China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong

China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong
Benedict Rogers. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 12 October 2017

China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong

China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong

BEIJING: China has lodged a diplomatic protest with Britain after London demanded to know why a British human rights activist was barred from entering Hong Kong, it said Thursday.
Immigration agents stopped Benedict Rogers, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party’s human rights commission, from entering the former British colony on Wednesday morning.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson voiced concern and said his government would be “seeking an urgent explanation.”
China “launched stern representations” over the comments, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a regular press briefing.
“The central government is responsible for Hong Kong-related diplomatic affairs,” she said, adding: “who can get in and who cannot is within our sovereignty.”
“Hong Kong affairs are China’s domestic affairs. We oppose the interference in China’s domestic affairs in any way by any foreign government, institution or person.”
Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 under a “One country, two systems” formula intended to protect its freedoms and way of life. The semi-autonomous city is supposed to handle its own immigration affairs.
Hong Kong’s immigration department said it did not comment on individual cases.
But Hua said that Rogers “meant to interfere in China’s domestic affairs and the judicial independence of Hong Kong.”
The barring of Rogers, who has spoken out against the jailing of Hong Kong democracy activists, came a week before a major congress in Beijing of the ruling Communist Party.
The activist said he believed the embassy had somehow become aware of private discussions he had had about possibly visiting the campaigners in prison, which he later realized would not be possible.


World leaders welcome US transfer of power

World leaders welcome US transfer of power
Updated 20 January 2021

World leaders welcome US transfer of power

World leaders welcome US transfer of power

PARIS: Several world leaders said they were looking forward to Wednesday’s transfer of power in the United States, where Democrat Joe Biden will be sworn in as president after four turbulent years under Donald Trump.

President Hassan Rouhani did not miss the opportunity to hail the departure of “tyrant” Trump, with Tehran repeatedly calling on Washington to lift sanctions imposed over its nuclear drive.
Biden’s administration wants the United States back in the landmark Iran nuclear accord which Trump withdrew from, conditional on Tehran’s return to strict compliance.
A “tyrant’s era came to an end and today is the final day of his ominous reign,” Rouhani said.
“We expect (the Biden administration) to return to law and to commitments, and try in the next four years, if they can, to remove the stains of the past four years.”

Top EU officials voiced relief that they would soon have a friend in the White House again.
“Let’s build a new founding pact for a stronger Europe, for a stronger America and for a better world,” said Charles Michel, president of the European Council.
“This time-honored ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol will be a demonstration of the resilience of American democracy,” added European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“And the resounding proof that, once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House.”

NATO said it hoped to boost transatlantic ties under Biden.
“We look forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden to further strengthen ties between the United States and Europe, as we face global challenges none of us can tackle alone,” the military alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was looking forward to “working closely” with Biden.
Johnson, who has faced criticism over his close relationship with Trump, cited a host of policy areas in which he hoped to collaborate with Biden.
“In our fight against COVID and across climate change, defense, security and in promoting and defending democracy, our goals are the same and our nations will work hand in hand to achieve them,” he said in a statement.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called for Russia and the United States to repair their strained ties.
“The current condition of relations between Russia and the United States is of great concern,” Gorbachev said in an interview with state-run news agency TASS.
“But this also means that something has to be done about it in order to normalize relations,” he said.
“We cannot fence ourselves off from each other.”