South Korea is scrapping a security deal with Japan — here’s why it matters

South Korea on Thursday said it will scrap an intelligence sharing agreement with Japan, creating possibly serious consequences for the effective monitoring of North Korea. Recent trade friction between the two Asian powerhouses has morphed into a dispute with political implications that go far beyond the region. One day after the Japanese and Korean foreign ministers met in China to discuss trade and national security, Seoul announced that it isn’t in its “national interests” to maintain the in


South Korea on Thursday said it will scrap an intelligence sharing agreement with Japan, creating possibly serious consequences for the effective monitoring of North Korea. Recent trade friction between the two Asian powerhouses has morphed into a dispute with political implications that go far beyond the region. One day after the Japanese and Korean foreign ministers met in China to discuss trade and national security, Seoul announced that it isn’t in its “national interests” to maintain the in
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South Korea is scrapping a security deal with Japan — here's why it matters

South Korea on Thursday said it will scrap an intelligence sharing agreement with Japan, creating possibly serious consequences for the effective monitoring of North Korea.

Recent trade friction between the two Asian powerhouses has morphed into a dispute with political implications that go far beyond the region. One day after the Japanese and Korean foreign ministers met in China to discuss trade and national security, Seoul announced that it isn’t in its “national interests” to maintain the intelligence pact.

Both the United States and China have stepped in to mediate.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the two countries to work out their differences on Thursday, saying “there is no doubt that the shared interests of Japan and South Korea are important, and they’re important to the United States of America. “


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-23  Authors: grace shao
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Cathay’s ‘unusual position’ makes it ‘vulnerable to pressure’ from Beijing, analyst says

Rupert Hogg, chief executive officer of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., attends a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Mar. The company was recently caught in the Hong Kong protests, where staff reportedly took part in the pro-democracy rallies that have enraged Beijing. Innes-Ker said “companies may find that their employees’ activism turns into a political risk in mainland China, if this campaigning becomes associated with the firm’s brand.” “There are a lot of things within China t


Rupert Hogg, chief executive officer of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., attends a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Mar. The company was recently caught in the Hong Kong protests, where staff reportedly took part in the pro-democracy rallies that have enraged Beijing. Innes-Ker said “companies may find that their employees’ activism turns into a political risk in mainland China, if this campaigning becomes associated with the firm’s brand.” “There are a lot of things within China t
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Cathay's 'unusual position' makes it 'vulnerable to pressure' from Beijing, analyst says

Rupert Hogg, chief executive officer of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., attends a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019. The airline announced Hogg’s resignation on Mar.16. Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Cathay Pacific’s CEO Rupert Hogg officially stepped down on Monday amid what the company called “challenging weeks for the airline.” The company was recently caught in the Hong Kong protests, where staff reportedly took part in the pro-democracy rallies that have enraged Beijing. Hogg’s sudden resignation was announced days after China’s Civil Aviation Administration issued a “major aviation safety risk warning” to the airline. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has seen more than 11 weeks of protests over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed people in the territory to be sent to the mainland for trial.

Most firms in Hong Kong that engage in business with mainland China know that there is always a degree of political risk that needs to be navigated. Duncan Innes-Ker The Economist Intelligence Unit

In a statement released Friday, the company said it remains fully committed to Hong Kong under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” — which allows the territory a certain degree of legal and economic autonomy.

Cathay’s close China links

Two of the airline’s largest shareholders are Swire Group — a Hong Kong and London-based diversified conglomerate that owns 45% of the airline — and Air China, a Chinese state-owned air carrier group which owns 22.65% of Cathay, according to data provided by Refinitiv. Hogg’s sudden resignation is a special case on its own, said Duncan Innes-Ker, regional director for Asia at The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Cathay is in a slightly unusual position in that a large Chinese (state-owned enterprise) has a significant stake in its share ownership,” Innes-Ker said. “Companies that have an SOE as an equity partner are likely to be especially vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese authorities. Cathay’s China routes are also crucial to its business model and future growth, so this makes it doubly susceptible,” he told CNBC. He explained that “most firms in Hong Kong that engage in business with mainland China know that there is always a degree of political risk that needs to be navigated.”

