New Vines Spring to Life with Water Security


In a fast-paced, rapidly changing world, there is something wonderfully reassuring about the familiarity and predictability of winter in a cool climate wine region.

Soaking rains fill storage dams and recharge river systems essential for vineyard irrigation. Then all is right with the world. At least, that’s how it is supposed to go in south-eastern Australia.

But Tasmania’s east coast is different, according to Spring Vale Wines’ Managing Director, Tim Lyne.

For nine of the past fourteen years he’s been resident there, Cranbrook has received less than 629mm of annual rainfall, the long-term average for the small township located 20 kilometres north of Swansea. This is the first winter since 2016 he’s seen sufficient rainfall to replenish depleted storages and river systems in the district.

Tim Lyne with father and vineyard founder, Rod Lyne. Image supplied.

“Last year was incredibly dry, from summer and autumn, all the way through winter and on into September,” Lyne explains.

“It was so dry here at Spring Vale we sold all our cattle, because there was no feed left for them.”

Water security has become a critical issue for the family-owned and operated wine venture that began with the planting of a small patch (0.8ha) of Pinot Noir back in 1986.

Lyne took over the business reins in 2006 and has had prime responsibility for the ambitious expansion programs that have taken place there ever since. Indeed, Spring Vale has now grown from being a small-scale player with just 6.6ha of vines to a mid-sized one boasting 32ha of plantings.

New posts signal expansion is on the way. Image supplied.

More than 11ha of vineyard expansion was undertaken last year.

Lyne says Spring Vale is among a significant number of land users around Cranbrook and Swansea that has been able to take advantage of the new 2,000ML Swan Valley Irrigation Scheme commissioned by Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) during 2019.

Established in 2008, TI plays a pivotal role in realising critical elements of the Tasmanian Water Development Plan being pursued by the Tasmanian government.

The agency’s brief includes working closely with private landholders to work out how much water is required for irrigation in a specific regional location. Costs incurred in the building of any subsequent new scheme are shared between the public and the private sector.

Lyne says the $18 million Swan scheme was constructed in 2017 and is already fully subscribed. It is a key component of a $220 million funding program undertaken by the federal and Tasmanian governments to progress Tranche One of irrigation development in the state.

“It’s a game-changer for horticulture and viticulture in this part of the east coast,” says the young bloke who returned to his family’s farm and vineyard in 2006 with a Master of Business Administration from the Queensland University of Technology.

“Our most recent plantings have all been put in on the basis of having good water security.”

Iced vine rows. Image supplied.

Much of the flat, grazing country around Cranbrook is subject to periodic winter and early spring frosts, Lyne admits. His company’s irrigation needs include a reliable supply of water to activate Spring Vale’s extensive network of overhead sprinklers. These provide valuable frost protection for new buds and shoots as they emerge from vines during the critical months of September and October.

“Our on-farm water storage isn’t that large, and we need to be constantly replenishing it as fast as we use it for frost protection,” Lyne explains.

“With the cycle of rains we typically get along the east coast, it’s either a feast or a famine. We tend to have quite long dry spells broken by major rain events. River flows then change rapidly, from a base of around 200ML a day to perhaps 16,000ML per day. But it’s not long before that’s back to 200ML or 300ML a day. The lesson is you need big pumps, big infrastructure and the capacity to take your water allocation quickly before it disappears.”

Lyne says the effects of prolonged drought between late 2016 and late 2019 were exacerbated by the especially low rainfall of the past three winters.

“Our vines have been really struggling to maintain good yields as a result of those deep, dry winter months,” he adds.

“We just haven’t been able to achieve the kind of shoot growth and leaf area necessary to carry and ripen a good crop of fruit. Come pruning time, all you’re faced with is a whole lot of very spindly growth that just can’t produce the number of new buds and shoots you’d expect from healthy, well-balanced vines.

“The good winter rains we’ve experienced this season – combined with improved irrigation – should bring us much better vineyard returns next vintage.”

Spring Vale’s rustic vineyard cellar door re-opened recently to trade seven days per week during the Tasmanian school holiday period. Business hours are 11:00am-4:00pm. For details, ring (03) 6257 8208.

Rustic charm – Spring Vale’s cellar door. Image supplied.

