INTERNATIONAL NEWS in brief
China vows to respond to US surveillance flights
BEIJING, China (AP):
China disclosed yesterday that it will continue responding to US military surveillance flights off its coast, rejecting American accusations that one of Beijing's fighter jets acted recklessly in intercepting a US Navy plane last week.
Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said China's military would closely monitor US flights and reiterated calls for the US to scale back or end such missions altogether.
"According to different situations we will adopt different measures to make sure we safeguard our air and sea security of the country," Yang said at a monthly news briefing.
China has long complained about US surveillance flights that just skim the edge of China's territorial airspace. However, Yujun said such flights this year have become more frequent, are covering a wider area and are coming even closer to the Chinese coast.
US sea and air surveillance missions occur most frequently during Chinese military exercises or weapons tests, raising the risk of accidents and misunderstandings, Yujun said.
Hong Kong graft cops raid pro-democracy media boss's home
HONG KONG (AP):
Hong Kong anti-corruption police yesterday searched the homes of a media magnate, who is an outspoken critic of Beijing and a pro-democracy legislator, after receiving a complaint alleging that lawmakers had taken bribes.
Wielding search warrants, officers from the Independent Commission Against Corruption paid a morning visit to the homes of Jimmy Lai and Lai's top aide Mark Simon, Simon said. Pro-democracy lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan's home and office were also searched.
The timing raised eyebrows because it comes days before a key decision by Beijing on direct elections for the leader of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. It also comes a month after a trove of documents was leaked to competing news outlets detailing big donations by Lai to local pro-democracy political parties and politicians, including Lee.