The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday slammed China for the imprisonment of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai under the controversial National Security Law. Pompeo said that Hong Kong is becoming just another Chinese-run Communist city as he called for the immediate release of Jimmy Lai. Pompeo said that Hong Kong’s National Security Law is making a mockery of justice and is punishing Jimmy Lai for speaking the truth about the Communist Party of China.
“Jimmy Lai is a true patriot. 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,” Pompeo said while speaking with Rob Schmitt of Newsmax.
Lai denied bail
Jimmy Lai, who is the founder of the clothing company Giordano and popular newspaper Apple Daily, has been jailed under the draconian National Security Law for supporting the pro-democracy camp. The 72-year-old businessman-turned social activist has been under custody since August this year as he was arrested a month after Beijing passed the National Security Law in Hong Kong. Lai was denied bail by a Hong Kong court on Saturday as he was spotted being escorted handcuffed and chained.
China has garnered a lot of flak from the international community since it passed the controversial National Security Law on June 30, 2020. So far, several social activists, mostly pro-democracy advocates, accused of endangering China’s national security have been charged under the law. The United States and several other western nations, including Britain, the former coloniser of Hong Kong, have strongly condemned the implementation of the law, which sparked widespread protests in the city.