|Bid||6.640 x 0|
|Ask||6.670 x 0|
|Day's Range||6.510 - 6.800|
|52 Week Range||4.490 - 8.390|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.67|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||12.71|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.05 (0.75%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Jun 04, 2020|
|1y Target Est||7.10|
China's Houston consulate is the "epicentre" of efforts by the Chinese military to send students to the US to obtain information that could advance its warfare capabilities, a top US diplomat said on Wednesday in the most detailed explanation so far for the Trump administration's abrupt decision to order the diplomatic outpost's closure.The US government ordered China to close the consulate on Tuesday, provoking outrage from Beijing and prompting diplomats to begin burning documents in the building's courtyard. Previous statements issued by the State Department spoke only in broad terms about China's alleged violation of US sovereignty and intimidation of Americans.That changed on Wednesday morning, when David Stilwell, the top East Asia official at the State Department, singled out the consulate in Houston in a New York Times interview as having "a history of engaging in subversive behaviour".The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been "sending students both overtly and otherwise to American universities to study things to advance their own warfare advantages in the economic world and the rest", said Stilwell, adding that "at the epicentre of all these activities facilitated by the [People's Republic of China] mission is this consulate in Houston".The facility provides consular services across eight states including Texas, and is one of five " soon to be four " consulates across the country.Stilwell also accused China's consul general in Houston and other diplomats there of having recently engaged in questionable activity at Houston's international airport, where they were escorting Chinese citizens onto a chartered flight to China.Air China, which has made special flights to repatriate Chinese citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic, was holding paperwork with false birth dates for the diplomats, The Times reported Stilwell as saying.The Chinese Embassy in Washington and Air China did not respond to a request for comment. The State Department did not answer a question to clarify what the diplomats' questionable airport activity was.Though the most specific explanation for the closure to date, Stilwell's suggestion that the consulate had been helping students steal from US universities and was guilty of other subversive behaviour was "patchy", said Jessica Chen Weiss, an expert on Chinese politics and associate professor of government at Cornell University."Unless more evidence is forthcoming, the US decision to close the Chinese consulate in Houston looks like a stepped-up effort to use China as the bogeyman and distract US voters from the Trump administration's disastrous response to the pandemic," Weiss said.Addressing the consulate's closure during his tour of Europe, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the US administration was setting out "clear expectations for how the Chinese Communist Party is going to behave"."And when they don't, we're going to take actions that protect the American people, protect our security, our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs," said Pompeo, speaking in Denmark.Expressing doubt about the "intel capabilities" of the consulate in Houston, former Beijing-based US diplomat James Green said that Pompeo's upcoming address at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library was the "likely real driver" of the administration's decision to close the office."Having something big to announce or explain will give the speech more 'umph'," said Green, who also served as the top China official on the White House's National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration."Given Secretary Pompeo's series of increasingly vitriolic anti-China tirades, it's fair to ask if the timing of this action was linked to his upcoming speech at the Nixon library," echoed Daniel Russel, the former top East Asia official at the State Department under president Barack Obama and now vice-president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.The move marks a further deterioration in US-China relations, with tensions boiling on fronts including suspected human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the new national security law imposed on Hong Kong and Beijing's claims to territories in the South China Sea.Adding to the spat this week were indictments against Chinese nationals charged with hacking American coronavirus and defence secrets.China has vowed to retaliate against the consulate action, with analysts anticipating a reciprocal closure of one the United States' five consulates in the country.While Beijing could take the symbolic step of closing the consulate in Sichuan's Chengdu " which covers an area including Tibet, a pressure point in bilateral relations " Green predicted it would likely opt for the simpler option of closing the office in Wuhan, the United States' smallest and newest consulate.But, said Green: "Given how restricted US diplomats are in their activities in China and how closely the media and other organisations like universities and schools are controlled by authorities inside China, I do not think this move materially changes bilateral relations."Pointing to the consulate locations of Shenyang, Chengdu and Wuhan, Green said that "US messages and outreach in those cities have been limited for quite some time".Predictions that Beijing will order the US consulate in Wuhan closed come as the US State Department follows through with flights to bring consular staff members back to China, most of whom left as Covid-19 was still spreading in the country.One flight consisting of about 150 government employees and family members was scheduled to depart from Washington on Wednesday afternoon for Shanghai, with a stopover in Guam, according to one consular official on the flight. All passengers will be tested on arrival and are required by the Chinese government to quarantine in designated accommodations for 14 days.Another flight from Washington to Tianjin is scheduled for July 29.Additional reporting by Robert DelaneyThis article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hong Kong will lead a $5 billion (£4 billion) rescue of Cathay Pacific Airways <0293.HK>, which like other airlines has been hit by a global travel slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The government's involvement in the recapitalisation follows the double blows of Hong Kong's political unrest and the coronavirus outbreak, which Cathay said meant it was burning through about HK$3 billion (£306 million) a month in cash. Cathay has grounded most of its planes, flying only cargo and a skeleton passenger network to major destinations such as Beijing, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo.
The U.S. Transportation Department said Friday it will allow Chinese passenger air carriers to operate two flights after Beijing said it would ease coronavirus restrictions to allow in more foreign carriers. On Wednesday, Washington said it planned to bar all Chinese passenger airlines from flying to the United States by June 16 due to Beijing's curbs on U.S. carriers. The revised order Friday cuts in half the four weekly round trip flights Chinese passenger carriers have been flying to the United States and take effect immediately.