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Haiti – Heritage : The Gingerbread district, one of the 25...

Haiti - Heritage : The Gingerbread district, one of the 25 world sites to protect10/11/2019 08:34:52 The Gingerbread district of Port-au-Prince has been inscribed on the list of World Monuments Protected Observatory for the year 2020 of the World Monuments Fund (WMF) alongside 24 other iconic world treasures located in 22 countries , like Easter Island in Chile, Notre-Dame Cathedral in France or the sacred village of the Incas in Peru.The WMF list is a biennial selection of cultural heritage sites in danger that combine historical significance with contemporary social impact that offers compelling conservation opportunities, even when faced with threats such as increasing urbanization, political unrest, natural disasters and violent conflict.The Gingerbread district of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where "investment in its historic homes will continue to house a vital educational and cultural offer in the Haitian capital", was selected for the year 2020 among more than 250 applications, after a series of in-depth reviews, by an independent panel of international experts in heritage preservation."The chosen locations are determined not only by their architectural value, but also by their impact on communities around the world," said Benoît de Montlaur, CEO of WMF. "These remarkable sites demand sustainable, community-driven solutions that bring people together and combine conservation and social change [...]"Recall that the inscription of the Gingerbread district of Port-au-Prince on the list of the WMF in 2010 had given a scale to the project of restoration of the houses Gingerbread unique of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, led by FOKAL since 2011, in collaboration with the WMF and several other partners.Note that the WMF will now partner with local stakeholders at each site to design and implement targeted activities. Funders, primarily American Express, joined by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Ford Foundation, will provide funding to each site.Learn more about the WMF :The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent organization dedicated to safeguarding the most valuable places in the world. For more than 50 years, the WMF has worked in more than 100 countries, and its highly qualified experts have applied proven and effective techniques to the preservation of important sites of the world's architectural and cultural heritage.HL/ HaitiLibre

By 2025, China Could Have TWO Stealth Bombers

Key point: While the H-20 is slower and stealthier, the JH-XX would be faster.In January 2018, two sentences in an annual report by the DIA on Chinese military power sent a minor shockwave rippling across the defense-related internet:“The PLAAF is developing new medium- and long-range stealth bombers to strike regional and global targets. Stealth technology continues to play a key role in the development of these new bombers, which probably will reach initial operational capability no sooner than 2025.”Bombers, plural. In a separate chart, an un-designated next-generation “Tactical Bomber” is listed, denoted as being equipped with a high-resolution Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, precision-guided bombs and long-range air-to-air missiles.In the last few years, China’s development of what appears to be a subsonic long-range heavy strategic bomber called the H-20 has become increasingly evident—especially in 2018, when the Chinese government began teasing a public unveiling to take place in 2019. The flying wing bomber, which apparently resembles the U.S. B-2 Spirit in form and function, is to be produced by Xi’an Aircraft Corporation, which already manufactures older H-6 strategic bombers and the chubby Y-20 transport plane.However, the stealth “tactical” or “medium” bomber was news—sort of. The fighter-bomber in question is believed to refer to the JH-XX, a rival stealth bomber concept proposed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation believed to have been passed over in favor of the longer-range H-20. Shenyang is better known for producing fighters, including Chinese derivatives of the Russian Flanker jet and a J-31 stealth fighter which may be exported or serve on Chinese aircraft carriers.Read the original article.

