Macron, Trudeau deepen ‘bromance’ in Paris

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to onlookers following a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Macron, Trudeau deepen ‘bromance’ in Paris

  • The two young leaders, both progressives in their 40s, spoke warmly of their ties.
  • Macron and Trudeau see each other as natural allies in a world increasingly shaped by right-wing nationalism.

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed their common vision and the strength of their personal friendship as they met in Paris on Monday.
The two young leaders, both progressives in their 40s, exchanged a hug on the steps of the Elysee Palace and spoke warmly of their ties afterwards at a press conference that ended with them leaving the room with their arms across each other’s backs.
Macron and Trudeau see each other as natural allies in a world increasingly shaped by right-wing nationalism which has gathered strength in Europe and the United States, as well as in Russia, Turkey and China.
“We have an extremely close convergence of views,” Macron said during the press conference, which came after a working lunch and talks with Trudeau.
Trudeau, speaking mostly in French, ended his remarks lauding the “friendship” between the two leaders — a contrast with the often difficult relationship he has with his North American neighbor, US President Donald Trump.
“Canada, France and Europe are extremely aligned,” he said.
Talks included trade, the war in Syria and an upcoming summit of G7 countries which will be hosted by Canada in June.
Trudeau and Macron’s first meeting as leaders came in May last year when they were photographed together at a meeting of G7 countries in the dreamy setting of Taormina, a hillside town in Sicily.
It led to widespread commentary about the “bromance” between the two married liberals — as well as jokes online that they looked like they had gone to Sicily for their wedding photographs.


Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

In this file photo taken on August 5, 2016, Andy Chan (R), leader of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), gives a press conference at the start of a rally near the government's headquarters in Hong Kong. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2018
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Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

  • The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover

HONG KONG: Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday took an unprecedented step against separatist voices by banning a political party that advocates independence for the southern Chinese territory on national security grounds.
John Lee, the territory’s secretary for security, announced that the Hong Kong National Party will be prohibited from operation from Monday.
Lee’s announcement did not provide further details. But Hong Kong’s security bureau had previously said in a letter to the National Party’s leader, 27-year-old Andy Chan, that the party should be dissolved “in the interests of national security or public safety, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Chan had no immediate comment.
That letter had cited a national security law that has not been invoked since 1997. The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials have warned separatist activity would not be tolerated.
Chan, the National Party leader, had previously told The Associated Press that police approached him with documents detailing his speeches and activities since the party’s formation in 2016.
The party was founded in response to frustration about Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong. Despite a promise of autonomy, activists complain mainland influence over its democratic elections is increasing.
Chan and other pro-independence candidates were disqualified from 2016 elections to the Hong Kong legislature after they refused to sign a pledge saying Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. The Hong Kong National Party has never held any seats on the council.