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The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 26 May 2020

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FILE PHOTO: Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen speaks at a non woven filter fabric factory, where the fabric is used to make surgical face masks, in Taoyuan, Taiwan, March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang


Beijing, Hong Kong and Taiwan; Their Fates Intertwined.


As Beijing and Hong Kong's executive continue to act against the will of the people of Hong Kong, Taiwan considers revoking Hong Kong's special status due to fears of the proposed national security laws.


Should Beijing gain full control over Hong Kong, what would that mean for Taiwan?


Given the scale of the protests last year and earlier this year, the law proposal by Beijing and Hong Kong's executive represent a marked escalation, eclipsing the concerns that protesters originally had.


This means that an escalation in protests and the response by authorities will almost certainly be severe, especially with cries of 'terrorism' from the authorities against demonstrators.

Last year's protests were enough to have the PLA stage forward to Shenzhen, just outside of Hong Kong.


What will this year's protests bring?


(See Points 5 and 6 Below)


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The Daily Quick-Look for 26 May 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours and why they matter. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

*BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.


1. UNITED STATES/CHINA – Security (Health): China Opposes All US Flight Restrictions On Chinese Airlines

BLUF: China said on Monday it opposes all U.S. restrictions imposed against Chinese airlines, responding to a report that the U.S. Transportation Department has demanded Chinese carriers file their schedules and other flight details by May 27. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said flight restrictions imposed by Beijing treated all airlines equally and were due to efforts to curb COVID-19 related risks. The U.S. government late on Friday accused the Chinese government of making it impossible for U.S. airlines to resume service to China. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: China and the US are currently engaged on multiple issues at the political level, as flight restrictions, along with the current situation in Hong Kong, the US backing of Taiwan, the accusations around COVID-19 leveled at China by the US; and the South China Seas being several of the more significant issues.


2. SPAIN – Security (Health): Spain To End Quarantines Requirements For Tourists From July

BLUF: Less than two weeks after it was introduced, Spain said it would be ending quarantine requirements for new arrivals from July in order to encourage tourists to visit this summer. A mandatory 14-day quarantine rule for new arrivals in Spain has been in place since May 15th even though a travel ban means only those Spanish citizens, legal residents or those with legitimate work reasons can enter the country at all. (The Local. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: European governments are working to reopen their countries for the summer tourist season. With fears of a ‘second wave’ outbreak a concern for many governments, tourist hotspots such as Spain walk a fine line between reopening for tourist business and having to deal with a spike in COVID-19-related illness.


3. LIBYA – Security: Libyan Coastguard Detains Hundreds Of Migrants Bound For Europe

BLUF: Libya's coastguard intercepted about 400 Europe-bound migrants off the country's Mediterranean coast over the past two days, and brought them to detention centres near the capital Tripoli. Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM), said the refugees and asylum seekers were taken to the al-Nasser detention facility in the town of Zawya, west of Tripoli. (Al Jazeera. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The coronavirus pandemic has had a compounding effect on refugees fleeing war-torn countries, as refugee rescue organizations have their operations stifled by pandemic restrictions.


4. MONTENEGRO – Security (Health): Montenegro Declares Itself COVID-19 Free

BLUF: Montenegro has become the first European country eradicating the novel coronavirus, the health minister announced on Monday. "In the days ahead, responsible behavior and shared health care will be our trump card to continue to be proud holders of the title of 'corona free' state that has shown that it knows how to face and fight a dangerous enemy that has conquered the entire planet," Kenan Hrapovic told the state TV. He said the ministry and health care system will focus on monitoring developments and prepare to respond to indicators of COVID-19. (Andalou. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: European countries are eager to show the world that they will be open for the summer tourism season. It is likely that more European countries will continue to lift restrictions or declare themselves coronavirus-free as they seek to restart their vital tourism industries.


5. HONG KONG – Security: Hong Kong And Beijing Officials Defend Security Laws, Citing Threat Of Terrorism

BLUF: China’s foreign ministry office in Hong Kong and the city’s security chief on Monday defended proposed national security laws by describing some acts in mass pro-democracy protests last year as terrorism. Several government departments issued statements in defence of the proposal after the biggest protest in the city since the coronavirus lockdown on Sunday. The security legislation, some details of which were announced last week, aims to tackle secession, subversion and terrorist activities and could see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, one of the world’s leading financial hubs. Pro-democracy activists and politicians say the legislation could erode Hong Kong’s freedoms, guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement under which former colonial power Britain returned the territory to China in 1997. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: After months of massive protest, Beijing and the Hong Kong’s executive branch continue with plans to erode the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ agreement. Further protests will almost certain continue, as the battle for democracy continues past the point of no return.


6. TAIWAN – Security: Taiwan Considers Revoking Hong Kong’s Special Status On Law Fears

BLUF: China’s planned national security law may prompt Taiwan to revoke the special status it extends to Hong Kong, President Tsai Ing-wen said, a move that could anger Beijing and make it harder for Hong Kongers to visit and invest. China is proposing the new legislation for the Chinese-ruled city after months of anti-government protests, and the decision has already ignited renewed unrest in Hong Kong and prompted condemnation from Western capitals. The demonstrators have won widespread sympathy in democratic Taiwan, and the support for the protesters by Tsai and her administration has worsened already poor ties between Taipei and Beijing. China has repeatedly denounced Taiwan’s government for supporting the protesters, and accused activists in both places of colluding to plot independence. (Reuters. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: Relations between Beijing and Taiwan are severely deteriorating, with Beijing’s rhetoric toward bringing Taiwan under their control becomes sterner. The passing of Beijing’s security laws would see Chinese intelligence agencies in Hong Kong establish a further foothold that would pose a direct threat to Taiwan.


7. JAPAN – Security (Health): Japan Lifts State Of Emergency In Tokyo

BLUF: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lifted the state of emergency for Tokyo and four neighboring prefectures imposed last month at the height of the coronavirus outbreak. The move ends nationwide restrictions as businesses begin to reopen their doors. The prime minister announced the move Monday during a televised speech, hours after a special coronavirus panel approved a plan to lift the decree for the Japanese capital and its surrounding areas. The decision was made after the number of new infections began trending downward. (VOA News. See Link In Heading) Why It Matters: The Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled for 2020, has now been moved to 2021. Japan’s ability to prove itself to keep infected numbers down will be critical in ensuring that the Olympics are not cancelled outright next year, that would result in a significant amount of lost investment.



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