5 Reasons ISIS Is Hanging On

Michael Weiss is the coauthor of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. Perhaps one of the last thoughts to occur to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before he ignited the suicide vest he’d strapped to his frail but portly frame, was that surely someone in his own organization had betrayed him. How else to explain how Delta Force commandos, and one enterprising Belgian Malinois, were now on the ground chasing after him in his unlikely hideaway in Idlib province? He’d have been right to sniff treachery in the ranks. As it happens, he wasn’t just done in by one ISIS turncoat; he was done in by several. One, according to the Guardian, was a Syrian smuggler who’d transported Baghdadi’s children and in-laws across the border from Iraq, sometimes via Turkey. Another was that smuggler’s wife. Still another was one of Baghdadi’s own nephews. But the most important defector, as Reuters reported, was Baghdadi’s aide de camp, Ismael al-Ethawi, a veteran of ISIS who joined back when it was still known as al Qaeda in Iraq. All told, the most notorious terrorist in the world was, by the end of his days, running an incredibly leaky ship. Story Continued Below That might give the impression that the state of the Islamic State, as of October 2019, is in mortal decline. Perforated with moles. Symbolically neutered by the absence of its ghastly “caliphate,” which at one point superimposed itself on two Middle Eastern countries spanning an expanse of territory roughly the size of Great Britain. Down one long-serving commander (Baghdadi ran ISIS for more than half the organization’s existence), a native Iraqi with bona fide theological training who claimed descent from the tribe of the Prophet Mohammed. Also now down a spokesman thought to be in the running for the leadership, plus who knows how many other top operatives who’ve been hoovered up in the last 72 hours as a result of the actionable intelligence gathered by the CIA from the ruins of Baghdadi’s compound. But the Pentagon isn’t quite declaring total victory just yet, even if Donald Trump insists on doing so. This is because Baghdadi’s death hardly spells the end of a 16 year-long project, which began as the brainchild of a Jordanian ex-con in the mountainous region of northern Iraq in 2003 and now, after two strategic military defeats by the United States, nevertheless claims willing executioners in almost every continent on the planet. Here are five reasons to be wary of thinking ISIS is done and dusted. 1. Money, mobility and manpower According to the anti-ISIS coalition, there are still some 14,000 active fighters in Syria and Iraq, although no one really knows how that math is done and whether or not that figure overshoots or undershoots the actual mark. Or even how the mark is defined. The uncertainty is partly because ISIS doesn’t just run suicide bombers and combat battalions; it runs an enormous network of spies, informants, transporters, bagmen and unenlisted fellow travelers. How else to explain how Baghdadi was able to move from his presumed bolt-hole in eastern Syria all the way to Barisha, Idlib, just 5 kilometers from the Turkish border? He had a team of people helping him, paying thousands in bribes no doubt to anyone who stood in his way, be they the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the Assad regime and its proxies, and possibly also the Turkish gendarmerie. ISIS’s financial stats are murky, too. Trump has couched his decision to reverse course and send American troops back into Syria in a desire to keep oil fields safe from ISIS takeover. But while it’s true that hydrocarbons contributed mightily to the organization’s coffers five years ago, ISIS always had other means of self-enrichment at its disposal. The group levied taxes on millions under its yoke when the Caliphate was in clover. It allegedly also ran car dealerships and money-exchanges in Iraq, having completely infiltrated that country’s grey and black market economies. “ISIS had a lot of money,” Amarnath Amarasingam, a fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue and a noted terrorism expert, told me. Now that the Caliphate has fallen, “it is fairly unclear what happened to it all. Some evidence suggests that certain middlemen were used to invest the money in legitimate business ventures like real estate. This would be a fairly typical move taken by terrorist movements in the past as well, jihadist or otherwise.” While ISIS doesn’t control whole cities or townships any longer, the group is still thought to be flush with enough cash to cause mayhem. The loss of the Caliphate will refocus the group’s expenditures away from administrative services (paying the salaries of the hisbah, or morality police, keeping the lights on in Raqqa and Mosul) and toward what it knows how to do best: setting off bombs and waging opportunistic terror attacks. One of Baghdadi’s final instructions to the faithful before his demise was to spring ISIS detainees from prison; a tried-and-true tactic of replenishing the ranks with battle-hardened and operationally savvy fighters. Turkey’s invasion into northeast Syria earlier this month might have led to the jailbreak of over 100 of these, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated. 2. The next generation awaits When it’s not relying on jailbreaks, ISIS can count on recruiting the next generation of jihadists from among the many refugee camps scattered across Syria and Iraq. At al-Hawl, for instance, in northeast Syria, there are 68,000 inhabitants, 94 percent of them women and children who formerly lived under the ISIS yoke, according to a recent study published by Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Twenty thousand kids, Zelin notes, are under the age of five, meaning they were born after ISIS’s lightning conquest and have known no other life besides that of the caliphate and the horrific internment conditions they are living in now. Al-Hawl is rife with malnutrition, overflowing sewage, infectious diseases and the absence of potable water—it’s colloquially known as “the Camp of Death” to its inhabitants. Many of the children, unsurprisingly, are being indoctrinated to long for the recent past by mothers who haven’t lost their zeal for the cause. They are pledging oaths of allegiance to Baghdadi and telling Western reporters who visit that they hope to grow up to be suicide-bombers. 3. Impending civil war in Iraq In Iraq, ISIS has not only to look forward to reconnecting with its “cubs” of the caliphate now housed in similarly dire internment facilities, but also to an impending national crisis which may yet lead to another civil war. For weeks, Iraqis have taken to the streets to protest the central government in Baghdad and its hegemonic patron in Tehran. What prompted these protests? The unceremonious sacking and demotion of a national hero, Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, former commander of Iraq’s elite “Golden Division” counterterrorism strike force which, more than any other domestic military unit, bore the brunt of the five-year campaign against ISIS. Al-Saadi was close to the U.S. government, and therein lies his unpopularity among the Iranian-backed militias who stand as competitors for control of the military and security establishments. Most of the protesters have been Shia, like al-Saadi, who have no wish to live in a satrapy run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Iranian-backed militias have responded to demands they leave Iraq by deploying snipers to shoot those protesters dead. All told, 240 people have died in the past month. An attack today in the holy city of Karbala, perpetrated by unknown masked gunmen who killed 18 and injured hundreds more, has only added to the chaos. Karbala, home to one of Shia Islam’s most venerated shrines, has been a prime target for ISIS ever since the organization’s psychopathic founder, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, laid down what he saw as the best way to swell his franchise: by fomenting sectarian carnage by killing Shia, knowing they’d retaliate by killing Sunnis, who’d have no other recourse but to join his grim faction. Baghdad denies the casualty toll, stating that only one protester died; by most reported accounts, though, Iraqi SWAT teams and Shia militias were responsible for the atrocity. Whatever the case, expect ISIS to capitalize on the bloodletting of a Muslim sect it has genocidal designs on. At the very least, it will look to exploit any security vacuum in Iraq as the central government and Iranian proxies fan out across the country to try and rein in a civil unrest of their own making. 4. Aggressive outward expansion As far as ISIS’s international reach is concerned, its steady expansion into Africa (Mozambique and Congo, in particular) and South Asia will continue to lead to gruesome terrorist plots, such as the Easter Sri Lanka bombing, which had the highest butcher’s bill of any foreign ISIS operation. That bombing, lest we forget, was carried out after the collapse of the physical Caliphate. Terror plots in the West are down markedly, but in terms of global brand luster, ISIS is still way ahead of al-Qaeda. Still, much will now depend on who replaces Baghdadi as leader of the franchise and whether or not he can command as much of a fanatical following. 5. A new caliph will rise As to that leader, the field is growing increasingly fallow. After reports that U.S. troops also killed Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, a spokesman thought to have been one of the potential heirs to the throne, eyes now are said to fall on Abdallah Qardash, a 15-year companion of Baghdadi and a fellow onetime detainee of Camp Bucca, the main prison facility run by U.S. forces during the occupation of Iraq. Longevity counts. There aren’t that many old-timers left in this organization, and those who have survived or eluded permanent incarceration are obviously considered the most able-bodied generals. What will make Qardash a bit of a hard sell as ISIS leader, however, is that he’s said to be non-Arab but rather an ethnic Turkmen, from the northwest Iraqi border city of Tal Afar, long an incubator for some of the deadliest jihadists to emerge in the region after 9/11. Interestingly, ISIS disputes Qardash’s Turkmen identity, insisting he is indeed Arab. Though the extent to which such genealogical pedigree will matter in future is disputable. After all, Baghdadi turned what had been, before his ascent to the top spot, a thoroughly “Iraqized” insurgency into a multicultural and multinational death-cult, one which even emphasizes this United Colors of Benetton approach to proselytization in its propaganda sheets and videos, now conveniently available in multiple languages. Where the medieval “state” Baghdadi lorded over may be no more, in its place a Jihadist Internationale has sprung up, populated by infamous Russians, Georgians, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Germans, Turks, Belgians, Frenchmen, Britons, Americans and Nigerians, all of whom render the term “foreign fighter” into an outmoded cliche. Who’s to say that a non-Arab can’t one day run the show? There would be no better expression of ISIS’ staying power, lengthening shadow and near-limitless capacity for self-reinvention. This article tagged under: Show Comments More from POLITICO Magazine

