GBA Briefs: 5/22/2020

NPC takes aim at HK: Beijing will establish a sound legal system and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong, Premier Li Keqiang said today at the opening session of the 2020 National People’s Congress. A resolution was tabled to enable the Standing Committee of the NPC to craft and pass a new national security law tailor-made for Hong Kong. It would require the city’s government to set up a specific organisation to do the job. SCMP.

Business reacts: The NPC’s passage of an annex to the Basic Law covering national-security legislation is a worrisome development that will erode the city’s global reputation and attraction as a corporate base, according to business groups, security and legal experts in Washington. Others were more sanguine, however, saying most companies with Hong Kong operations are focused on the bottom line, unlikely to act on principle and remain in a wait-and-see mode even as they bridle at Beijing’s latest move. SCMP.

Exam question scrapped: Hong Kong’s exam authority’s council has decided to scrap a controversial university entrance history exam question on early 20th century Sino-Japanese relations, giving in to an unprecedented request made last week by the Education Bureau. The decision affects 5,200 candidates who sat the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exams a week ago and were asked if they agreed Japan “did more good than harm” to China between 1900 and 1945. SCMP.

Meng ruling: A crucial ruling in the extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou that could see her set free will be issued by a Canadian judge next week, British Columbia’s Supreme Court announced on Thursday. SCMP.

Civil Code: China’s draft Civil Code will be submitted to the NPC this week for final deliberation. It consists of seven volumes, including general provisions and sections on property, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance and torts. The compilation of personality rights in a separate volume is a major development and innovation in “democratic legislation”, according to Chinese academics. It will help deepen the legal protection of personal dignity and individual rights, said Shi Jiayou, professor at Renmin University of China and executive director of the National Research Center of Civil and Commercial Law. CD.

Bubbles idea: Hong Kong should form “travel bubbles” with regional neighbours that have similar success in containing the coronavirus outbreak as a way to bring back visitors who stopped travelling due to the health crisis, the city’s tourism promotion body says. SCMP.

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