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Taiwan's Representative To The U.S. On Recent Developments In Her Country

23.09.2020 16:02

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan's representative to the U.S., about the coronavirus, a possible bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

From: www.npr.org

Zaha Hadid Designs 2 Murray Road, Replacing a Multi-Story Car Park in Hong Kong

23.09.2020 7:00


Zaha Hadid Architects has revealed its design for the 36-story Murray Road project for Henderson Land, in the heart of ’s central business district. Creating new civic plazas enveloped by nature, the urban oasis is located in proximity to both Central and Admiralty MTR metro stations.

From: feedproxy.google.com

WeChat app sees download surge before US ban

22.09.2020 17:00

September 23, 2020 5:00 AM
HONG KONG • Chinese tech giant Tencent's WeChat messaging app has seen a surge in downloads in the United States since Friday, after Washington confirmed it would push ahead with a planned ban of the app, data showed yesterday.

From: www.straitstimes.com

The Quayside Mix Use Development / CL3 Architects

22.09.2020 16:00


The Quayside is an innovative mix use development that promotes a healthy working environment mixing work, dine, recreation, relaxation into a green oasis amidst an industrial neighbourhood in Hong Kong.

From: feedproxy.google.com

Facebook Busts China-Linked Disinfo Campaign That Snared U.S. Users

22.09.2020 15:19


Facebook booted a China-linked disinformation campaign that hyped up the People’s Republic to audiences in Southeast Asia and the U.S., according to a company investigation released on Tuesday.In a Tuesday press conference, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said the network focused mostly on regional issues to audiences speaking Chinese, Filipino and English.The network briefly strayed into U.S. politics with posts both criticizing and supporting President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.Pro-China Conspiracy Campaign Attacks COVID DrugmakerThe inauthentic network centered around a cluster of “55 Facebook accounts, 11 Pages, 9 Groups and 6 Instagram accounts,” according to Facebook. In sample content released by Facebook, a fake news outlet dubbed “South China Sea Outpost” criticized American warnings about predatory Chinese state-owned enterprises. Cached copies of the South China Sea Outpost’s since-deleted page show it focused mainly on repackaging links to legitimate news outlets from regional media outlets.In another example of the network’s activity shared by Facebook, one poster copy-pasted content from Democratic activist and fundraiser Scott Dworkin which criticized President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.American politics was mostly a sideshow for the network, with “almost no engagement around this content,” according to Gleicher. Of the network’s 133,000 followers, less than 3,000 were based in the U.S.The network, traced by Facebook to operators in China’s Fujian Province, focused mostly on regional issues in the South China Sea and around the Philippines, including protests in Hong Kong, China’s expansive territorial claims, U.S. naval activity in the South China Sea, promoting the authoritarian Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, and news about Filipino expatriate workers, according to Facebook.Leaked Documents Show Russian Trolls Tried to Infiltrate Left-Wing MediaThe suspension follows previous China-linked takedowns by both Facebook and Twitter focused on spreading pro-Beijing propaganda on social media platforms banned in China.In late 2019, Twitter suspended a large network of inauthentic Twitter accounts focused on criticizing protests against mainland rule in Hong Kong. More recently, both Twitter and Facebook have found China-linked disinformation networks spreading propaganda about China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and criticizing the Trump administration and its handling of the virus.While U.S.-related content in Facebook’s most recent takedown appeared to be minimal, the subject of Chinese interference in the 2020 election and whether it represents a greater threat than Russia has proven controversial within the Trump administration.In August, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence listed China, along with Russia and Iran, as three countries seeking to meddle in the upcoming presidential election. China, counterintelligence chief William Evanina wrote, "prefers that President Trump—whom Beijing sees as unpredictable—does not win reelection" and “has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States."But when FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress this week about Russia’s “very active efforts” to sow discord in the U.S. electorate before November, President Trump unloaded on Wray for failing to hype the threat from China.“But Chris, you don’t see any activity from China, even though it is a FAR greater threat than Russia, Russia, Russia. They will both, plus others, be able to interfere in our 2020 Election with our totally vulnerable Unsolicited (Counterfeit?) Ballot Scam,” Trump tweeted.Facebook also announced that it had taken down a separate disinformation networks, linked to Philippines security forces, that was focused on “domestic politics, military activities against terrorism, [a] pending anti-terrorism bill, criticism of communism, youth activists and opposition, the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military wing the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines,” according to Facebook.The network was uncovered by the Filipino news outlet Rappler, which has faced mounting security threats and legal challenges for its investigations into, and coverage, of the Duterte administration.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