Vintage 2020

This week’s news of Tasmania’s 2020 vintage will be something of a mixed blessing for lovers of elegant, cool climate wine. Quality is up, but quantity is down.

Overall, the state’s challenging growing and ripening seasons have rewarded growers with some outstanding harvests. Vintage highlights will include Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for both still and sparkling wines, according to Wine Tasmania Technical Officer, Paul Smart.

Wine Tasmania Technical Officer Paul Smart. Image courtesy Mark Smith.

Plenty of joy should also be found among aromatic white wines, such as those made from Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.

“The 2019/20 season will be remembered as one of the most challenging in recent years, from the initial budburst in spring through to a delayed harvest throughout March, April and May,” Smart noted.

“Most of this pressure came from Mother Nature, with a cooler than average season, lengthening the time to harvest and causing a slower harvest. Cold and constant winds during spring resulted in smaller bunches and impacted on overall yields.

“For some areas, lack of rain was a challenge, while significant rainfall in other areas close to harvest created a different type of challenge.”

Wine Tasmania’s vintage assessment made special mention of viticulture and other agricultural activities being deemed essential services during COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, the 2020 vintage was largely unimpeded in Tasmanian vineyards.

Pipers Brook Vineyard harvest, 2020. Image supplied.

This year’s harvest total exceeded 12,000 tonnes by a small margin, and represented a yield reduction of almost 30 percent when compared with 2019.

More comprehensive details of the 2020 Tasmanian vintage can be accessed here.

This year’s data and infographics have been augmented by a nine-minute video of interviews recorded with wine producers in five of the State’s seven sub-regions. They are Bec Duffy (Holm Oak, Tamar Valley); Gilli Lipscombe (Sailor Seeks Horse, Huon/Channel); Luke Whittle (Kreglinger Wine Estates, North East); Darren Brown (Puddleduck, Coal River Valley); and Tim Lyne (Spring Vale, East Coast)


Hobart’s Mark Smith wrote his first weekly wine column back in 1994. Now more than 1700 features and 25 years later, he continues to chart the successes of Tasmania’s small scale, cool climate wine industry with regular contributions to some of Australia’s leading industry publications.


PICK OF THE CROP

Mark gives you his honest opinions about the best wines available right now from Tasmania’s wine makers.

 

2014 La Villa Blanc de Blancs $58

La Villa on Tasmania’s North West Coast has largely travelled under the radar since Marcus and Gail Burns established their 7ha vineyard at Spreyton a decade ago. But taste your way through its current portfolio and you soon realise this quality-driven family operation deserves to be much better known than it is. The property’s pale gold, vintage sparkling wine is a delight to drink right now. Crafted entirely from estate-grown Chardonnay, it offers a wonderfully smooth mouthful of gentle citrus and honey flavours. Subtlety and persistence contribute to enjoyment in equal measures. Lovely. www.lavillawines.com.au

 

 

2018 Stefano Lubiana Riesling $33

Stefano Lubiana in the Derwent Valley gained certified biodynamic status for its Granton site back in 2013. Since then, the family’s low-yielding Riesling vines have become the key beneficiaries of an intensive composting program designed to revitalise their scrawny leaf canopies. Impeccable fruit quality in 2018 gave rise to this marvellous example of Tasmanian Riesling. Rich lime and green apple notes are joined on the palate by delicious floral/citrus fruits that have a preserved lemon dimension. A dab of residual sugar is balanced by fine acidity that drives the wine to a long juicy finish. Job done. www.slw.com.au

 

 

2019 Pipers Tasmania Rosé $29

Pedants will tell you Rosés are best enjoyed over summer. That may ring true for warm climate styles produced around the country, but many from Tasmania improve beyond their first year of life. Forget giggle-juice, this striking wine was crafted from a diverse mix of vineyard sources located at Pipers Brook and along the West Tamar. It drinks particularly well now when paired with oily fish like smoked salmon. Sensitively handled oak maturation and lees contact have given this Rosé some pleasing weight and texture, but not at the expense of its vibrant savoury fruit characters. www.kreglingerwineestates.com

 

 

2018 Spring Vale Pinot Noir $48

Along with Freycinet, Spring Vale on the East Coast was one of the State’s most successful Pinot Noir producers in the 1990s. With vines now into their fourth decade of life, it’s little wonder the Cranbrook site still figures on the variety’s Tasmanian honour roll. This 2018 is much less of a fruit bomb than those of yesteryear, and it’s all the better for it. Rich fruit pastille characters carry an element of fennel/spice complexity across the palate, while the depth of flavour is elegant and intense rather than powerhouse. Very more-ish. www.springvalewines.com

 


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Hotel quarantine debacle leaves security firms with big questions to answer


The disastrous handling of Melbourne’s resort quarantine energy has put protection companies firmly in the spotlight.

