The day of judgment comes: Jimmy Lai and his masters in their death throes
Published: Dec 30, 2023 11:23 AM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

On December 18, the purported Hong Kong activist and media tycoon Jimmy Lai went on trial which would last more than 80 days at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts. As a pawn of anti-China forces, Lai was charged with colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security and conspiring with others to publish seditious publications.

Meanwhile, like sitting on thorns, anti-China forces have been plotting against the trial and conspiring to "rescue" Lai. Hyped up as a "pro-democracy advocate" on many occasions, Lai touted so-called freedom of the press and was portrayed by the Western media as a "victim of fighting against an authoritarian regime" all these years. His son, Sebastien Lai, continued lobbying European politicians for their support to exert pressure on the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region so as to release his father.

As the trial kicked off, the US Department of State and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron could not wait to express their concerns about the case and put forward tougher declarations to condemn the authority and system of the HKSAR, China. It is indubitable that these politicians' remarks further testified to the fact that Jimmy Lai serves as a proxy of foreign forces behind the riot of the HKSAR over recent years. For some Western countries underpinning Lai implicitly, the trial will pose a threat to their vested interests. If Lai is found guilty and thrown into prison, these external forces will lose a plausible excuse for interfering in China's internal affairs. That's why Lai and his masters bared their teeth and brandished their claws to "bite" the HKSAR's judicial system and laws ferociously in recent months.

As a society following the rule of law, the HKSAR shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference. On the contrary, US's and UK's irresponsible comments blatantly violate the principle of the rule of law. It is quite ridiculous that politicians in the White House and Downing Street who administrate the self-described countries under the rule of law, intended to forget this principle deliberately.

As we can see, the farce directed by Jimmy Lai and his masters is politically motivated and one hundred percent double standard. It is acknowledged that for all countries, the right to safeguard national security is enshrined in the constitution. The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is slammed by some Western countries. But the laws pertinent to safeguarding national security in the UK and the US are extremely strict. For instance, last year, UK government proposed its "National Security Act 2023", introducing an offence of foreign interference, the concept of which is exceedingly broad and vague. Furthermore, this Act contains specific powers and measures to provide the British police with the ability to arrest people at an earlier stage in an investigation and detain them for longer given the complexity of investigations. As for the United States, protecting national security was usually used as a perfect pretext to suppress Chinese enterprises such as TikTok. To put it bluntly, abusing national security discloses the truth that the spirit of rule of law preached by some Western countries has degenerated into rule by law as a despotic tool utilized for eliminating dissidents. Hence, it is extremely shameless for the US and UK to take the moral high ground and criticize  Hong Kong's national security law .

Like cats on hot bricks, the US and UK side exposed their sinister intention to disrupt HKSAR by using Lai as a chess piece. Under the pretense of supporting pro-democracy advocates, some Western political establishments are eager to curb the development of China by fomenting social unrest in Hong Kong de facto. The case of Jimmy Lai is just another excuse for the West to impose sanctions on people and entities in Hong Kong. However, the attempt to disrupt HKSAR is bound to boomerang. 

As a "super-connector" linking China and the West, Hong Kong has established firm ties with Western countries in multiple sectors, boasting its unparalleled competitive financial and professional services, trading, logistics, and tourism sectors. In the past decades, Hong Kong and its foreign investors have achieved win-win results, manifestly with Western companies enjoying strong profits from business operations in the city. It is pitiful that some political opportunists sacrifice these hard-earned fruits for the purpose of reaping political gains, posing an impending threat to the whole national interests, not to mention those who earn their living from commercial and trade communication between Hong Kong and the West.

Four years ago, when then US House speaker Nancy Pelosi called the violent protests in Hong Kong "a beautiful sight to behold", she never expected the same view would happen on Capitol Hill. The Associated Press described the riot as seditious or even treasonous, while some Americans seem to show callous disregard to incessant turmoil brought by political buffoon Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong. 

Actually, for any country, any form of freedom and democracy cannot be achieved at the price of the country's stability and prosperity as well as the well-being of the people. If these noble values like human rights are limited to slogans and banners as opposed to concrete actions and tangible results, it is no different from putting the cart before the horse. That's what sanctimonious Western politicians should always bear in mind.

The author is a current affairs commentator. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn