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On Friday, I was having lunch with the senior superintendent of the Hong Kong Police Force, Kit Tse Tsui-yan, discussing philosophically the riots and the role her men and women in uniform have been playing in this complex situation.
I asked her about Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's arrest and she replied: "We've charged three people, including Lai. We had put huge efforts into the investigation before we decided to make the move."
A police press statement summarized the situation:
"Following investigations by officers from the Third Division of the Regional Crime Unit of Hong Kong Island, three local men, aged between 63 and 72, were arrested in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City District and Western District this morning (Feb 28). " The three men have been jointly charged with one count of 'knowingly' participating in an unauthorized assembly.
"A 72-year-old man surnamed Lai is also suspected of having verbally intimidated a man at a rally in Eastern District on June 4, 2017. He has been charged with one count of criminal intimidation.
"The two cases will be heard in Eastern Magistracy on May 5."
Almost immediately after the arrest, spiteful attacks by the Western mass media against both the Hong Kong government and Beijing began.
The very same day, US-based CNN started firing Cold War-style salvos, insulting the Hong Kong government, while portraying Lai as a media mogul and a hero: "While focusing on celebrity gossip and other tabloid fare since the handover, the paper has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of the local government and its Beijing masters. It has openly supported the pro-democracy movement and anti-government protests, printing flyers and posters in its pages that people can cut out and take to marches."
Notice the language, "local government and its Beijing masters" a naked, insulting propaganda style of writing, which does not even bother to hide itself behind the thin veil of "objectivity" anymore.
Even CNN had to admit that Lai has been extremely close to the US right-wing and extreme right-wing politicians: "Lai's closeness to right-wing politicians in the United States--he met with US Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-National Security Adviser John Bolton in July last year..."
He met other anti-Chinese warriors, too, and so did his proteges like Joshua Wong Chi-fung.
The Western media are consistently twisting the facts. They are portraying Hong Kong police as the ones initiating violence. It shows rioters as "responding" to police attacks and using excessive force totally the opposite of what I had seen on many occasions on the ground in Hong Kong.
Lai is one of those individuals who has been brainwashing young Hong Kong residents through his vulgar Apple Daily sheet, encouraging them to defy bans on unlawful gatherings and demonstrations, which have been known to regularly degenerate into violence, causing injuries and destruction of public property.
What the West and its militant mass media describe as "pro-democracy" is basically anti-Chinese, even racist, but always aggressively patronizing.
And again, put this into context: "Anti-government protests, printing flyers and posters in its pages that people can cut out and take to marches." Can you imagine if this would happen in Paris (Yellow Vest Movement), Barcelona (movements for independent Catalonia) or any other Western country? A newspaper providing such "services" to protesters would be shut down immediately, and dragged through courts, totally discredited. And what if it would be, on top of it, supported by Russia or the PRC! Or simply recall the fate of people like Julian Assange or Edward Snowden.
Compared to all these, and considering what he has committed, Lai is being treated in Hong Kong with kid gloves.