Our Cantonese Desk reports that Mark Clifford, an independent non-executive director of Hong Kong’s One Media Group, which owns Apple Daily, told a seminar at the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank, on July 9 that although One Media has money, it cannot pay staff salaries and other operating expenses, after the group was forced to shut down because of a freeze on its funds.
Clifford, a former editor-in-chief of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, also said at the seminar that Hong Kong under the Chinese Communist Party has become lawless and that the Hong Kong government has come to regard the law as a weapon.
He said sarcastically that the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in 2019 named Lai Chi-ying as a “black hand” and part of the “New Gang of Four,” a statement that is ironic because the “Gang of Four” This is ironic because the “Gang of Four” was a product of the Cultural Revolution, and Lai fled the mainland to come to Hong Kong to escape it.
Clifford said that the Hong Kong government’s use of the National Security Law is actually an administrative means by law, and that under the law, the Hong Kong police do not need a search warrant or an arrest warrant. This shows that all the promises in the Hong Kong Basic Law have been abandoned and that rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and trial by jury have all disappeared.
Carolyn Bartholomew, co-chair of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, noted at the seminar that she did not anticipate that Hong Kong would become like this, and that since it happened to Apple Daily, it would happen to other organizations as well. She said she is working on a report for Congress on the situation in Hong Kong.
Bill Browder, founder of Hermitage Capital Management, said at the meeting that the situation of Lai Chi-ying had a precedent in Russia. Browder, one of the promoters of the Magnitsky Accountability Act, suggested that the law be expanded to prohibit those responsible for the situation in Hong Kong from entering Europe and the United States and freezing their assets. Similar laws are already in place in countries such as Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.