(Picture: Unified Protection/Facebook)

This story is section two in a series. Examine aspect one in this article.

The failure of Victoria’s lodge quarantine energy has arrive at a high selling price. Citing genomic screening knowledge, Victorian Leading Daniel Andrews has claimed the affect is sizeable, however the whole tale of the distribute of COVID-19 by safety guards is however to be advised and might nonetheless be linked to infections in Melbourne’s higher increase towers.

And as Inq has found, one particular enterprise at the centre of the debacle is also proclaiming to be a chosen provider of stability services for Metro Trains Melbourne.





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China opens headquarters for security agents in Hong Kong



China on Wednesday opened a new office for its security agents to operate openly in Hong Kong for the first time under a tough new law, transforming a hotel into the force’s headquarters.

“The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was inaugurated here on Wednesday morning,” China’s official Xinhua news agency said.

The new base is the Metropark Hotel, a skyscraper overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Park.

The city’s leader said the opening of the new office a “historic moment” that will help safeguard national security.

“Today’s unveiling ceremony is a historic moment because we are witnessing another milestone in the establishment of a sound legal system and enforcement mechanism for maintaining national security in Hong Kong,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a speech during an inauguration ceremony for the new office.

A plaque bearing the security agency’s name was unveiled early on Wednesday in front of Hong Kong government and police officials.

Police blocked roads around the hotel and surrounded it with heavy water-filled barriers.



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New security law starts to break down Hong Kong’s pro-democracy economy



FILE PHOTO: Memo papers with protest slogans are seen outside a “yellow” restaurant, a business that supports the pro-democracy movement, after the new national security law legislation in Hong Kong, China July 3, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

July 7, 2020

By Yanni Chow and Carol Mang

HONG KONG (Reuters) – As soon as Hong Kong’s new national security law came into force last week, Ivan Ng removed all the protest-themed paintings, posters and flags from the list of items for sale at his Onestep Printing shop.

Sandra Leung at Wefund.hk, which sells protest-themed artwork and accessories, said she has suspended sales of protective gear worn by protesters, flags with the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong,” and other items carrying popular chants.

Jeffrey Cheong, owner of Hair Guys Salon, said he closed his shop down for a few days last week to remove pro-democracy decorations.

Ng, Leung and Cheong are three of the 4,500 or so small businesses in Hong Kong’s “yellow economy,” which supports pro-democracy protesters and vice versa. That circle of support is showing signs of weakening in the face of the new law.

“We took down all the protest-related products right after the law was implemented, because the law doesn’t have very clear boundaries of (what constitutes) subversion,” Ng said. In the past week, he said his overall sales are down as much as 80%.

Leung said she had withdrawn items for sale she described as “sensitive,” such as gas masks used by protesters and items with anti-police slogans.

The new law prohibits what China describes broadly as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison for offenders. It came into force late last Tuesday, about an hour before the 23rd anniversary of China taking back control of the former British colony.

The Hong Kong government went further on Friday, declaring the popular protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times” illegal. Public libraries have started to review books written by pro-democracy activists to see whether they violate the new law.

LENNON WALLS GO

Hong Kong and Beijing authorities insist the city retains a “high degree of autonomy” but critics say the law effectively brings Hong Kong under the control of China’s Communist Party and violates China’s promise to safeguard Hong Kong’s freedom for 50 years after the 1997 handover.

Some businesses told local media they had been visited by the police who warned them that pro-democracy decorations were against the new law. Hong Kong police declined to disclose details of any such visits. In a statement to Reuters, a police representative said the objective of any enforcement action was not to target flags or slogans, but to “interdict people’s behavior on inciting and/or abetting others for the commission of secession or subversion.”

