Hong Kong Shows the World…

| August 23, 2020

 

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under new national ...

… the terrible truth about Communist China.

Jimmy Lai, the founder of a local daily newspaper Apple Daily, was arrested last week. The full newspaper article is behind a paywall, so I’ve provided it this way to give you the whole story. The article is worth your time.

By ARTHUR I. CYR

AUG 21, 2020 AT 3:27 PM

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, center, who founded local newspaper Apple Daily, was arrested by police officers at his home in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. Hong Kong police arrested Lai and raided the publisher’s headquarters Monday in the highest-profile use yet of the new national security law Beijing imposed on the city after protests last year.

“We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

Those were the words of Benjamin Franklin, urging his fellow Americans in the thirteen colonies to stay united, in the face of Great Britain’s enormous power and history of skillful exercise thereof.

Franklin was a successful newspaper publisher, among many accomplishments. His inspiring words come to mind given China’s ruthless efforts to target and suppress the media.

On August 10, police arrested influential entrepreneur Lai Chee-Ying (known by the name Jimmy Lai). He founded the popular Hong Kong newspaper “Apple Daily” and the media company “Next Digital.”

Earlier, he created the clothing company Giordano. Beijing targeted and effectively forced this company out of business because of his active support for Hong Kong freedom movements, especially the Democratic Party.

Police seized Mr. Lai at his home, then took him to his newsroom in handcuffs, a shocking display of official brutality involving two hundred officers. Simultaneously, authorities arrested others.

This heavy-handed action is reminiscent of the violent attacks on free expression that characterized the Nazi Party in Germany. Soviet Communists and contemporary Russian autocrats tend to be more bureaucratic and cautious in their efforts at repression.

However, this is not Germany in the 1930s or even the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Twentieth-century totalitarians did not have to deal with today’s truly pervasive media. Literally, anyone with a cell phone can record and disseminate events.

Almost immediately, witnesses transmitted the shocking imagery of Mr. Lai in handcuffs worldwide. Pointed editorial commentaries accompanied visual imagery.

The employees of Mr. Lai’s publications were not intimidated, quite the reverse. As police rifled through desks and files, and seized more than 30 crates of documents, the entire unfolding disgusting behavior became public on Facebook Live.

This is stark evidence of Beijing’s renewed repression in Hong Kong. In late June, China made public a harsh new national security law. The law was moved through the rubber-stamp national legislature and signed in secrecy.

The United States opposes this despicable, disturbing campaign. On May 29, Washington announced cessation of favored trade status for Hong Kong.

In July 2019, Mr. Lai visited the United States. In Washington, D.C., he met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The government of Britain has announced Hong Kong residents holding British passports and their dependents can seek citizenship. The British colony became a “semiautonomous administrative region” of China in 1997. Beijing now presses to remove that freedom.

Governments and others should publicize and penalize corporate enablers of China. Last year, Google announced termination of Project Dragonfly, a China censorship tool, after tremendous criticism, including from within the powerful corporation. Other U.S. companies, including Cisco Systems and Microsoft, have helped Beijing implement censorship and control.

In terms of economic, geographic and population size, vastly larger China dwarfs both Hong Kong and Taiwan. Yet economic realities nonetheless provide opportunities for leverage on Beijing.

U.S. government leaders must reinforce current actions with a sustained strategy to limit and restrain China’s expansion. This should include naval and air maneuvers, closer Taiwan ties, reinforcing alliance with Japan, and non-commercial exchanges with Hong Kong,

Beijing has backed off from bullying before. Today, global commercial as well as political tides are moving in the direction of freedom.

Ben Franklin would be pleased, but only if we Americans and others live up to his example.

Arthur I. Cyr is Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College and author of “After the Cold War” (NYU and Palgrave/Macmillan).

 

 

Category: China

Comments (8)

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  1. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Oh, look! Oppression by a Communist regime! Surprise!

  2. Deckie says:

    My shocked face, for some insane reason, resembles my blank face.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    “…the terrible truth about Communist China.” Ruh Roh…Larsi boi the spapos seagull is triggered even more now. He must be so bogged down on the other threads that he hasn’t seen that. He’ll be showing up, soon, screeching that (a) China is not Communist and (b) ORANGE MAN BAD!

    What we see happening everyday in Communist China is exactly what the Chinese Communists AND the demonrat party of the US want to see happening here. Seeing that Microsoft and Cisco is enabling the Chinese Communists is no surprise. I had a run in with a buyer when they were still kinda sorta known as Collins International Service Company. I’m sure you old wire dogs and comm rats remember Collins Radios. He didn’t want to buy 2SC1172B power transistors from me for $3.50 a unit when he could buy them from another supplier for $27.50. The other supplier “took very good care of his current needs.” This was back when the Chair Farce was buying to $400.00 hammers and $600.00 toilet seats. I dropped a dime on his azz. The Chair Farce procurement department reassigned him to another purchasing job. His replacement continued to buy from “the current supplier.”

    Oh, and btw Ex…Every article and linky you post is worth the time it takes…just like everybody else’s.

  4. Mason says:

    Why for aren’t we being told about how this isn’t communism?

    • Fyrfighter says:

      He’s too busy helping rioters who aren’t rioters, that are part of an organization that isn’t an organization, that wants to defund the police but not defund them, following a communist ideology that isn’t communist, that receives support from Soros, but isn’t supported by Soros…. Did I miss anything?

  5. FuzeVT says:

    I went to Honk Kong 3 times – twice with the 31st MEU and once with the family. With the exception of the middle eastern guys on every street corner trying to sell you a suit, it was a really great place. I hope that the CHICOMS back down but it would take a lot of backbone to put the pressure on them that it would take to accomplish that. Our current president has that. His opponent, Kamala, doesn’t.