GBA Briefs 5/27/2020

Hong Kong crisis: US senators have proposed a bill that would allow for sanctions against anyone with a role in violating “China’s obligations to Hong Kong under the [Sino-British] Joint Declaration and the Basic Law”, and on banks who do business with them. President Donald Trump has not yet weighed in on the specifics of what his administration plans to do in response to China’s announcement of its imminent imposition of national-security legislation in Hong Kong, but, when asked if he was prepared to use sanctions against China over the issue, he said: “We’re doing something now. I think you’ll find it very interesting. It’s something you’re going to be hearing about … before the end of the week – very powerfully.” SCMP

Law’s scope widened: Beijing’s proposed resolution for a national security law for Hong Kong was amended on Tuesday in an unexpected move that expanded its scope to prohibit “activities” that would “seriously endanger national security”. SCMP.

US-China tensions: The strategic confrontation between China and the United States has entered a high-risk period, according to Defense Minister Wei Fenghe. He told the NPC that China needed to bolster its fighting spirit, while other military leaders said the country had to catch up with Western nations in its development of core technologies. “The United States has intensified the suppression and containment of our side since the [coronavirus] outbreak, and the Sino-US strategic confrontation has entered a period of high risk,” General Wei said. “We must strengthen our fighting spirit, be daring to fight and be good at fighting, and use fighting to promote stability.” SCMP

Border plea: Macau’s borders with Guangdong could be reopened before Hong Kong’s, according to a proposal to the CPPCC by four Macau delegates. They asked for immigration restrictions to be relaxed for Macau, if not for both of the SARs. This could start from Guangdong before moving further inland, and eventually lead to the rebooting all types of travel permit services, such as group tour visas and Individual Visit Scheme visas. MDT 

Rail connection: The central government has been urged to facilitate the connection of Macau’s Light Rail Transit with its counterpart across the border in Zhuhai’s Hengqin New Area, according to a proposal to the CPPCC by five Macau delegates. (This connection has long been anticipated by the builders of the Hengqin Railway Station, but progress has been stalled on the Macau side.) MDT 

MICE boost: Macau is currently the 48th ranked international convention city, up 23 places since the last survey, according to International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) “International Meetings Market 2019 Report.” Among Asia-Pacific cities, Macau now ranks 12th, up five places. AGB

HK transit: Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said yesterday that transit services at the Hong Kong International Airport would gradually resume from June 1, according to a report by China Daily. MDT

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