China downplays Solomon island lease debacle, tells U.S. to stay out

BEIJING (Reuters) - There is nothing unusual about Chinese companies experiencing issues when investing in Pacific island states or elsewhere, China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, after a rebuffed attempt by a Chinese firm to lease an island in the Solomons.The Solomon Islands government said last week a deal signed by one of its provinces to lease the entire island of Tulagi to a Chinese company is unlawful and should be terminated, a move applauded by United States.Details of the long-term lease between the Solomons' Central Province and China Sam Enterprise Group were made public shortly after the Pacific nation switched diplomatic ties to Beijing from Taiwan in September. The shift was strongly criticized by the United States.Speaking at a daily briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang noted there had been a "fair amount" of media attention on the case, and that is was their understanding the local government had not sought permission for the project from the central government.China has always told its companies they must respect local laws and international rules when operating abroad, and that they were encouraging the Chinese company involved in this case to talk to the Solomons government to "appropriately" resolve the issue, he added."I'd like to say here that it is very normal for Chinese companies investing in or looking for commercial opportunities overseas, including in the Pacific island state region, to maybe have some issues in this process," Geng said.The United States, however, was "abnormally excited" about this particular case, with even the U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper weighing in, looking to smear China's relationship with the region, he added."We no longer wonder at the sight of these cheap tricks, but can't help ask the Americans, do you really care about the interests of Pacific island states and their people? Or do you care more about your geopolitical interests? I think the U.S. side should give a clear answer."Though tiny in land mass, Pacific islands such as Tulagi have re-emerged as a strategic priority for the world's biggest nations, who are keen to lock-in alliances with countries that control vast swaths of resource-rich ocean between the Americas and Asia.Story continuesChina, in particular, has in recent years expanded its financial and political influence in the Pacific, which have been a diplomatic stronghold for the United Sates and its regional allies since World War Two.Esper had applauded the Solomons' decision to invalidate the agreement, which he applauded as "an important decision to reinforce sovereignty, transparency, and the rule of law".Tulagi hosted U.S. bases in World War Two and was the site of the Solomons' capital before it was moved to the island of Guadalcanal.(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

Libya coast guard intercepts dozens of Europe-bound migrants

1 / 3APTOPIX Europe MigrantsIn this photo taken on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, an aerial view of migrants on a dinghy boat, some of them in the water, off the coast of Libya. A humanitarian aid group said gunmen on Libya-flagged speedboats threatened the crew of its rescue ship Alan Kurdi and the migrants it was rescuing Saturday, firing shots into the air and water. Sea-Eye's spokesman Gorden Isler told The Associated Press that the unprecedented incident on the Mediterranean Sea was a "total shock" for the rescue crew, but that they managed to bring all the roughly 90 migrants on board. (Sea-Eye via AP)CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard said Monday it intercepted dozens of Europe-bound migrants off the country's Mediterranean coast the previous day.A rubber boat with 53 African migrants, including 14 women and two children, was stopped off Libya's western town of Abu-Kemmash, about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Tunisia, said the coast guard spokesman, Ayoub Gassim.The migrants were returned to shore late on Sunday and taken to a detention center in the capital, Tripoli, he added.Libya has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe. In recent years, the EU has partnered with Libya's coast guard and other local groups to stem the dangerous sea crossings.Rights groups, however, say those policies leave migrants at the mercy of armed groups or confined in squalid detention centers rife with abuses.The humanitarian aid group Sea-Eye has said that gunmen on Libya-flagged speedboats threatened the crew of its rescue ship Alan Kurdi and the migrants it was rescuing on Saturday, firing shots into the air and water.The group's spokesman Gorden Isler told The Associated Press that the incident shocked the rescue crew but that they managed to bring all the roughly 90 migrants on board.The gunmen on the speedboats fired "warning shots" and pointed mounted guns at the rescuers and the migrants, some of whom had jumped into the water, before pulling away.The ship later headed north, toward Europe, Islaer added.

