also encourage financial agencies to offer unsecured loans to domestic services companies that have good credit and support people near the edge of poverty who are willing to start their own domestic services companies with microcredit.Gao Feng, spokesman of the commerce ministry, said at an online news conference on Thursday that the government is making efforts to improve domestic services-driven poverty alleviation work to help more poor workers find jobs in the sector.It is meant to get over the side effects brought by COVID-19 and secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, as well as winning the battle against poverty, he said.Previously, Wang Xing, a professor from Nankai University who focuses on social work and social policy, said in an interview with China Daily that the domestic services industry requires lower working skills and is much easier for people to enter.