January 4, 2024
HONG KONG – The Commissioner’s Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Wednesday refuted Western politicians’ smears against the SAR’s handling of Jimmy Lai Chee-ying’s national security case, saying Lai’s trial is law-based and impartial.
Recently, some European Parliament members, British politicians and the so-called Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China have baselessly criticized Lai’s trial. They also have slandered the central government’s policies toward the HKSAR and the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and rampantly called for sanctions against officials of the central government and the HKSAR.
The prosecution also said that Lai had previously initiated a campaign that instigated local residents to write letters to then-US president Donald Trump to save Hong Kong
A spokesperson for the Commissioner’s Office said that Lai is the mastermind and participant of a series of anti-China activities in the HKSAR. He is also an agent and pawn of foreign anti-China forces who shamelessly colluded with the forces to undermine China’s national security, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that the HKSAR upholds the rule of law and ensures strict law enforcement. The judiciary in Hong Kong conducts impartial trials based on the principles of justice and legality, garnering widespread support and appreciation from the local community, the spokesperson said.
But those anti-China politicians and organizations distort facts, spread misinformation, and exploit Lai’s case to attack and tarnish Hong Kong people’s human rights and the society’s rule of law. These actions revealed their political motives and hypocritical nature, the spokesperson said.
On Wednesday, the 80-day trial of Lai entered its fifth day. According to the prosecution, Lai, the founder of the defunct Apple Daily tabloid, had discussed with the newspaper’s management donating funds to support protesters of the 2019 social unrest through the now-dissolved Civil Human Rights Front.
The prosecution also said that Lai had previously initiated a campaign that instigated local residents to write letters to then-US president Donald Trump to save Hong Kong. He also made constant public calls to attract more overseas subscribers to the English edition of Apple Daily, which he claimed would provide both economic support and political protection for Hong Kong residents, according to the prosecution.
Lai faces three charges under the National Security Law for Hong Kong, including two counts of conspiracy to collude with external forces to endanger national security, and one of colluding with external forces to endanger national security. He was also charged with conspiracy to publish seditious publications.
Besides the count of colluding with external forces to endanger national security, Lai denied the remaining three charges on Tuesday.