Hong Kong Protests Flare for 21st Weekend Amid Global Unrest

1 / 3Hong Kong Protests Flare for 21st Weekend Amid Global Unrest(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong pro-democracy activists demonstrated for the 21st straight weekend as unrest inspired by the movement spread around the globe, from South America to Europe to the Middle East.Police fired tear gas on Sunday at protesters in Tsim Sha Tsui who blocked roads and disrupted traffic. That followed a night of clashes in the New Territories district of Yuen Long and a peaceful rally that drew thousands in Central. Some protesters set fire to shops in Jordan and hurled petrol bombs at a police station in Sham Shui Po, an area in Kowloon, while others threw smoke grenades at train exits.The Monday morning commute was normal, with nearly all train lines running as scheduled. Rail operator MTR Corp. announced that all subway lines would shut down at 11 p.m., except for the Airport Express.The rallies have become increasingly violent over the course of October, with two protesters shot and a police officer slashed. Efforts by Hong Kong’s authorities to quell the protests have largely failed, from banning marches and withdrawing the proposed extradition bill, to using an emergency law to outlaw face masks and pledging to make housing more affordable.The protests have been cited as inspiration for demonstrators around the world who’ve flooded the streets of major cities this month over economic inequality, regional grievances and alleged corruption.Spanish authorities are facing down separatist riots in Catalonia. In Chile, opposition to a 4-cent subway-fare hike has snowballed into the worst unrest there in decades, with at least 18 people killed so far. And in Lebanon, nationwide protests for more than a week, including hundreds of thousands demonstrating in Beirut, have pressured the country’s leader to shake up his cabinet. There have also been protests in Iraq.Last week, reports surfaced that China’s leaders were mulling a plan to replace Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam by early next year in a bid to calm public anger.Data due in Hong Kong this week will likely signal a technical recession is under way after a contraction in the second quarter. The benchmark Hang Seng Index tumbled 8.6% last quarter, the biggest loss among major global gauges tracked by Bloomberg.Story continues(Adds details on commute in third paragraph.)--With assistance from Denise Wee.To contact the reporter on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Gregory Turk, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Opposition Parties in Haiti Dismiss US’s Call for End to Protests

