All good, nothing too see here. Just need to get back to making money and not worrying about all this nonsense.
China hints it could prevent Hong Kongers moving to UK
China has raised the prospect of preventing Hong Kong citizens from taking up British residency after the UK gave the right to almost three million of them to move there permanently following Beijing's introduction of its draconian national security law.
In fiercely worded comments, China strongly condemned the offer by Dominic Rabb, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, which came after almost 400 arrests at pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Wednesday (local time), 10 of them under the new law.
Beijing warned of a backlash.
The law, rushed through in secrecy on Tuesday night, introduced life sentences or long prison terms for vaguely defined crimes linked to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
It sparked instant international condemnation.
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign affairs spokesman, said: "China reaffirms that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to interfere.
“The Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests."
He added that China "reserves the right to take further corresponding measures, and the UK shall bear all consequences arising from this".
Asked to specify what he meant, he said: "Please wait patiently. It is not the right timing yet."
One diplomat with 22 years' experience of working in and around China wondered if that might involve forcing all those trying to leave Hong Kong to fill in departure forms, and denying permission to fly.
"But that would really be to trash the joint declaration," said Charles Parton, senior associate fellow at the international security think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
Similar speculation was running on social media yesterday.
Zhao also took aim at Australia after it said it, too, was planning to offer Hong Kong citizens sanctuary, and at the US, as the House of Representatives backed sanctions against China.
That measure would hit banks like HSBC, which supported the law.
As Boris Johnson accused China of "an unacceptable breach" of Hong Kong's freedoms under the "one country, two systems" agreement when the colony was handed back in 1997, Downing Street indicated sanctions were under consideration.
Such a move is backed by Tory MPs including Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence select committee, and Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former party leader.
Johnson made clear that the row could damage Chinese tech firm Huawei's controversial involvement in Britain's 5G network.
He told the Evening Standard: "I don't want to see our critical national infrastructure at risk of being in any way controlled by potentially hostile state vendors. So we have to think very carefully about how to proceed now."
Sir Iain called on the Government to launch a review into how to end the UK's "dependency on China as soon as Monday".
"The free world has got to come together and do this, otherwise China will just pick people off one after another. We have to work and come together.
"Humming and harring, hesitating, is not the order of the day. They must now lead this."
He added that China needed to be "eradicated from secure areas" and added that the "number one target is Huawei".
"It's over for them and they should know it," he said.
Taiwan on Tuesday instructed its citizens to avoid travelling to Hong Kong, Macau or China. Australia was also advising its citizens to avoid the area, telling them it was possible to break the new laws without even knowing it, but that could still lead to life imprisonment.
Britain was keeping its travel advice under review, the Foreign Office said.
After news that the law was coming, Hong Kong migration agencies reported a big increase in inquiries.
Tina Cheng at Midland Immigration Consultancy told The Financial Times that the agency received 800 inquiries in May, double the one-month peak of 400 during 2019. "It was almost like a tsunami," she said.
A 24-year-old man was hauled off a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to London close to midnight on Wednesday after a police officer was stabbed in the arm during earlier protests.
He had arrived at the airport without luggage, and was the only passenger to have bought his ticket that day.
Meanwhile, Nathan Law, one of Hong Kong's most prominent young democracy activists, announced on Wednesday he had fled overseas because of the sweeping security law. He refused to say where he was, but said he would continue his advocacy work.
The revelation that Law had left the territory came as it emerged a protest slogan used over the last year was now illegal under Beijing's new law.
"Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times" has become a clarion call for pro-democracy protesters over the last year.
Hong Kong's government said the phrase was now illegal because it "contains the indications of Hong Kong independence, or alienating Hong Kong from China, or changing its legal status, or subverting the state".
It is seen as confirmation that even peaceful political views have become illegal since the law came in on Tuesday night.