With or without police visits, many shops run by pro-democracy sympathizers have in the past week taken down their so-called Lennon Walls, the mosaics of colored Post-it notes with protest messages left by customers, named after the John Lennon Wall in communist-controlled Prague that was covered with Beatles lyrics and messages of political grievance.

The absence of these eye-catching features will make it harder to spot which shops support the pro-democracy movement. The same is true on the web.

An online platform called “Eat With You” that compiles lists of yellow shops and blue shops – whose owners are perceived to be pro-Beijing – deactivated last week. Another, hkshoplist.com, has taken down the reasons why it listed shops as yellow.

Some are finding new ways to stay in touch with their pro-democracy customers, such as putting up mosaics of blank Post-its and replacing posters with plain A4 sheets of paper.

One shop selling ice cream and drinks has taken down protest-themed decorations and updated its menu with fake patriotic slogans, hoping customers will appreciate the satire. “We must drink for the members of the Communist Party and people who love our country!” and “Special drinks for socialism with Chinese characteristics!” are two examples.

“The national security law is suppressing our freedom of speech,” said Selina Leung, 26, the manager of the shop called Talk 2 DeCream. “Rather than violating the law, we are trying to have fun during this hardship.”

(Reporting by Yanni Chow and Carol Mang in Hong Kong; Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Bill Rigby)





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Five ways Hong Kong has changed under China’s security law


Beijing’s new nationwide stability law for Hong Kong is the most radical change in how the semi-autonomous metropolis is run because it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.

China’s authoritarian leaders say the powers will restore security soon after a 12 months of professional-democracy protests and will not stifle freedoms.

Demonstrators protest in opposition to China’s safety law.

AAP

But it has by now despatched worry coursing as a result of a town made use of to staying equipped to speak overtly and fundamentally altered the city’s relationship to the two Beijing and the outside the house world.

Authorized firewall toppled

A vital pillar of Hong Kong’s achievement has been an impartial judiciary, insulated from mainland China’s social gathering-managed courts and their conviction fees of around 99 percent.

That lawful firewall has now appear down.

The regulation grants China jurisdiction in some national security situations and lets mainland safety brokers to set up shop brazenly in the city for the first time. Those people staff are not sure by local regulations.

Local law enforcement have been granted broad surveillance powers that do not involve judicial oversight even though trials involving condition insider secrets can be held at the rear of closed doorways with out juries.

China also statements universal jurisdiction. That could make it dangerous for Beijing critics, such as foreigners, to travel to Hong Kong or by way of its airport.

Central govt command tightened

Hong Kong ordinarily passes its possess legislation through a legislature.

But the countrywide stability regulation was published in Beijing and imposed on the metropolis — its contents kept solution right up until it was enacted on Tuesday evening.

It establishes supremacy more than the Essential Regulation, the mini-structure that grants the city particular freedoms as nicely as judicial and legislative autonomy.

Passersby walk past bricks that have been dug up and laid out on the street as a way to slow down police during demonstrations.

Passersby stroll past bricks that have been dug up and laid out on the avenue as a way to sluggish down law enforcement during demonstrations.

AAP

The law states that if there is a discrepancy concerning the two methods, China’s law normally takes precedence.

It also embeds mainland officials in Hong Kong’s federal government.

A new nationwide safety commission is headed by the head of Beijing’s Liaison Office environment and staffed by both equally mainland and local officials.

Short article 22 of the Standard Legislation states the central federal government are unable to interfere in the running of Hong Kong.

But Beijing has designed distinct national protection trumps that and is the central government’s purview.

Slogans outlawed

Beijing and Hong Kong’s government mentioned the new powers would only concentrate on a “extremely compact minority”.

But it has quickly turn into distinct specified political views, even if expressed peacefully, are now illegal — specially phone calls for independence or autonomy.

Riot police officers arrest a protester.

Riot police officers arrest a protester.

AAP

The initial arrests less than the new law arrived on Wednesday, just about all of them men and women who had been in possession of flags or leaflets advertising independence.

On Thursday the authorities verified that a person of the city’s most popular protest chants — “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our moments” was now banned.

For some the phrase signifies legitimate aspirations to break up Hong Kong from China.

But for lots of other individuals it is a much more basic cry for democracy and an expression of soaring disappointment with Beijing’s rule.

