Japan won a two-year term on the UN Security Council, and hopes to prove that it deserves a permanent seat on the powerful body as the issue of UN reform takes center stage next year. \nArgentina, Denmark, Greece and Tanzania were also elected on Friday as nonpermanent members -- all committed to enlarging the 15-member coun-cil, but without the same open ambition as Japan to make their two-year stints permanent. \n"It is unprecedented that the sort of momentum for seeking the reform of the Security Council is very, very great at this moment, and the fact that Japan comes into the Security Council as a non-permanent member has a special meaning," said Japan's UN Ambassador Koichi Haraguchi. \n"The people will look at the behavior of Japan, even if it's this time not a permanent member," he said. "They regard Japan as a country who has a very strong hope to serve in the Security Council as a new permanent member ... So we will continue to keep that in mind and do as much as possible to live up to the ... expectation." \nCalling it "a big day for us," Haraguchi said Japan is already "very heavily involved" in key issues before the council including Iraq, Afghanistan and African conflicts, and will remain involved. Japan will also focus on "the so-called new threats and and new challenges ... which require a lot of creative thinking" including the prevention of terrorism and weapons proliferation, he said. \nWhile some elections for Security Council seats are hotly contested battles, Friday's election by the 191 members of the UN General Assembly rubber-stamped the candidates selected months ago by regional groups. \nIn the secret ballot, Argentina received 188 votes, Greece 187, Tanzania 186, Japan 184 and Denmark 181. \nWhen the five countries take their seats on Jan. 1, the complexion of the council will change. The departure of Pakistan -- along with Angola, Chile, Germany and Spain -- means the council will lose one of its two Muslim nations, leaving just Algeria to represent Islamic nations. \n"That's why we are asking that Islamic countries should be more equitably represented in an enlarged council," said Pakistan's UN Ambassador Munir Akram. \nThe five permanent members -- the US, Britain, France, Russia and China -- are the only ones with veto power. \nWhile reform of the Security Council is the subject of intense discussion, the decision will be made by the General Assembly, though it must be ratified by the permanent Council members. \nWhile there is widespread support among all UN member states to expand the Security Council to reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st century, there is no agreement on how large it should be, which countries should get seats, whether the new seats should be permanent or temporary, and which members should have veto power. \n"Everybody said there is a necessity to reform," General Assembly President Jean Ping told a news conference Friday. "The problem is how and which type of reforms." \n"But it's moving fast, moving," he said, when asked about prospects for agreement. \nAt last month's General Assembly ministerial meeting, the leaders of Japan, Germany, Brazil and India agreed to support each other's candidacies for permanent seats.
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration