Left Menu
Development News Edition

Hong Kong media tycoon vows to stay and "fight" China, backs U.S. pressure

Reuters | Beijing | Updated: 29-05-2020 16:13 IST | Created: 29-05-2020 16:09 IST
Hong Kong media tycoon vows to stay and "fight" China, backs U.S. pressure
Representative Image Image Credit: Flickr

Embattled Hong Kong publishing tycoon Jimmy Lai - one of the financial hub's most prominent democracy activists - said on Friday he would fight till the last against Beijing's imposition of national security laws and keep publishing.

"What I have, this place gave me, I will fight on till the last day. It will be (an) honour if I ... sacrifice," Lai told Reuters in his office, choking up at times. The pugnacious Lai, a thorn in the side of China, has been identified by observers as one of the main potential targets of the new laws that will outlaw subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.

While details of the law haven't yet been finalised by Beijing, some critics say new sedition regulations could make it easier to muzzle media outlets like Lai's. Lai's remarks came before U.S. President Donald Trump was due to announce fresh action against China.

"Definitely outside support, the so-called foreign influence is our only salvation … I think if the Americans support us very strongly the other countries will follow through. America has to take the lead," said Lai, tanned and sporting a crew-cut, track-suit bottoms and sneakers. Next Digital publishes Apple Daily, a popular tabloid, known for its feisty and critical coverage of China and Hong Kong, that has been hit by dwindling advertising revenues as well as frequent attacks by pro-Beijing voices in the city.

Next Media is considered one of the key remaining bastions of media freedom in Hong Kong. The U.S. State Department said the national security regime means Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, but Trump has yet to specify what action, such as sanctions, he will take.

Chinese officials say the new laws are vital to secure the city after protracted anti-government protests, but critics warn they will erode the autonomy and freedoms promised to Hong Kongers when Britain handed the former colony back to China in 1997. Lai has been arrested twice this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.

Lai said he expected Trump would scale up the pressure on China, possibly initially through asset seizures and other specific sanctions, in part to portray his rival Joe Biden as weak ahead of November's presidential election. "The whole thing is not about Hong Kong, the whole thing is about China. You have to make them (Beijing) personally responsible so they feel the pain," he said.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

UK tries new campaign to prepare public for Brexit

Brexit moved back to the front-burner of British politics on Monday, months after COVID-19 knocked it out of the headlines, with the government launching a new public information campaign to prepare the nation for departure. Advertisements ...

Independent adjudicator reserves order on Umar Akmal's appeal against ban

The independent adjudicator hearing Pakistan cricketer Umar Akmals appeal against a three-year ban for failure to report corrupt approaches reserved his order on the matter on Monday. Akmal was banned in April after he failed to report corr...

The Lt General-level talks between Indian and Chinese military to be held in Chushul on Indian side of Line of Actual Control: Sources.

The Lt General-level talks between Indian and Chinese military to be held in Chushul on Indian side of Line of Actual Control Sources....

As UP CM, I ensured enough security of disputed structure in Ayodhya: Kalyan Singh tells CBI court hearing Babri mosque demolition case.

As UP CM, I ensured enough security of disputed structure in Ayodhya Kalyan Singh tells CBI court hearing Babri mosque demolition case....

Give Feedback