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Chinese-American professor appeals Singapore expulsion
by Staff Writers
Singapore (AFP) Aug 8, 2017

Belgian prince risks allowance cut over Chinese contacts
Brussels (AFP) Aug 7, 2017 - Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is taking action that could cut Prince Laurent's allowance after the tearaway younger brother of King Philippe met Chinese officials without official consent, government sources said Monday.

Prince Laurent, 53, was photographed wearing a military uniform last month while attending the 90th anniversary of the Chinese army at Beijing's embassy in Brussels -- a photo he himself tweeted.

Michel, who met with the king earlier Monday, "announced he would launch a sanction procedure" against Prince Laurent which could lead to a reduction in his annual allowance of 308,000 euros ($363,000), a government source said.

Royal family members are required to obtain consent from the Belgian government for any meetings with foreign dignitaries, something the source said the prince had not received.

"It is in cooperation with the king that Charles Michel took the decision to ask for a penalty," the royal palace told the Belga news agency.

Sometimes referred to as the "Prince Maudit" -- the Cursed Prince -- Laurent is widely reported to suffer from depression.

Fined several times for speeding and chided for fraternising with African leaders without the government's consent, Laurent has long been considered the "enfant terrible" of the Belgian royal family.

The prince made headlines in 2013 when he was hospitalised with internal injuries after falling while skiing in Austria.

But he is also seen as a likeable figure, if something of an oddball, as an animal lover who recently confessed he wished he could "converse with an octopus or a fly."

A prominent scholar of Chinese studies said Tuesday he had appealed against a decision to expel him from Singapore for allegedly working as "an agent of influence" for a foreign state.

Huang Jing, a US citizen of Chinese descent who worked at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, had his permanent residence status revoked by authorities last week.

His wife Shirley Yang Xiuping, whom the ministry said knew he was acting for a foreign government, was also permanently banned from Singapore.

Authorities did not say which government he was accused of working for but he has written extensively on China and regularly contributed to state-run media.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said he was "an agent of influence of a foreign country" who had used his position to try to influence Singapore's foreign policy.

Huang, who is still in the city-state, confirmed to AFP that he had appealed against the decision to ban him and his wife from Singapore and refused to comment further. Anyone who has their permanent residence status cancelled has the right to appeal.

The Ministry of Home Affairs declined to comment Tuesday.

After news broke last week of the government's decision, the professor told Hong Kong's South China Morning Post the allegations against him were "nonsense".

Huang's case comes at a time Singapore and China's historically warm ties are being tested.

There were tensions earlier this year when the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong seized nine Singapore armoured troop carriers as they returned to the city-state after conducting military exercises in Taiwan.

Beijing considers self-ruling Taiwan a renegade province awaiting reunification.

Hong Kong bishop says church could be 'bridge' with China
Hong Kong (AFP) Aug 2, 2017
The new head of the Hong Kong Catholic Church on Wednesday said it was willing to act as a "bridge" between Chinese authorities and the Vatican. There are an estimated 12 million Catholics in China, but the Vatican has not had diplomatic relations with Beijing since 1951, two years after the founding of the communist People's Republic. Hong Kong's outgoing church leader, Cardinal John To ... read more

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