In Biden, China Sees an 'Old Friend' and Possible Foe

22.09.2020 14:54


President Donald Trump has brought China's relations with the United States to their lowest point in years. Joe Biden could prove, from the Chinese vantage point, to be a tougher and more complex challenge.Biden, according to analysts in China, could do more damage than Trump by pursuing a more coherent strategy to counter China's global agenda.Biden has vowed that if elected, he would take a harder line on climate change and China's crackdowns on ethnic minorities and Hong Kong. To China's leadership, he is the candidate more likely to restore strong ties with U.S. allies and mobilize other nations to pressure China more effectively."Biden would make the hard lines more effective and more efficient," said Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing. "He might resort to more sophisticated and coordinated tactics against China."Trump, who has once again made China a pillar of his campaign, repeatedly claims that he is the tougher of the two candidates where Beijing is concerned. He has launched a costly trade war against China, taken aim at its rising technology industry and repeatedly blamed it for the spread of the coronavirus.He has also alienated leaders in Europe and Asia and showed a willingness to overrule his own purported security concerns to strike deals that help U.S. companies, as he appears to have done to allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States.In China's hawkish quarters, in fact, there are some who believe that Trump's "America First" presidency has, on the whole, benefited China by reducing American global leadership. A popular meme that has circulated for months mocks him as "Build-the-Country Trump," a pun on a revolutionary name that suggests that Trump has done more to make China -- and not the United States -- great again.In public, Chinese officials have not taken sides or commented on the two candidates' prospects. Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, and other officials have also rejected claims that Beijing is seeking to influence or otherwise interfere in the presidential election.Many of those same officials have come around to the idea that China will very likely face a harsher political environment in the United States, regardless of who wins. The leadership in Beijing now understands that both Democrats and Republicans want to do more to constrain China, analysts said, creating a challenge to the ambitions of China's leader, Xi Jinping, to expand the country's economic and geopolitical might.Biden is no stranger to China's leaders, including Xi. As a senator, he played an important role in China's accession in 2001 to the World Trade Organization -- a point that Trump has repeatedly used to attack Biden.The Chinese leadership views Biden largely through its experience of the Obama administration, when relations were also strained under Xi's predecessor, Hu Jintao. The disputes back then centered on cyberespionage and China's military buildup in the South China Sea.President Barack Obama hoped nonetheless to make progress on other fronts, including combating climate change and curtailing the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. He gave Biden, his vice president, the role of cultivating Xi, then China's leader-in-waiting.During a visit to China in 2013, Biden worked with Xi to ease military tensions and warned him against expelling U.S. journalists based in China. Xi, standing in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, called Biden "my old friend."As a candidate, Biden's rhetoric has shifted dramatically, vowing to "get tough on China," in step with a broader bipartisan shift in sentiment in recent years. Last week, he called China a "serious competitor," though not an opponent, a term he has used to describe Russia.During a Democratic debate in February, Biden said that as vice president he had spent more time with Xi than any other world leader up to that point and understood the nature of the man he would be dealing with, if elected."This is a guy who doesn't have a democratic -- with a small d -- bone is his body," Biden said at the debate. "This is a guy who is a thug."Chinese officials are accustomed to China-bashing during election season in the United States."In the current atmosphere, whoever is weak on China will lose points," said Wei Zongyou, a professor at the Center for American Studies at Fudan University.Yet, Beijing worries that Biden's rhetoric is not just bluster, and that if elected, he would work more forcefully to penalize China on human rights issues than Trump, although his administration has recently imposed sanctions on a number of Chinese officials and companies. Biden has denounced China's repression of Muslim Uighurs as genocidal and vowed to meet with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.Trump, who rarely speaks out on rights issues, expressed support for Beijing's crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang in a private meeting with Xi, according to John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser. The president has yet to meet the Dalai Lama.Some experts in Beijing are concerned about Biden's pledge to craft new trade agreements to counter China's economic influence in Asia and elsewhere. They also worry he could better mount a global defense of democratic values than the administration has, isolating or constraining Beijing."I am under no illusion that Biden would be better," said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing.He added that Biden could feel pressure to act even more forcefully toward China, raising the risk of a military confrontation, something that Trump has been averse to.In Beijing, Trump is viewed in some ways as favorable because of his transactional approach, despite the sharp deterioration in relations since the coronavirus pandemic.The Communist Party has also benefited from images of chaos and division that have emerged from the United States under Trump. That has allowed the propaganda organs to highlight the strengths of China's authoritarian system in curbing the coronavirus outbreak."From the party's point of view, Trump is a rolling advertisement for how bad democracy could be," said Kevin Rudd, the former prime minister of Australia, who maintains close ties to Chinese officials.Rudd said Chinese leaders see Trump as a "genuinely negative force" when it comes to preserving U.S. alliances in Asia and beyond.Trump, who, according to Bolton, asked Xi to help his campaign, is now asserting that Beijing wants him to lose because of how he has pressured China on trade and technology.The director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William R. Evanina, echoed that in an assessment last month, citing Beijing's growing criticism of the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the United States' closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston. He and other administration officials have not provided any evidence of Chinese officials using social media or other means to support Biden.Some Chinese experts have expressed hope that Biden, if elected, might pursue a more traditional model of diplomacy, seeking to find common ground with Beijing on issues such as climate change or public health.Chinese leaders have long pushed for that kind of collaborative approach, although officials from both U.S. parties are increasingly frustrated by years of seemingly fruitless discussions."If Biden takes office, China and the United States will still maintain conflicts and contradictions on some issues, but there will be an aspect of more cooperation," said Jia Qingguo, a professor and former dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University.In China's strictly controlled political debate, a "pox on both houses" sentiment prevails online, with no clear favorite emerging. Nationalist voices routinely assail the Trump administration for its policies, although the government has toned down some of the outrage and made repeated calls for dialogue as tensions with the United States have soured badly.No matter who wins in November, China's leaders seem to recognize that opposition to Beijing's agenda has mounted across the political spectrum in the United States.If Biden prevails, he might find it challenging to undo many of the Trump administration's actions against China, leaving Beijing facing the same panoply of disputes it does today."The broader atmosphere is tough or even unfriendly to China -- everyone can see that clearly," Wei at Fudan University said. "The relationship between China and the United States will not return to the past."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