Protest partitions scrubbed

The affect of the regulation on people’s speech has been noticeable each digitally and physically.

Some places to eat and organizations have taken out political shows following warnings from law enforcement. Officials have been filmed scraping specified phrases and phrases from a protest wall at a university campus.

Across town, posters and phrases are currently being eliminated from “Lennon Walls” that first sprung up during past year’s professional-democracy protests.

Welcoming a prepare for risk-free haven for Hong Kong inhabitants

Some Hong Kongers are acquiring resourceful, changing outlawed slogans with altered variations or puns that only trace at politics in a bid to stay forward of the new legal guidelines.

On the net, folks have scrubbed chat groups and anonymised their social media accounts — or deleted them entirely.

Politicians flee, shut down events

For decades Hong Kong was a area to which men and women fled when they feared persecution on the authoritarian mainland.

Now it is a location men and women flee from.

Distinguished democracy activist Nathan Law announced on Thursday night that he had gone abroad to an undisclosed place mainly because of the law.

Anti-riot police disperse a crowd of protesters.

Anti-riot law enforcement disperse a group of protesters.

AAP

He and a group of fellow young activists disbanded their pro-democracy social gathering Demosisto two days earlier, fearing prosecution, even however it does not advocate Hong Kong independence.

“As I search down at the magnificence of Hong Kong from the airplane, this image has turn into just one unforgettable scene in my thoughts,” he wrote.

“I hope the day will appear when I can return to Hong Kong all over again and I can even now be that young person who hasn’t neglected about his initial aspirations.”

Other groups who additional brazenly advocate autonomy for the city also introduced they were being shutting down.



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Canada suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty in protest over China security laws


Canada on Friday suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong to protest the tough new national safety legislation China has enacted in the fiscal hub.

Canada is also halting exports of delicate military services equipment to Hong Kong and updating its travel advisory for the town so Canadians will know how the regulation might impact them, the foreign ministry reported.

“Canada is a firm believer in the ‘one nation, two systems’ framework,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained, referring to the semi-autonomous design adopted right after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.

“We’re particularly concerned about the predicament in Hong Kong,” he instructed a press briefing.

Canadian Key Minister Justin Trudeau claims he is very worried about the Hong Kong problem.

AFP

Mr Trudeau mentioned the “one region, two systems” theory was crucial not just for the city’s 7.5 million folks, but for the 300,000 Canadians who stay there. 

“That is why we are heading to keep on to look at ways we can consider to make certain the security of its citizens,” he claimed, mentioning feasible new “immigration” measures, with no any particulars.

The Chinese legislation enacted this 7 days outlaws functions of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.

Beijing has confronted a groundswell of criticism, mainly from Western nations, more than the legislation, which radically will increase China’s regulate around Hong Kong.

China’s leaders say the suite of powers will restore steadiness after a year of sometimes violent protests and will not stifle freedoms. 

But law enforcement have previously begun arresting men and women for possessing protest flags and banners, and the governing administration in Hong Kong has made crystal clear sure political views, in particular calls for independence, are now outlawed.

The law was enacted in a secretive procedure, without the need of the participation of Hong Kong’s legislature, judiciary or people today, and in violation of global obligations, reported Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

“This procedure shown disregard for Hong Kong’s Essential Legislation and the higher degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong underneath the ‘one place, two systems’ framework,” the minister stated.

“Hong Kong’s role as a world-wide hub was constructed on that basis. Without it, Canada is compelled to reassess present preparations.”

Relations involving Canada and China have been tense for the reason that of extradition proceedings underneath way against an government of the Chinese telecoms huge Huawei, who is required in the US on suspicion of violating sanctions in opposition to Iran.



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Rumors about national security law for HKSAR, debunked (2)


People attend a campaign in support of the national security legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in Hong Kong, south China, May 24, 2020. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) — Some U.S. and Western politicians have recently made false accusations against the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Here are one of the rumors they spread, and the facts.

Rumor: The law may include vaguely-defined crimes that could be used by Chinese national security organs to suppress the public.

Facts:

— The law only targets four categories of offences that severely endanger national security, far less than dozens of national security crimes stipulated by laws in countries such as the United States and Britain.