Innes-Ker said “companies may find that their employees’ activism turns into a political risk in mainland China, if this campaigning becomes associated with the firm’s brand.” Just over a week ago, the airline said employees who “support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overly radical behaviour” would be barred from crewing flights to mainland China. The airline also fired two pilots over their involvement in the protests.

External pressure from Beijing

Since the former British colony was handed over to Beijing in 1997, China has very much recognized it needs Hong Kong, David Dodwell, executive director at HK-APEC Trade Policy Group told CNBC in early August. That was especially true when China was still opening up to the rest of the world, he said at that time. “There are a lot of things within China that can’t be done in China, and Hong Kong is indispensable for that,” Dodwell said. The city is not just a financial capital but also an important “headquarter capital, ” he added, explaining that many Chinese and foreign companies use Hong Kong as their headquarters because of the array of services the city offers.

Protesters take part in a rally against extradition bill on July 1, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Billy H.C. Kwok | Getty Images


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Hong Kong protests will be ‘settled or crushed’ ahead of China national celebrations, analyst says

The months-long protests in Hong Kong could come to an end soon, according to strategist David Roche, who said they will “be settled or crushed” before October 1 — the 70th anniversary of China’s National Day. The way China responds to the situation in the city is crucial in determining how markets and U.S.-China trade talks will be affected, he told CNBC on Friday. In fact, the politics go hand in hand with the Chinese economy, Roche said. “I don’t accept this will be a small scale problem in a


The months-long protests in Hong Kong could come to an end soon, according to strategist David Roche, who said they will “be settled or crushed” before October 1 — the 70th anniversary of China’s National Day. The way China responds to the situation in the city is crucial in determining how markets and U.S.-China trade talks will be affected, he told CNBC on Friday. In fact, the politics go hand in hand with the Chinese economy, Roche said. “I don’t accept this will be a small scale problem in a
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Hong Kong protests will be 'settled or crushed' ahead of China national celebrations, analyst says

The months-long protests in Hong Kong could come to an end soon, according to strategist David Roche, who said they will “be settled or crushed” before October 1 — the 70th anniversary of China’s National Day.

The way China responds to the situation in the city is crucial in determining how markets and U.S.-China trade talks will be affected, he told CNBC on Friday.

In fact, the politics go hand in hand with the Chinese economy, Roche said.

“I don’t accept this will be a small scale problem in a larger China economy. The reason I don’t is because I believe any intervention (from Beijing) to Hong Kong will be immediately, umbilically, linked to what happens to trade talks and international relations globally,” said Roche, who is president at research and investment consulting firm Independent Strategy.

Roche said “Beijing has to weigh in on two things: the political and economic cause.”


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Social media has become a battleground in Hong Kong’s protests

Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management Univer


Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management Univer
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Social media has become a battleground in Hong Kong's protests

Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. But this time around, the protesters are using social media in a way demonstrating a heightened awareness of cybersecurity and an increased understanding of how to effectively communicate with the medium.

Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Media experts said such tech has played a significant role in the documentation, organization, and assembly of the large-scale demonstrations.

Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management University. She told CNBC that social media has played a “more apparent” role in the 2019 protests than ever before.

Just as in the 2014 “Umbrella Movement,” social media is being used by protesters to conceal identities, spread information, mobilize demonstrators and avoid detainment — but it’s now gone beyond that, according to Loh

“I think that what has changed now is that social media is used to win the hearts and minds of the people. Both sides are using images of police brutality and/or protester brutality to further their own agendas,” she said.

The ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong — a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 — started as peaceful rallies against a single proposed law. They’ve since snowballed into a wider pro-democracy movement, with some even demanding full autonomy from Beijing and occasional outbreaks of violence and disruptions to the city’s operations.

Protesters have circulated images of a female protester that was injured in the eye by members of the police force, and videos of police brutality have been spread to galvanize demonstrators, explained Loh. But, in the meantime, Chinese authorities have also utilized the power of social media, pushing out videos of military vehicles on standby in the neighboring city of Shenzhen and circulating videos of protesters disrupting public transit operations.

