As tensions mount in Hong Kong over new security laws being introduced by China, questions remain over the responsibility of its citizens. Meanwhile, as England reopens pub doors today, could local lockdowns be the way forward.

Daily Express

In his column Ross Clark says we should treat China with more scepticism. He added in the past two decades, Britain's policy towards China has been founded more on hope than reality.

He said: "We have convinced ourselves that China's human rights abuses cannot be all that bad, or that at least things are going in the right direction. China presents a huge problem for British foreign policy because it combines dictatorship with economic success. In the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen Square that would scarcely have seemed possible.

"We had seen how dictatorship in the Soviet Union had impoverished its people, and how its last leader Mikhail Gorbachev was dismantling his country's authoritarian infrastructure out of sheer economic necessity.

"It was very tempting, throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, to think that China would go down the same path: that a brutal communist regime would give way to a more democratic system as the country sought to improve the living standards of its citizens."

The Guardian

Simon Jenkins writes in his column Britain can't protect Hong Kong from China – but it can do right by its people.

He said: "When I reported in 1997 on the Hong Kong celebrations bidding farewell to British rule, there was one question on all lips. It was: how long would Beijing’s 50-year pledge of “one nation, two systems” survive? The guesses were five years, perhaps 10. China would surely milk the cash cow for all it was worth, but any sign of trouble and Beijing would instantly wipe this “imperialist pimple” off the map. No one dreamed China’s patience would last 23 years.

"The former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith wants to “show China that it can’t get away with tearing up international treaties and abusing human rights”. It can, and it will. The reality is that modern China can do what it likes, and there is nothing Duncan Smith or anyone in Britain – or Europe – can do about it. There are more than 100,000 Chinese students in Britain, many of dubious loyalty to their own regime and therefore now at risk. They need encouraging and protecting from the new laws."

The Scotsman

Douglas Chapman calls for a decision on when the Prime Minister Boris Johnson his mind up about UK participation in the Erasmus+ scheme.

He raises the question whether it will be ditched because Brexiteers don't like that it fosters pro-EU feelings.

Mr Chapman writes "if this Government is concerned about the “UK’s interests”, then collaborating in a scheme where students are 50 per cent more likely to gain long-term employment and enjoy rich career prospects is a no-brainer. Being wrenched from the EU’s programme of support in education, training, youth development and sport would be another huge loss directly against the democratic wishes of the Scottish people and our desire to remain in Europe.

"Scotland has received around £60 million in funding from Erasmus in the last few years; since 2014 in my constituency of Dunfermline and West Fife alone, education and youth groups have received over £2m. Perhaps what the Brexiteers that dominate this government most object to is revealed in an independent study from the European Commission from 2019, which discovered that Erasmus+ builds a sense of European identity and social cohesion."

Daily Telegraph

Fraser Nelson says the Prime Minister now has the power to speed up the recovery. He says there needs to be a way of finding a better balance that does not inflict needless pain where the virus has almost vanished.

Mr Nelson said: "Mr Johnson can press ahead with partial reopening tomorrow, while being more cautious in places like Leicester and dealing with flare-ups as they arise. But local lockdowns should work both ways: he also can drop restrictions in places where it’s safe to do so. With much drama and great expense, he has built a huge testing tool that offers a faster route out of lockdown. He just needs the courage to use it."