August 11 - 17, 2020
US rule on Hong Kong products unacceptable
Regarding the US’ new rule on origin marking, which requires Hong Kong-made products exported to the country to be labeled as made in China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is clarifying certain important implementation details with the US authorities through the Economic and Trade Office in Washington to decide on the way forward. The Government will carefully consider if the US’ measures contravene World Trade Organization rules and will maintain liaison with and provide clarification to the trade. Speaking after meeting with major local trade chambers, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau (Aug 13) said the new rule is unacceptable and an attempt to undermine the city's separate customs status, adding that the HKSAR Government will protect Hong Kong’s interests.
Sixth-term LegCo to continue to discharge duties
The sixth term Legislative Council (LegCo) of HKSAR will continue to discharge its duties for no less than one year until the commencement of the seventh-term LegCo. The decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Committee also stated clearly the seventh-term LegCo will have a term of four years after it has been formed in accordance with the law. The HKSAR Government announced on July 31 that owing to the severe COVID-19 epidemic situation, the 2020 LegCo election, originally scheduled for Sep 6, will be postponed for a year in order to protect public safety and public health as well as ensure elections are conducted openly and fairly.
Third wave of epidemic is far from over
Existing social distancing measures in Hong Kong will be extended for seven days to Aug 25 as the COVID-19 situation remains severe. The measures include the cessation of dine-in services at catering businesses from 6pm to 4.59am of the next day, the closure of scheduled premises, and the requirement of wearing a mask at all times in public places. Although there has been a decline in the number of daily new cases from its peak in late July, it remains at a high level with the seven-day average still higher than the peak of the second wave in March and April. The latest wave is characterized by community infections with a widespread distribution geographically and across sectors. In addition, it is under way against the backdrop that internationally the epidemic situation and new infections are still on a rising trend.
Special work arrangement for government employees to be extended
In view of the local epidemic situation and the need to reduce people flow and social contacts, the special work arrangement for government employees will be extended for one week until Aug 23. Except for those involved in the provision of emergency services and essential public services, all other government employees will continue to work from home. “The special work arrangement has been implemented for almost a month. Taking into account the need to fight the virus for the whole community, the provision of many public services has been reduced to a various extent, or the waiting time for public services has been lengthened, or a longer time has been taken to complete the processing of the applications, which have affected and caused inconvenience to the public. We appeal for their understanding," said the HKSAR Government spokesman.
COVID-19 testing to be done in Hong Kong
All testing for the community COVID-19 testing program will be conducted in Hong Kong. Test specimens will not be transported outside Hong Kong and will be destroyed after testing. Under the program, specimens and the registration of personal particulars will be handled separately. Privacy will not be compromised. By engaging Hong Kong citizens to join this one-time and free testing service on a voluntary basis, it is hoped that asymptomatic patients in the community can be located for early treatment and the pandemic will subside.
Hong Kong films go virtual
Going virtual, this year’s 19th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) (Aug 28 – Sep 12) will continue to shine a spotlight on Hong Kong films. Streaming on the Smart Cinema USA app, this year’s Hong Kong Panorama features eight Hong Kong productions, including the world premiere of "Hell Bank Presents: Running Ghost"; the North American premieres of "Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down", "The Grand Grandmaster", "Unleashed"; the US premiere of "Legally Declared Dead"; the East Coast premieres of "My Prince Edward", "A Witness Out of the Blue" along with "Chasing Dream", the latest work by acclaimed director Johnnie To.
Applications open for scriptwriting program
Current and aspiring scriptwriters are encouraged to apply for the Scriptwriting Incubation Program (SIP) from now until Oct 14. This is part of the five major measures the HKSAR Government introduced under the Film Development Fund to help the trade tide over this difficult period and re-energize Hong Kong’s film industry. With total funding of US$1.02 million, the SIP aims at identifying and nurturing local scriptwriting talent to help incubate quality scripts, thereby enhancing the quality of Hong Kong productions. Application details can be found on the Film Development Council’s website.
  • Real GDP fell by 9% year-on-year in the second quarter, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to deal heavy blows to global and local economic activities. The real GDP growth forecast for 2020 as a whole is revised downwards to -6% to -8% in the current round of review.
Hong Kong and its Basic Law
The Basic Law is the constitutional document of the HKSAR. Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems”. 

Q: Has the Central People’s Government (CPG) or any Mainland province interfered in the administering of the HKSAR Government?

A: No. Hong Kong has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy since its return to the Motherland on July 1, 1997. In accordance with the Basic Law, the CPG has scrupulously upheld the principle of “one country, two systems” and the promise of “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong”. No department of CPG and no province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the CPG has interfered in the affairs which the HKSAR Government administers on its own in accordance with the Basic Law. (BL Articles 2; 12; 22)
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