World counters China’s aggressive posturing

The US Senate on Thursday (local time) passed a bill by unanimous consent that would impose sanctions on China for its decision to implement the controversial national security law on Hong Kong, which critics say will erode the city's democratic freedoms.

One of the bills, the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, would slap sanctions on individuals and businesses that help China restrict the autonomy of Hong Kong. The bill was authored by Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, CNN reported.

"What the government of China is doing in Hong Kong is unacceptable. They are taking away the rights of people in Hong Kong. They are snuffing out freedoms that exist there right now," Van Hollen was quoted as saying.

A second measure from Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri is a resolution condemning China for violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984 to guarantee autonomy for Hong Kong.

The new security law being adopted by China would "deal a mighty blow to the freedoms and liberties that Hong Kongers have enjoyed for decades now. It is a permanent break from the one country, two systems principle that has governed that city since 1997," said Hawley.

The measures, which were combined into one bill before getting the Senate's nod, still needs to be passed in the House of Representatives before President Donald Trump gives his assent.

Trudeau rejects calls to release Huawei CFO

Ottawa: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dismissed calls from former parliamentarians and diplomats to release Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who the US accuses of helping the of Chinese telecommunications giant dodge American sanctions on Iran, and unilaterally end her extradition process, it was reported.

She was was arrested at the request of the US on December 1, 2018, in Vancouver where she was making a stopover on a trip from Hong Kong to Mexico City.

Trudeau said he was sympathetic to the plight of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, the two Canadians who were detained in China shortly after Meng's arrest, but he said Canada cannot "let China get away with this sort of hostage diplomacy", reports CBC News.

Trudeau said his government is firmly committed to the rule of law and Meng's case will be handled by the country's justice system.

Australian MP’s home, office raided

Canberra: Australian intelligence officers and police raided the home and office of an opposition politician on Friday as part of an investigation into alleged Chinese influenced operations, officials said.

Security agents searched the properties linked to New South Wales state legislator Shaoquett Moselmane, who had been the target of long-standing allegations of links to the ruling Chinese Communist Party, South China Morning Post reported.

Moselmane's pro-Beijing stance has long raised eyebrows even among colleagues in the Labor Party.

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