Hong Kong, December 15 (ANI): Hong Kong is becoming just another Chinese-run communist city, US State Secretary Michael Pompeo said on Monday, adding that the United States has challenged the imprisonment of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai under the National Security Law.
Jimmy, the 73-year-old Hong Kong media tycoon and advocate for democracy, was denied bail on Saturday, after being charged with the draconian National Security Law.
Lai was handcuffed and chained around the waist while being escorted to court earlier today, South China Morning Post reported.
He is expected to spend the coming four months in detention while police comb through his social media posts and examine his overseas visits to gather evidence.
Calling Jimmy Lai a “true patriot”, Pompeo said: “He cares deeply about the people of Hong Kong, as does our administration. This is another example where General Secretary Xi Jinping broke a promise. He made a 50-year commitment for freedom for the people of Hong Kong and he’s now bashed it. He’s now taken it away with his national security law that caused the imprisonment of Jimmy Lai, who was simply trying to speak about the basic rights for the people of Hong Kong.”
In an interview with Newsmax, Pompeo said the Chinese Communist Party cannot be trusted.
“I fear that Hong Kong is becoming just another Chinese-run communist city, and that’s too bad. It’s inconsistent with what Xi Jinping had promised and it’s another example of the fact that you simply can’t trust with the Chinese Communist Party says. You have to verify every single thing that they assert,” he said.
In August 2020, Jimmy was arrested under the new National Security Law.
The charge stems from comments Lai purportedly made on Twitter and in interviews asking foreign countries to sanction the city.
This comes after a number of former pro-democracy lawmakers were arrested in the month of October over protests after the draconian National Security Law was imposed on the city by Beijing.
The law criminalizes secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces and carries with it strict prison terms. It came into effect from July 1.
Several of those disqualified were sitting lawmakers, who were subsequently ejected from the parliament by Beijing overruling constitutional precedent and bypassing Hong Kong’s courts on November 11, sparking the mass resignation of the entire pro-democratic camp. (ANI)
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