— Enforcement of the law will strictly follow legal provisions, conform to the procedures stipulated by law, and respect the lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations.

— The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR will perform its mandate in strict compliance with the law and be subject to supervision in accordance with the law.

— Countries including the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have all established stringent legal systems safeguarding national security, taking a tough stance in cracking down on national security crimes. ■



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China and Britain clash over the fate of Hong Kongers under new security law


China has promised to choose countermeasures towards Britain if it presses forward with ideas to extend citizenship rights to Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed a sweeping protection legislation on the restless monetary hub.

Beijing has confronted a groundswell of criticism from principally Western nations around its final decision to impose a new law outlawing functions of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with international forces.

Introducing to concerns, Hong Kong’s influential Bar Association posted a new lawful evaluation warning that the wording of the regulation, which was stored key right up until Tuesday, undermines the city’s independent judiciary and stifles freedoms.

A man is detained and searched by police throughout a rally from the countrywide protection regulation in Hong Kong

EPA

Britain explained the law breaches China’s pre-handover “1 Region, Two Systems” guarantee to grant citizens vital liberties, as nicely as judicial and legislative autonomy, right up until 2047.

It has responded by saying programs to allow tens of millions of Hong Kongers with British Nationwide Abroad position to relocate with their families and finally utilize for citizenship.

“We will reside up to our guarantees to them,” international secretary Dominic Raab informed parliament.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

Uk Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab

PA Media

That move has infuriated Beijing, which says Britain promised not to grant complete citizenship legal rights to Hong Kongers ahead of the 1997 handover.

“If the British facet helps make unilateral changes to the related apply, it will breach its have situation and pledges as very well as worldwide regulation and simple norms governing global relations,” China’s embassy in London stated Thursday.

“We firmly oppose this and reserve the appropriate to choose corresponding steps,” it extra.

Sanctuary phone calls

Britain is not on your own in saying options to provide Hong Kongers sanctuary or enhanced immigration rights as fears multiply around the semi-autonomous city’s upcoming below the new regulation.

On Thursday, Australian leader Scott Morrison mentioned he was “incredibly actively” thinking of offering Hong Kongers safe and sound haven.

Taiwan has opened an office to assistance Hong Kongers wanting to flee, though a proposed monthly bill in the United States giving sanctuary to town people has acquired widespread bipartisan assist.

Beijing claims the law is wanted to quell seething pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and restore order immediately after a yr of political unrest.

But critics dread it will usher in a new era of political repression presented similar laws are routinely employed to crush dissent on the Chinese mainland.

The legislation has sent panic coursing by the city and rattled the authorized neighborhood in a organization hub that has constructed its standing on the independence and reliability of its courts.

The Bar Affiliation, which represents the city’s barristers, issued a scathing critique of the legislation, stating it dismantles the lawful firewall that has existed among Hong Kong’s judiciary and China’s Communist Occasion-managed courts.

The new countrywide stability offences have been “extensively drawn”, the group explained, and “are able of currently being utilized in a way that is arbitrary, and that disproportionately interferes with basic legal rights, which include the freedom of conscience, expression and assembly”.

It also criticised “the total absence of meaningful session” with Hong Kongers in advance of the law was handed.

Very first arrests

Thousands of citizens defied a protest ban on Wednesday, the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, to block streets and voice opposition to the invoice in some of the worst unrest in months.

Police responded with h2o cannon, pepper spray and tear gasoline, arresting virtually 400 individuals.

Hong Kong arrests hundreds protesting new stability regulation

7 officers have been injured, which includes 1 who was stabbed in the shoulder and 3 other people strike by a protester on a motorcycle.

10 folks were arrested beneath the new legislation, illustrating how keeping specific political views experienced become illegal right away.

Most of individuals arrested had been carrying flags or leaflets advocating for Hong Kong independence.

The stability law is controversial for the reason that it radically increases Beijing’s manage around the town.

China claims it will have jurisdiction in excess of some scenarios and has empowered its protection agents to function brazenly inside of Hong Kong for the to start with time, unconstrained by community legislation.

It has also claimed world-wide jurisdiction, indicating the legislation handles countrywide protection offences fully commited overseas, even by foreigners.

Some trials will be held powering closed doors and devoid of juries, while nearby police have been granted sweeping surveillance powers that no lengthier need judicial indicator off.



