Revealed: Identities of Jimmy Lai’s aide behind Biden conspiracy, spy with multiple anti-China roles
Published: Nov 17, 2020 07:28 PM

Hong Kong File Photo


Ahead of the November 3 US presidential election, Hong Kong media mogul, separatist Jimmy Lai Chee-ying said he personally had "nothing to do with" a report compiled under a fake persona and used in a conspiracy theory to discredit presidential candidate Joe Biden, but he admitted that his assistant Mark Simon was involved. 

On the evening of October 30, Simon admitted to the incident through his personal Twitter account, saying that he paid $10,000 to the writer, and he apologized for the incident. He then announced his resignation.

Who is Mark Simon? The Global Times conducted a research and discovered his multiple identities.

In July 2014, Lai was alleged to have made secret donations of more than HK$40 million ($5.16 million) to several then members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council over 26 months, some of which were donated through Simon. 

A report in the Oriental Daily revealed that a number of confidential documents related to Lai had been released, which indirectly confirmed that Simon, his aide, had used multiple identities for more than a decade. Simon's father had a long career at the CIA, and Simon himself, a former CIA employee, also worked for the US Naval Intelligence Agency. 

The Global Times learned from a source that Simon was born in the US state of Virginia and studied at East Carolina University between 1982 and 1987. He worked as a submarine analyst in US Naval Intelligence from 1987 to 1991. 

He went to Hong Kong in 2000 and gained permanent residence there in 2008. 

In Hong Kong, he was hired as advertising director of Next Media and had a close relationship with Lai and his family. Of the 17 private companies linked to Lai, three were jointly owned by Simon and two had him as board member.

The Global Times learned that when Lai was arrested earlier for violating the national security law for Hong Kong, he had HK$50 million of assets frozen, part of which were held in connection with Simon.

Simon was also chairman of the US GOP's branch in Hong Kong. During the 2008 US presidential election, he co-organized a campaign with the US Chamber of Commerce and wrote a letter to an American broadcasting company seeking sponsorship, in which he identified himself as the branch's chairman.

Media reports also revealed that Lai's interactions with US senior officials during the 2014 illegal Occupy Central movement and the social turmoil in the summer of 2019 were arranged by Simon. 

The source said that when Lai was arrested by Hong Kong police in August this year, Simon fled to the island of Taiwan. 

Simon told Hong Kong media on June 29 that he was in Taiwan at that time. He claimed he had business to deal with in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the US, and that he spent an average of only five months a year in Hong Kong. In fact, in addition to helping Lai contact US officials in Hong Kong, Simon has also been a troublemaker in cross-Straits relations, having close ties with US officials who have connections with Taiwan and senior members of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party.

The source said that between 2006 and 2012, Simon facilitated meetings between Lai and William Anthony Stanton, former head of American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)'s Taipei office, and James F. Moriarty, AIT's chairman. At the same time, he was in frequent contact with DPP deputy secretary-general Lin Fei-fan and Taiwan's "Mainland Affairs Council."

Simon also funded the establishment of the Taiwan Young Democracy Association to carry out anti-China propaganda. Recently, he has been secretly promoting the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Taiwan island.

Some Hong Kong media commented that facts showed that Lai has been colluding with the anti-China forces in the US for a long time. But as the truth of Simon's concoction of the scandal of Biden's son comes to light, his and Lai's futures are in doubt, and the US Democrats are bound to come to terms with them.