Economy

Hong Kong riots depress Asia stock markets Financial

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Causeway Bay, the district with many shops and businesses on the island, on Sunday, according to Reuters, protesting against new expected interventions from Beijing in the former British crown colony.

Hong Kong police have deployed tear gas. Among the detainees, according to local media, Tam Tak-Chi, an activist of a radical party coalition, is People Power.

Volatility in futures for Asian stock markets skyrocketed on Sunday. Earlier protests in March last year saw sharp falls in Asian stock markets. The Hong Kong dollar moved strongly against the dollar, pound and Japanese yen.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong’s economic center fell 5.5% on Friday, marking its worst day since July 2015, after China introduced new legislation aimed at improving “national security” in the city.

‘Threat’

Protesters fear the end of the autonomous status of the financial center. China is in a trade conflict with the United States, which placed right behind the demonstrators in Hong Kong last week. President Trump threatened to take tough action.

In Beijing, the National People’s Congress (NPC) came up with a proposal to “prevent, prevent and punish threats to China’s national security in Hong Kong.”

Actions of ‘separatism, rebellion and terrorism’ are to be rigorously prosecuted according to the proposal.

It is believed that this proposal will be adopted by the NPC on May 28 and that a special law will be passed in Beijing that will apply in Hong Kong without the Hong Kong People’s Representation having any say on it.

Interventions

That law would instruct the Hong Kong administration to create organs to protect national security. These should empower Chinese institutions to act in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong provides that Chinese agents can then arrest and prosecute people. The massive protests against Chinese influence that erupted in Hong Kong in March last year also raised concerns about the undermining of the justice system.

In Hong Kong, the judiciary is considered Western and independent. The judiciary in China is not independent and the position of suspects is extremely weak.

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