Displaying items by tag: hard line

John Lee replaced Carrie Lam as Hong Kong's leader after a closed voting process in which he was the sole candidate. His appointment is seen as China’s move to tighten its grip on the city. Mr Lee, a staunch Beijing supporter, oversaw the violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protestors in 2019. He was intensely criticised for sanctioning police use of water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition to disperse protestors. In 2020, he backed a controversial national security law which criminalised most forms of political protest and opposition and reduced the city's self-government. He maintained that ‘the law would help restore stability from chaos’. His staunch support of Beijing's policies has stoked fears that his leadership will usher in an era of tighter Chinese oversight of the semi-autonomous region. China persecutes Christians, and on 11 May Hong Kong's national security police arrested Cardinal Joseph Zen and four others who ran a now-disbanded humanitarian fund for protesters: see

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 21 September 2018 09:39

France taking hard line in Brexit talks

France has taken the hardest line of the member states in recent weeks, including its insistence that an outline of the future relationship should be detailed. Other states suggested it should be allowed to be vague in order to ease the passage to a deal, after the EU rejected key planks of it on customs and the single market. Emmanuel Macron has urged his EU counterparts to stand firm against Theresa May in Brexit negotiations after the PM urged the bloc to give ground in talks. The French president said that EU unity must take precedence over any other considerations. Other leaders took a softer line. Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg said ‘compromise from both sides, not from one side’ was necessary and Irish PM Leo Varadkar told reporters that Mrs May was ‘working hard’ on the issue of Northern Ireland, and that she appeared to be ‘very sincere’.

Published in Europe