Coronavirus: Air Canada cancels Toronto-Hong Kong flights, extends China flight cancellations

  • Coronavirus: Air Canada cancels Toronto-Hong Kong flights, extends China flight cancellations

Coronavirus: Air Canada cancels Toronto-Hong Kong flights, extends China flight cancellations

A brief notice on the central government's website said Xia Baolong would take over from Zhang Xiaoming as Beijing's chief representative in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

"It's clear that Xi Jinping wants to have a clear grasp of the situation in Hong Kong - that's the major point", Lo added.

"As we continue to evaluate our operation between our USA hubs and Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong, we have made a decision to extend the suspension of those flights until April 24".

Xia is a former Communist Party secretary - the top local official - of the prosperous eastern province of Zhejiang, where president and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping spent many years as a top official. The statement announcing Xia's new title Thursday also made clear for the first time that the chief liaison reports directly to the Hong Kong & Macau Affairs Office.

American Airlines Group Inc, the largest US carrier, said on Tuesday it was extending the suspension of its China and Hong Kong flights through April 24, amid reduced demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The removal of Zhang, who will remain with the HKMAO as deputy director in charge of daily operations, follows Beijing's January move to replace the head of its Hong Kong liaison office, the most senior Beijing-appointed official in the former British colony.

The CCP late past year issued a communique signaling greater intervention in everything from education in Hong Kong to how the territory picks its leader. "This would definitely have an impact on Hong Kong's civil society".

"While that may give Hong Kong "face", it is certainly going to put Hong Kong under more political pressure", Cabestan said.

Xia's push in 2014 and 2015 to tear down crosses on the roofs of churches in the eastern province of Zhejiang was widely criticized by the worldwide community. "We can expect that to continue", Cabestan said. SpiceJet crew was reportedly very unhappy with the airline's decision to continue flying to Hong Kong.

The bill was scrapped after mass demonstrations, although the protests evolved into calls for greater democracy, posing the gravest popular challenge to Xi since he came to power.

It also called for Hong Kong to ideal its legal system to "safeguard national security", "strengthen law enforcement power", and increase "patriotic education" of young people and civil servants.

Professor Ying Fuk Tsang, the director of the divinity school at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the appointment of a close ally of Xi who had consistently shown his eagerness to carry out his orders meant he might also intensify ideological control in Hong Kong.