Social media has been used “as a tool in the battle for public opinion,” said Loh. She added that it has become more and more difficult for users and consumers of online content because they have to “deal with misinformation and fake news and the associated damages that (such content) can cause.”


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China media says Hong Kong protesters are ‘asking for self-destruction’ as military assembles nearby

Anti-government protesters attend a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019. Thomas Peter | ReutersChinese propaganda outlets warned on Tuesday that protesters in Hong Kong are “asking for self-destruction,” as they released a video showing military vehicles amassing near the border of the city. Hong Kong’s airport reopened Tuesday early morning after airport authorities canceled all flights on Monday, blaming demonstrators’ disruption to regular operations. Despite that reopen


Anti-government protesters attend a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019. Thomas Peter | ReutersChinese propaganda outlets warned on Tuesday that protesters in Hong Kong are “asking for self-destruction,” as they released a video showing military vehicles amassing near the border of the city. Hong Kong’s airport reopened Tuesday early morning after airport authorities canceled all flights on Monday, blaming demonstrators’ disruption to regular operations. Despite that reopen
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China media says Hong Kong protesters are 'asking for self-destruction' as military assembles nearby

Anti-government protesters attend a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019. Thomas Peter | Reuters

Chinese propaganda outlets warned on Tuesday that protesters in Hong Kong are “asking for self-destruction,” as they released a video showing military vehicles amassing near the border of the city. Meanwhile, the city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, told the news media on Tuesday that “lawbreaking activities in the name of freedom” were damaging the rule of law and that the Asian financial hub’s recovery from anti-government protests could take a long time. Her comments came after Beijing said widespread anti-government protests in the semi-autonomous city showed “sprouts of terrorism,” and such violence must be severely punished, “without leniency, without mercy.” Hong Kong’s airport reopened Tuesday early morning after airport authorities canceled all flights on Monday, blaming demonstrators’ disruption to regular operations. Another sit-in is expected to take place at the airport, a major global hub, on Tuesday. Despite that reopening, Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific said it had cancelled over 200 flights to and out of the airport for the day, according to its website. The protest at the airport, while disruptive, was largely peaceful. That’s in contrast to Sunday night, where protesters appeared to have thrown Molotov cocktails at police stations around the city and dozens of protesters were arrested.

Beijing’s clear message

On Monday, Chinese officials focused on what they described as “deranged acts” by the protesters, including throwing gasoline bombs, saying they marked the emergence of terrorism in the Chinese city. “Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers,” Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said in a news briefing on Monday, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. China’s media is sending a clear signal to the protesters. On Monday afternoon, Chinese state-owned English tabloid the Global Times tweeted a video showing the People’s Armed Police assembling in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong, about a 1.5 hour- drive away. The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party, posted on Chinese social media a statement saying the People’s Armed Police are in Shenzhen prepared to handle “riots, disturbance, major violence and crime and terrorism-related social security issues.” In a Tuesday social media post from the Global Times‘ Chinese edition, the outlet said “if Hong Kong rioters cannot read the signal of having armed police gathering in Shenzhen, then they are asking for self-destruction,” according to a CNBC translation. China is “implying they might send in the People’s Liberation Army or issue direct intervention but they don’t want to,” according to Ben Bland, a director at Sydney-based policy think tank Lowy Institute. “(Beijing) hopes that the signals will scare protesters to back down,” but if and when Beijing decides to deploy troops they will not “advertise it,” he told CNBC. This is all part of a “delicate dance between China and Hong Kong” that’s reached a critical point because there is almost no common ground or overlapping interests between the protesters and Beijing, Bland added. Although China’s leaders do not want to deploy the PLA, they are “willing to do it if they have to,” the Asia politics expert said. Hong Kong’s former governor, Chris Patten, said on Tuesday that if China intervened in the city, it would be a “catastrophe” and that Chinese President Xi Jinping should see the wisdom of trying to bring people together. Patten called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to garner support from its allies to ensure Beijing does not intervene.

Protests continue


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Cathay Pacific suspends pilot for involvement in Hong Kong protests

Cathay Pacific shares fell more than 4% on Monday after the carrier announced it had suspended a pilot for his involvement in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests. The airline said Saturday that employees who “support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overly radical behaviour” would be barred from crewing flights to mainland China. Hong Kong — a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 — has been struggling to end weeks of protests that have in recent w


Cathay Pacific shares fell more than 4% on Monday after the carrier announced it had suspended a pilot for his involvement in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests. The airline said Saturday that employees who “support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overly radical behaviour” would be barred from crewing flights to mainland China. Hong Kong — a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 — has been struggling to end weeks of protests that have in recent w
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Cathay Pacific suspends pilot for involvement in Hong Kong protests

Cathay Pacific shares fell more than 4% on Monday after the carrier announced it had suspended a pilot for his involvement in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests.

The airline said Saturday that employees who “support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overly radical behaviour” would be barred from crewing flights to mainland China. It also confirmed that one of its pilots was removed from his duties since July 30.

The pilot was reportedly among over 40 people charged with rioting, during clashes with police near Beijing’s main representative office in the city.

Hong Kong — a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 — has been struggling to end weeks of protests that have in recent weeks turned increasingly violent and disruptive.

The rallies, which were started to protest a bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to mainland China, have snowballed into a democracy movement, with some even demanding full autonomy from Beijing.

The unrest has frequently crippled the Asian financial hub’s transportation system and last Monday, Cathay cancelled hundreds of flights during a general strike.


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Hundreds of protesters sit in at Hong Kong airport to reiterate their ‘five demands’

Several hundreds of protesters, many of them young and donning black T-shirts, handed out anti-government flyers in more than 16 languages to arrival passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport on Friday. “Please forgive us for the ‘unexpected’ Hong Kong,” the English leaflets read. Yet for this Hong Kong, we fight,” the flyers said according to Reuters. Protesters said they wanted to reiterate their demands and put their case “in front of an international audience,” according to social me


Several hundreds of protesters, many of them young and donning black T-shirts, handed out anti-government flyers in more than 16 languages to arrival passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport on Friday. “Please forgive us for the ‘unexpected’ Hong Kong,” the English leaflets read. Yet for this Hong Kong, we fight,” the flyers said according to Reuters. Protesters said they wanted to reiterate their demands and put their case “in front of an international audience,” according to social me
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Hundreds of protesters sit in at Hong Kong airport to reiterate their 'five demands'

Several hundreds of protesters, many of them young and donning black T-shirts, handed out anti-government flyers in more than 16 languages to arrival passengers at the Hong Kong International Airport on Friday.

“Please forgive us for the ‘unexpected’ Hong Kong,” the English leaflets read. “You’ve arrived in a broken, torn-apart city, not the one you have once pictured. Yet for this Hong Kong, we fight,” the flyers said according to Reuters.

Protesters said they wanted to reiterate their demands and put their case “in front of an international audience,” according to social media posts from demonstrators.

The massive travel hub connects the city to more than 220 global destinations and served 74.7 million passengers last year, according to the airport’s website.

Airport authorities said only departing passengers with travel documents will be allowed to enter Terminal 1 on Friday morning, as the airport braces for what protesters are describing as a three-day event. The terminal serves long-haul flights.

Online platforms such as Instagram, Telegram, Airdrop and local Hong Kong forums have become the main means of organization among protesters because they give some anonymity to users.

The demands were originally released in July, a day after a small group of protesters stormed the Hong Kong legislature:

a full withdrawal of a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong people to be extradited to mainland China

a retraction of any characterization of the movement as a “riot”

a retraction of charges against anti-extradition protesters

an independent committee to investigate the Hong Kong police’s use of force

universal suffrage in elections for the city’s chief executive officer and legislature by 2020

So far, Hong Kong authorities have given no concessions, though Chief Executive Carrie Lam “suspended” the extradition bill last month.


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Power restored after outages hit London and other parts of U.K.

Travellers watch the announcement boards in Euston rail station during the busy morning rush hour on August 09, 2019 in London, England. The train network was hit by major delays yesterday after all services out of London Euston were suspended due to a signal failure. Leon Neal | Getty Images


Travellers watch the announcement boards in Euston rail station during the busy morning rush hour on August 09, 2019 in London, England. The train network was hit by major delays yesterday after all services out of London Euston were suspended due to a signal failure. Leon Neal | Getty Images
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Power restored after outages hit London and other parts of U.K.

Travellers watch the announcement boards in Euston rail station during the busy morning rush hour on August 09, 2019 in London, England. The train network was hit by major delays yesterday after all services out of London Euston were suspended due to a signal failure.

Leon Neal | Getty Images


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Trump played down North Korea’s string of missile tests. That could embolden Kim

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday played down North Korea’s third missile launch in just a week. Trump’s lack of criticism toward North Korea’s most recent missile tests from Washington has raised some concerns from policy experts. Speaking in Ireland during a June trip, the American leader noted the absence of “ballistic missile testing. ” And, less than two weeks ago, Trump said “there’s no nuclear testing, there’s no missile testing, there’s no nothing.” Geopolitical analysts suggested


U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday played down North Korea’s third missile launch in just a week. Trump’s lack of criticism toward North Korea’s most recent missile tests from Washington has raised some concerns from policy experts. Speaking in Ireland during a June trip, the American leader noted the absence of “ballistic missile testing. ” And, less than two weeks ago, Trump said “there’s no nuclear testing, there’s no missile testing, there’s no nothing.” Geopolitical analysts suggested
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Trump played down North Korea's string of missile tests. That could embolden Kim

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday played down North Korea’s third missile launch in just a week. Experts said he’s likely trying to keep negotiations on track, but they warned it may, in fact, be emboldening Pyongyang.

South Korea’s military said unidentified short-range projectiles were fired at 2:59 a.m. and 3:23 a.m. local time on Friday from North Korea’s South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea. In response, Trump said the launches didn’t breach any agreements he’d made with the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un. In fact, he called Friday’s “short-range missiles” trials “very standard,” adding that he did not anticipate the recent spate of tests to derail negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

“I think it’s very much under control, very much under control,” he told reporters after what was at least the third North Korean missile launch in just over a week.

“We never made an agreement on that. I have no problem,” the president added. “We’ll see what happens.”

Trump’s lack of criticism toward North Korea’s most recent missile tests from Washington has raised some concerns from policy experts.

For one, the president had previously trumpeted the lack of missile launches as evidence that negotiations were going well. In 2018, for example, Trump tweeted that Kim had agreed to “no missile testing” for a period. Speaking in Ireland during a June trip, the American leader noted the absence of “ballistic missile testing. ” And, less than two weeks ago, Trump said “there’s no nuclear testing, there’s no missile testing, there’s no nothing.”

Geopolitical analysts suggested that Trump’s new public tone on missile tests may give Kim the impression he’s working from a position of strength.

“Trump’s muted response to that test likely emboldened Kim to keep testing, although keeping it in the short range trajectory to avoid seriously risking talks,” said Kelsey Broderick, an Asia-focused analyst at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group.

Jean Lee, director of the Korea Program at Washington-based policy research firm the Wilson Center echoed that sentiment in a recent note. She said the North Korean leader calculated “that short-range ballistic middle tests do not directly confront Trump.”


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Violence is escalating in Hong Kong. Here are three possible outcomes

Riot police fire tear gas, after a march to call for democratic reforms in Hong Kong Edgar Su | ReutersBeijing is set to deliver a formal response to the ongoing Hong Kong protests at 3 p.m. local time on Monday. Such a move would “break a lot of beliefs that Hong Kong is autonomous,” he explained, adding that “investors would probably flee initially.” Wong echoed Bland’s assessment, saying “the situation in Hong Kong is not good. But it’s not to an extent that we need the PLA in Hong Kong.” But