'Our 1945 moment': UN faces fears of a 'great fracture' at general assembly

22.09.2020 14:46


Amid prerecorded speeches, secretary-general issues warning over US-China rivalry at an unprecedented moment“Today, we face our own 1945 moment,” the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said as he opened the UN’s 75th general assembly, to a thinly populated chamber of socially distanced diplomats.Guterres meant the historical reference as a call to action inspired by the generation who had survived the second world war and sought to build a new world. A similarly concerted effort, he said, would be needed to defeat Covid and the pandemics that may follow, and the climate emergency.But the veteran Portugese politician acknowledged that 1945 was also the starting point of the cold war, and he warned about a new standoff, with the rapidly escalating US-China rivalry taking the world in “a very dangerous direction”.“Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture – each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities,” Guterres said.The new cold war was apparent at the opening of this year’s UN general debate, with the leaders of major powers sniping at each other in their pre-recorded video messages. In fact, it felt very like the old cold war.It was not the winners in the battle against coronavirus who had pride of place on the opening day of speeches. Otherwise New Zealand, South Korea and Germany would open the proceedings.Instead it was the victors of the second world war, who established control of the new UN in the wreckage of 1945 and have not released their grip since, who set the tone. Four of the five permanent members of the UN security council, who hammered their veto-wielding power into granite 75 years ago, spoke in the opening session.Donald Trump, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin presented their widely divergent views of the world within the first 90 minutes. Emmanuel Macron berated both the US and China for the diplomatic impasse at the UN, in a speech that, at 48 minutes, was more than three times longer than the official limit. Boris Johnson, representing the fifth member of the permanent five, had been given a speaking slot on Saturday, near the end of the general debate, a harsh measure of the UK’s ebbing influence.It was a long way from the first UN general assembly, held in the Methodist Central Hall in London, the embodiment of hope of better times amid the rubble of the blitz. Three-quarters of a century later, the permanent home of the UN in New York was unusually quiet and its reservoir of hope was running low.In other years, midtown Manhattan ground to a halt to allow presidents, prime ministers and their entourages to criss-cross its grid on their way to brief hotel room summits. This year the traffic flowed easily. The world’s leaders were present only in their pre-recorded messages played on two giant screens in the general assembly hall.Guterres was one of only two speakers to deliver their speeches in person (the other being Volkan Bozkır, a Turkish diplomat serving as the president of the general assembly). Facing the hall, where each country was represented by just one or two diplomats, sitting well apart, he delivered a pugnacious call to action in desperate times.“People are hurting. Our planet is burning,” the former prime minister said. “We must be guided by science and tethered to reality. Populism and nationalism have failed. Those approaches to contain the virus have often made things manifestly worse.”There was no doubt who Guterres was talking about. The first two world leaders to speak were Jair Bolsonaro and Trump, neither of whom has been accused of being “tethered to reality” in the present crisis.In their speeches, both claimed to have made astounding progress against both the coronavirus and the climate emergency, though both have repeatedly told their own people that neither is a serious problem. Both have overseen catastrophic responses to the pandemic (the US death toll was confirmed as passing 200,000 virtually as Trump’s video message was being played) and large areas of their countries have gone up in smoke.Trump’s speech was a barnstorming seven minutes, less than half than the time he was allotted, and in a tone just short of yelling, and at about twice his normal speed.The International Crisis Group’s chief UN analyst, Richard Gowan, suggested he looked like “a man who suddenly realised on starting his speech that he urgently needed a pee”.An alternative explanation was that he was speaking fast so his speech could be repackaged as a campaign video – which it was within minutes by the Republican party.Most of Trump’s seven minutes were dedicated to a ferocious attack on Beijing, and its responsibility for releasing the “China virus” on the world. Amid the litany of complaints aimed at China, however, Trump made no mention of the mass incarceration of the country’s Muslims and the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong.The president’s bluster left space for Xi and Putin to act like the grown-up super powers in the room, with reassuringly turgid speeches urging peace and multilateralism.Xi made news, declaring that China’s carbon dioxide emissions would peak by 2030 and the country would reach carbon neutrality by 2060. And he displayed munificence, donating $100m to UN funds.In his video message, Putin offered free vaccinations to UN staff, claiming his country’s Covid vaccine was “reliable, safe and effective”. Coming from a former KGB officer widely believed to have approved the use of polonium-210 and Novichok nerve agent against his country’s enemies, the offer of free injections had a sinister resonance.It was a reminder that, despite the withdrawal of Trump’s America from global leadership on the UN stage, the understudies for the role at this point in history have very limited appeal of their own.

Today's Hoda Kotb reveals devastating parent shaming letter she received

22.09.2020 10:46

Today show host Hoda Kotb is a doting mum to two young daughters, and regularly shares...

Tags: Hong Kong
From: www.hellomagazine.com

Hong Kong Disneyland Reopens For A Second Time As California Theme Park Closure Continues

22.09.2020 10:02

Disneyland and local mayors are pressuring Gov. Gavin Newsom to let the California park reopen as Disney’s other worldwide parks welcome guests.

From: www.forbes.com

Hong Kong Disneyland Reopens For A Second Time As California Theme Park Closure Continues

22.09.2020 10:02

Disneyland and local mayors are pressuring Gov. Gavin Newsom to let the California park reopen as Disney’s other worldwide parks welcome guests.

From: www.forbes.com

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