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC –Opposition political parties in Haiti have rejected a call by the United States for all political stakeholders to put aside their differences and work towards “a peaceful and democratic solution” to the ongoing political and economic situation in the country where President Jovenel Moise is under increasing pressure to resign. A spokesman for the opposition parties, André Michel, said the US Embassy and the rest of the international community must not continue to support Moise. “The opposition has already launched seven days of national mobilization from Sunday 27 October to Saturday 2 November 2019 to force President Jovenel Moïse to step down. “We are maintaining our schedule and (note) that the country will be totally closed during this period of intensive mobilization. We call on the international community to join the Haitian people in their fight for the satisfaction of their legitimate demands,” Michel said. In a statement posted on the US Embassy website earlier this week, Washington said that it “continues to urge all of Haiti’s political, economic, and civil society stakeholders to enter without delay or preconditions, an inclusive dialogue to identify and pursue a path to form a functioning government that will serve the Haitian people and address the country’s pressing economic and social concerns”. The political and economic crisis in Haiti was triggered by the publication in January 2019 of a report on the Venezuela-funded PetroCaribe Oil initiative, under which Caracas provided oil and other petroleum products to Haiti under a preferential agreement. Moise, who came to power in 2017, has denied any wrongdoing and has named former prime minister Evans Paul to head a team that would hold discussions with all stakeholders to discuss a way forward. Speaking on a radio programme here earlier this week, Moise reiterated the call for a national dialogue insisting “I am not attached to a mandate. “I am hooked on reforms. I want to talk about constitutional reform, for example. I want to talk about the reform of the energy sector, the digitization of the public administration. Today, we are in an acute crisis, but we can take advantage of this crisis to make this crisis an opportunity. We need stability in the country and to find that stability, we have to attack the system,” Moise told radio listeners. In its statement, Washington said that Haiti’s leaders need to work together “toward a peaceful and democratic solution now, with an increased sense of urgency. “The Haitian people are suffering; we stand with those Haitians who value peace while courageously calling for accountability. The United States deplores the current gridlock in Haiti which directly contributes to violence, a spike in humanitarian needs, and interruption of daily life for the Haitian people,” the statement added. But Michel said reiterated that the opposition parties were now very determined to get Moise to resign and that from Sunday “the country will be transformed into a real battlefield. “All roads will be blocked…it will be a decisive week,” Michel said. Meanwhile, four opposition legislators, Evalière Beauplan, Antonio Cheramy, Ricard Pierre and Nenel Cassy, have called on their supporters to participate in the planned action from Sunday. The four legislators had been linked to the disturbances that had occurred in the Senate earlier this month when opposition supporters stormed the legislative chamber ad part of the efforts to get Moise to step down.

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Fears Are Growing Among Mainland Chinese Living in Hong Kong

