US plus three: The US has stepped up diplomatic pressure against Hong Kong’s impending national-security legislation, forming a common position with the UK, Australia and Canada. In a four-nation statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterparts called on China to work with Hongkongers on forging a way forward to honour its commitments made under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. SCMP.
Europe softer: European leaders are in no mood to follow the United States in threatening trade sanctions against China, although foreign ministers were scheduled to meet today to try to hack out a common position. SCMP.
Asia out: Most Asean governments and India are unlikely to take similar positions to the US over Hong Kong, even if they have concerns about the city’s autonomy. SCMP.
Children held: Nearly 100 children were arrested during this week’s protests in Hong Kong, police have revealed. And according to the force, almost half of the 396 people detained on Wednesday and Thursday were students. Some were as young as 12. SCMP.
Former top prosecutor Grenville Cross: “Beijing trusted Hong Kong to implement Article 23, but its trust was misplaced. The Basic Law is a two-way street – it isn’t fair to accuse the central government of failing to comply with the mini-constitution when Hong Kong itself has not fulfilled its obligations.” SCMP.
Former legislator Albert Cheng: “With the enactment of a national security law for Hong Kong, most people will eventually give up struggling and accept their destiny. Only some idealistic young people will continue to fight for the impossible dream of full democracy.” SCMP.
Investment manager Richard Harris: “The uncertainty generated by a lack of detail in the national security law is expected to lead to further flight of international talent and assets. The fundamentals of Hong Kong’s economic structure are unchanged, but firms will need to assess the risk of capricious application of national security laws.” SCMP.
AmCham president Tara Joseph: “Nobody wants to see Hong Kong fail, but details of the legislation are crucial for the international business community to make better-informed decisions about whether they can comfortably maintain their presence in the city.” SCMP.