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Hong Kong stocks surge in first trading under new security law—with a boost from mainland buyers


Stocks in Hong Kong rose on their first trading day since new national security laws were imposed on the city, amid signs mainland Chinese buying was behind some of the gains.

The Hang Seng Index added as much as 1.7%, led by property companies, and the city’s currency was near the strongest it’s allowed to trade. Stock volume was about 50% higher than the 30-day average at this time of day, which is unusual for the first session of the third quarter.

The positive reaction in stocks divided analysts and traders. Some said the gains reflected investor expectation that the legislation will deter protesters, which could help bring stability to the city’s streets and in turn encourage consumption. The analysts pointed to gains in local landlords like New World Development Co. — which owns hotels and shopping malls — as well as railway operator MTR Corp. as evidence.

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“Though there were protests yesterday, the number of people that took to the streets was much fewer, and severity of the clashes was far less than some of the violence we saw last year,” said Raymond Cheng, property analyst at CGS-CIMB Securities. “That’s reassuring for business.”

Others pointed to the guiding hand of the state, citing the Communist Party’s history in ensuring market stability around key anniversaries and politically-sensitive events. One Hong Kong-based trader, who declined to be identified discussing client flows, said he handled several buy orders on behalf of a state-backed Chinese fund. Mainland-based buyers had snapped up about HK$2 billion ($258 million) worth of Hong Kong stocks within the first hour of trading.

The city’s financial markets have been resilient to the crackdown, although no one had seen the contents of the legislation until Tuesday evening. While the Hang Seng Index sank the most in five years the day after the planned law became public knowledge, the benchmark took less than two weeks to recover from that shock. The gauge is at a higher level than where it was before China’s move to crack down on dissent in the city was first reported, with cheap valuations and steady inflows from mainland-based investors supporting local financial markets.

The Hong Kong dollar is also showing few signs of stress — trading near the strong end of its trading band against the greenback. Its 12-month forward points have dropped since spiking to the highest level since 1999 in May, showing demand to speculate against the currency is also waning.

There are clear signs that Beijing intends to prop up Hong Kong’s financial system through inflows and a flood of stock listings by mainland companies. Whether that support will be enough to maintain (or replace) the confidence of the global business community will need to be seen.

Drawn from mainland China’s system of governance, the laws complicate the city’s reputation as a place with a robust rule of law. They will also likely ignite concern about capital flight, especially after Boris Johnson’s government said it will allow millions of Hong Kong citizens to move to the U.K.

Investor confidence remains muted. The Hang Seng is in a bear market even as stocks in the U.S. and a benchmark of Asian shares recovered. Hong Kong equities lost almost 7% in May, the biggest drop relative to the MSCI All-Country World Index since the Asian financial crisis in 1998. That made the Hang Seng so cheap it still trades below book value, meaning traders are pricing firms’ assets at less than their stated worth.

Hong Kong’s economic outlook is clouded. The coronavirus pandemic has halted the daily influx of mostly mainland Chinese shoppers, hurting retail sales. The city’s wider economy contracted 8.9% in the first quarter from year-ago levels, suffering its worst quarter on record and extending the first recession in a decade.

With the new laws creating doubt over what could land people in trouble, global businesses will need to reassess Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a financial center. Further retaliation by the U.S. could also place the city even more firmly on the frontline of a battle between Beijing and Washington. All of which makes investing in Hong Kong assets a gamble on an increasingly uncertain future.

More must-read international coverage from Fortune:



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Hong Kong police make first arrests under controversial security law as thousands defy protest ban


Hong Kong police made the to start with arrests under Beijing’s new national stability regulation on Wednesday as the anniversary of the city’s handover to China was fulfilled by hundreds defying a ban on protests.

Law enforcement deployed h2o cannons, pepper spray and tear gas in the course of the afternoon, arresting extra than 180 folks, seven of them for breaching the new national protection legislation. 

The confrontations came a working day immediately after China imposed its controversial legislation on the restless town, a historic transfer decried by a lot of Western governments as an unprecedented assault on the finance hub’s liberties and autonomy.

Beijing stated the legislation would restore balance. But its imposition sparked the worst unrest in months. 