Riot police fire tear gas, after a march to call for democratic reforms in Hong Kong Edgar Su | ReutersBeijing is set to deliver a formal response to the ongoing Hong Kong protests at 3 p.m. local time on Monday. Such a move would “break a lot of beliefs that Hong Kong is autonomous,” he explained, adding that “investors would probably flee initially.” Wong echoed Bland’s assessment, saying “the situation in Hong Kong is not good. But it’s not to an extent that we need the PLA in Hong Kong.” But
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Violence is escalating in Hong Kong. Here are three possible outcomes

Riot police fire tear gas, after a march to call for democratic reforms in Hong Kong Edgar Su | Reuters

Beijing is set to deliver a formal response to the ongoing Hong Kong protests at 3 p.m. local time on Monday. Demonstrations started eight weeks ago in the city against a legislative push to allow people in Hong Kong to be extradited to Mainland China, but they’ve snowballed into a movement for full democracy and autonomy from Beijing. Over the weekend, protesters again took to the streets, clashing with authorities. A march on Saturday against an assault the previous weekend by suspected triad gang members ended in violent turmoil as riot police waded in to disperse crowds. On Sunday, riot police fired rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets as demonstrators marched toward the Chinese government’s office in the city. As tensions escalate, China watchers are waiting to see how Beijing will respond. According to Ben Bland, director of the Southeast Asia Project at Sydney-based think tank the Lowy institute, there are three possible scenarios how the demonstrations could pan out from here. Three directions Hong Kong could head from here: Authorities wait out protesters Beijing intervenes directly, imposes martial law Authorities make meaningful concessions The most likely outcome, said Bland, is that Beijing and Hong Kong will try to wait out the protests, arrest rally leaders after the momentum slows down and “slowly bring the city back to order.” It’s unlikely, but possible, that Mainland authorities would directly intervene, Bland said, explaining that Beijing could exercise martial law but that would be the end of the “one country, two systems” principle. That concept was promised to Hong Kong when the former British colony was reunited with the mainland, and guarantees that the city maintains a separate economic and legal system. If Beijing were to send the People’s Liberation Army out into Hong Kong’s streets to “stabilize the situation” (which it suggested last week it could do) that would have “a big negative impact” on markets, according to Jackson Wong, asset manager director at Amber Hill Capital. Such a move would “break a lot of beliefs that Hong Kong is autonomous,” he explained, adding that “investors would probably flee initially.” Wong echoed Bland’s assessment, saying “the situation in Hong Kong is not good. But it’s not to an extent that we need the PLA in Hong Kong.”

On the other end of possibilities, Chinese authorities could give “real concessions” and allow Hong Kongers full democracy — the right to an unrestricted vote for their own parliament and leader — which is what many protesters demand, Bland said. A day after protesters stormed the legislative building, demonstration leaders released a statement making five demands: a full withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill; a retraction of the characterization of the movement as a “riot,” a retraction of the charges against anti-extradition protesters, the establishment of an independent committee to investigate the Hong Kong Police Force’s use of force, and the implementation of universal suffrage for the city’s chief executive officer role and its legislature by 2020. Some experts have pointed out that there has not been a singular protest leader with whom authorities could negotiate, but Bland said that isn’t the issue. At the end of the day, he explained, the Mainland Chinese government has not shown interest in negotiating a resolution. “There is no sign yet from Beijing or the Hong Kong government that they are willing to make any meaningful concessions beyond the suspension of the extradition bill which started this,” said Bland. Sean King, senior vice president of public policy and business development strategy firm Park Strategies offered similar analysis to Bland. Citing the mass killing of pro-democracy student protesters at Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, King said, “Beijing will have no moral qualms about” bringing in the military to intervene. But such an act “would totally lose the Hong Kong populace once and for all,” said King. He said he expects the protests to continue on for weeks or even months before any settlement might be reached. As for why Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer Carrie Lam has yet to step down, King said if she resigns then it would symbolize Beijing admitting defeat. “That would be giving into the masses,” said King. He added that, if mainland authorities give Hong Kongers what they demand, which is full fledged democracy, then it’s conceivable that citizens of Beijing, Shanghai and other mainland cities will ask for the same.

Signals from Beijing


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-29  Authors: grace shao
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, beijing, mainland, authorities, possible, kong, violence, riot, city, outcomes, bland, protesters, hong, king, escalating


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