1 / 7Fears Are Growing Among Mainland Chinese Living in Hong Kong(Bloomberg) -- As Hong Kong’s historic protests become increasingly violent, mainland Chinese living in the city are becoming increasingly fearful.Min, who moved to Hong Kong from the mainland in 1995 and now runs his own hedge fund, said the startling escalation in mayhem prompted him to tell his children not to speak Mandarin in public for fear they’ll get beaten up in the Cantonese-speaking city.Before going out for dinner, Min checks his phone for news on which city streets are blocked due to mass marches or violent clashes. He stopped flying on the city’s flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., where some staff took part in protests and others were fired after investigations into depleted oxygen tanks. With battles between police and black-clad mobs becoming pervasive, Min said he’s considered moving his business to Shanghai and his family to Canada.“They have no moral bottom line as to what they’ll do to achieve their goals,” Min, who asked that his full name not be used for fear of retribution, said of the protesters. “Fingers crossed, I believe the police can crush this.”The strife ripping through Hong Kong -- with police officers and protesters in hand-to-hand combat, subway stations set ablaze and an improvised explosive device detonated near a police car -- looks very different to the city’s mainland-born residents. More than 1 million mainlanders, including many professionals, have migrated across the border since China regained control of the former British colony in 1997, helping swell its population to 7.5 million.The protests began in opposition to a since-scrapped government bill allowing extraditions to mainland China and have expanded to include calls for greater democracy and an independent inquiry into police tactics. While the majority of protesters are peaceful, the demonstrations often feature a darker, anti-China tone. Some demonstrators have burned Chinese flags and spray-painted the phrases “Chinazi” and “Hong Kong is not China!” across the city.The rhetoric is spilling over into violence on both sides. A 22-year-old mainland visitor accused of slashing a teenage Hong Kong protester in the abdomen surrendered to police this week.Story continuesOver the weekend, gangs ransacked or destroyed Chinese bank branches and retail businesses, including an outlet for smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. based in Beijing.The tensions between mainlanders and locals also surface in daily office interactions.“Employees are generally encouraged to not discuss this topic at work and to leave political opinions at home,” said Benjamin Quinlan, chief executive officer of financial-services consultancy Quinlan & Associates. Still, “you can’t segregate a private and corporate life so cleanly, and there will inevitably be opinions on politics that don’t gel among colleagues.”When crowds surged into the streets recently, Yang, a 34-year-old finance professional from China, watched from above in one of the city’s gleaming skyscrapers.TVs in the office -- and desktop live-streams -- were all tuned to the protests against Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s impending use of a colonial-era emergency powers law to ban face masks on demonstrators. Mobile phones buzzed with messages flowing across WeChat groups about looming protests and violence outside, including one alarming video of a Chinese banker from JPMorgan Chase & Co. getting punched in the head by a protester, and someone yelling: “Go back to the mainland!”On Tuesday, lawmakers debated the ban on face coverings at the city’s Legislative Council. Financial Secretary Paul Chan was also set to announce various measures to support local businesses impacted by the protests.Yang, who asked to be identified only by one name, also is scared to speak Mandarin and has been regularly fleeing across the border to nearby Shenzhen to escape the violence. That Friday afternoon, she left early and dashed to meet her husband and daughter at the bus station, right before the city descended into its worst violence on the weekend of Oct. 5.“As I rushed to the bus station to regroup with my family, I was so stressed -- hearing my heart beating quickly and strongly,” she said, adding she bought the last three tickets for a bus that whisked them all to Shenzhen, which was celebrating 70 years of Communist rule with buildings and billboards decked out in red lights.“When the bus crossed the bridge and was about to enter Shenzhen, we all saw the red neon at the other side of the river,” she said. “I felt suddenly relaxed.”At the same time, several mainlanders interviewed said they were reluctant to uproot the lives they built in Hong Kong over many years: landing coveted jobs at international companies, getting their children into international schools and buying homes. And plenty of Mandarin conversations can be heard while walking through the financial district.Yet while many mainlanders say they feel shunned by some Hong Kongers, many locals worry that showing support for the protests will hurt their careers. Some Hong Kong employees working at Chinese firms said they were told to attend pro-Beijing demonstrations, and feared losing their jobs if they refused.Pro-Beijing RalliesOne Hong Konger with the surname Ho, who took a job at a U.S.-based bank over the summer after working at a Chinese bank in the city for three years, said mainland colleagues at her former employer would try to find out her stance on the conflict -- and criticize anyone they thought supported the protesters.“I was asked to attend the rallies that support the Hong Kong police,” said the employee, who asked not to be identified by her full name to avoid hurting her career. “Of course, I didn’t go. Then some of my former colleagues linked my resignation to my political views. They thought I was fired because I’m pro-independence, which wasn’t true.”In the financial sector, the conflicts between those sympathetic to protesters and those aligned with Beijing can be seen in instances both subtle and dramatic.Hao Hong, chief strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong, recently visited another company to meet with workers from mainland China, stepping into an office and speaking to them in Mandarin. Their local colleague quickly raised the volume on a nearby TV, overpowering the conversation with the sound of a show -- in Cantonese.Moving Back“Sometimes people refuse to talk to you if you speak to them in Mandarin,” said Hong, who’s lived in the former British colony for eight years. “Everyone is touchy.”In addition to not speaking Mandarin in public, other mainlanders said they have stopped using WeChat -- the Tencent Holdings Ltd.-owned Chinese messaging service -- in the open.Some have started considering relocating back to the mainland, despite spending decades in the city, said one woman who works at a Chinese hedge fund and asked that she only be identified as Levy. Mainlanders with children in local schools are concerned they will be exposed to anti-government sentiment, she said.“We are all in the financial industry,” Levy said. “If they can find good offers in Shanghai or Beijing, there is now a stronger incentive to move back.”(Updates paragraph 5 to clarify the mainland population in Hong Kong, and adds government measures to boost the economy in paragraph 13.)--With assistance from Manuel Baigorri, Moxy Ying, Lulu Yilun Chen and Iain Marlow.To contact the reporters on this story: Bei Hu in Hong Kong at bhu5@bloomberg.net;Alfred Cang in Singapore at acang@bloomberg.net;Alfred Liu in Hong Kong at aliu226@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Candice Zachariahs at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net, ;Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Daniel Taub, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.