China decries travel, visa restrictions in global fight against novel coronavirus

UNTV News   •   February 4, 2020   •   440

China on Monday (February 3) denounced at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting measures by “some countries” that have denied entry to people holding passports issued in Hubei province — the center of the new coronavirus outbreak — and to deny visas and cancel flights.

“All these measures are seriously against recommendation by the WHO,” said Li Song, who is China’s ambassador for disarmament at the United Nations in Geneva, during a WHO Executive Board meeting.

China’s regular Executive Board representative was unable to attend after her flight from Beijing was cancelled, Chinese diplomats told reporters on Friday (January 31).

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier on Monday there was no need for measures that “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade” in trying to halt the spread of a coronavirus that has killed 361 people in China.

China is facing increasing international isolation due to restrictions on flights to and from the country, and bans on travellers from China.

U.S. ambassador Andrew Bremberg said that the outbreak in two dozen countries required focused attention.

“We express our support, prayers, sympathy, and appreciation to the people of China and especially the health responders on the front lines, who are protecting not only their communities, but the world,” Bremberg said.

There have been 17,238 confirmed infections in China including 361 deaths, as well as 151 confirmed cases in 23 countries and 1 death which was reported from the Philippines on Sunday, Tedros said. (Reuters)

(Production: Marina Depetris, Ardee Napolitano)

China warns of consequences if UK offers residency to HK citizens

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (July 2) that Britain would bear all consequences for any move it took to offer Hong Kong citizens a path to settlement in the UK.

China reserved the right to act against Britain over the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing, without specifying what countermeasures Beijing might take.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and that Britain would offer around 3 million residents of the former colony a path to British citizenship. (Reuters)

(Production: Joseph Campbell, Wang Shubing)

UK says China’s security law is “clear violation” of Hong Kong treaty

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

The United Kingdom said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and called on the People’s Republic to honor its international obligations.

“We have very carefully now assessed the contents of this national security legislation since it was published last night,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters and the BBC.

“It constitutes a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people, and therefore I’m afraid to say it is a clear and serious violation of the Joint Declaration treaty between the United Kingdom and China.”

Raab said he would set out shortly the action Britain would take with its international partners.

Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule – imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War. (Reuters)

(Production: Will Russell, Hanna Rantala, Polly Rider)

Hong Kong marks handover anniversary as national security law takes effect

UNTV News   •   July 1, 2020

Hong Kong on Wednesday (July 1) held a flag-raising ceremony followed by a speech by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to mark the 23rd anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese rule, hours after new national security legislation took effect in the financial hub.

“The enactment of the national law is regarded as the most significant development in the relationship between the Central Authorities and the HKSAR since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland”, the city’s embattled leader said the law was the most important development since the city’s return to Beijing in 1997.

Flanked by current and previous government officials, Lam also said the new law would only affect a small group of people in the Asian financial capital.

There was a heavy presence of law enforcement across the city as the ceremony was underway.

The contentious law will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, heralding a more authoritarian era for China’s freest city.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests. (Reuters)

(Production: Aleksander Solum)

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