Police officers detain a protester following he was pepper sprayed

EPA

Specified political views and symbols grew to become unlawful right away, including showing help for Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet independence. 

Police explained the very first two countrywide stability arrests ended up for people today possessing signs endorsing independence.

“Advocacy for independence of Hong Kong is in opposition to the legislation,” protection minister John Lee told reporters. 

Several of individuals protesting on Wednesday chanted independence slogans.

“What this authoritarian routine wants to do is to terrorise the men and women and cease them from coming out,” Chris To, a 49-12 months-old protester, explained to AFP. 

Police mentioned one particular officer was stabbed in the shoulder as he tried using to make an arrest.

Damaged assure?

Opprobrium about the law poured in from critics and western governments – led by the United States – around fears the legislation will usher in a new era of mainland-model political repression. 

Less than a offer ahead of the 1997 handover from Britain, authoritarian China confirmed Hong Kong civil liberties as effectively as judicial and legislative autonomy till 2047 in a formula acknowledged as “A person Region, Two Units”.

“(China) promised 50 decades of liberty to the Hong Kong persons, and gave them only 23,” US Secretary of Condition Mike Pompeo stated as he promised unspecified countermeasures. 

But Beijing claimed foreign nations around the world really should preserve tranquil about the regulation, while Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam hailed the laws as the “most significant enhancement” given that the city’s return to Beijing’s rule.

Following big and usually violent professional-democracy protests very last yr, authorities have shown zero tolerance for even peaceful rallies in the latest months.

Gatherings of a lot more than 50 individuals are at this time banned underneath anti-coronavirus guidelines even though regional transmissions have ended. 

Riot police guard a road in Hong Kong

Riot police guard a highway in Hong Kong

EPA

Floats and helicopters

The 1 July anniversary has extended been a polarising day in the city.

Beijing loyalists celebrate Hong Kong’s return to the Chinese motherland after a century and a fifty percent of what they consider humiliating colonial rule by Britain.

On Wednesday early morning helicopters flew throughout Victoria Harbour carrying a substantial Chinese flag and a smaller sized Hong Kong pennant, whilst a barge appeared with a banner looking through “Welcome the Enacting of the Countrywide Safety Law” in huge Chinese figures.

Small groups of Beijing supporters waved Chinese flags in several local neighbourhoods, untroubled by law enforcement.

Democracy advocates have lengthy made use of the date to hold massive rallies as well-liked anger in the direction of Beijing swells – whilst this year’s occasion was banned for the initially time in 17 several years.

During massive pro-democracy demonstrations last 12 months, the city’s legislature was besieged and trashed by protesters.

Chinese jurisdiction and existence sentences

The “One Nation, Two Systems” components assisted cement Hong Kong’s standing as a planet-class organization hub, bolstered by an independent judiciary and political freedoms unseen on the mainland. 

But critics have prolonged accused Beijing of chipping away at that standing and describe the new safety legislation as the most brazen move yet.

It was passed in just 6 weeks, skipping Hong Kong’s fractious legislature, and the specific wording was retained solution until eventually it came into outcome late Tuesday.

It outlaws subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces to undermine countrywide security, with sentences of up to lifestyle in jail.

It also topples the lawful firewall that has existed involving the city’s judiciary and the mainland’s bash-controlled courts.

China will have jurisdiction more than “major” situations and its security agencies will also be ready to operate publicly in the city for the first time.

An additional provision also statements common jurisdiction for nationwide stability crimes fully commited further than Hong Kong or China. 

A commuter walks past a vandalised poster promoting the new national security law, in a subway station in Hong Kong, China, 1 July 2020

A commuter walks past a vandalised poster marketing the new nationwide protection law in a subway station in Hong Kong

EPA

Much more than two dozen countries – which includes Britain, France, Germany and Japan – urged Beijing to reconsider the law, indicating it undermines the city’s freedoms.

Canada, meanwhile, warned citizens in Hong Kong that they faced an amplified threat of arbitrary detention or even extradition to China.

Authorities in Taiwan opened a new place of work to offer with Hong Kongers in search of refuge. 

Beijing states the legislation will not stop Hong Kong’s freedoms but critics have tiny faith in those people assurances, offered how equivalent countrywide safety regulations are routinely applied on the mainland to crush dissent.



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