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China calls Hong Kong’s pro-democracy leaders ‘modern-day traitors’ who collude with Western forces

China has lashed out at Hong Kong’s pro-democracy leaders, calling them ‘modern-day traitors in disguise’ who have been colluding with Western forces including the United States amid an extradition bill crisis. 

In a strongly worded opinion piece published today in state-run newspaper Global Times, founder of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party Martin Lee Chu-ming and media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying were criticised for their roles in the city’s ongoing anti-government movement and inviting foreign interference.

‘This kind of intervention in Hong Kong’s affairs by Western forces is inseparable from the co-operation and assistance offered by of a group of traitors. Lai Chee-Ying and Lee Chu-ming are the representatives of these modern traitors,’ it said, accusing them of being ‘hanjians’, a derogatory term for a race traitor to the Han Chinese.

Early this month, Lai met with US Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington over the now-suspended extradition bill, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. 

In a strongly worded opinion piece in Global Times, founder of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party Martin Lee Chu-ming and media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying were criticised for their roles in the city’s ongoing anti-government movement and inviting foreign interference. Above, Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying meets with US Vice-President Mike Pence in the White House on July 8 this year

Martin Lee Chu-ming, 81, nicknamed as 'the father of democracy' in Hong Kong, is a founder of the Democratic Party and served on the government's Basic Law drafting committee in 1985

Martin Lee Chu-ming, 81, nicknamed as ‘the father of democracy’ in Hong Kong, is a founder of the Democratic Party and served on the government’s Basic Law drafting committee in 1985

Protesters with helmet and homemade shields seen during a stand off with Hong Kong police on Sunday night. The demonstrations were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to China but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms

Protesters with helmet and homemade shields seen during a stand off with Hong Kong police on Sunday night. The demonstrations were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to China but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms

Lai’s meeting with Pompeo came a month after the US secretary met a delegation led by Lee in Washington appealing for action to stop the law.

Both meetings prompted responses from Beijing, which accused them of threatening China’s national security.

Lai is the 70-year-old founder of Hong Kong media giant Next Digital and the Apple Daily newspaper, which is known for its pro-democracy stance and colour reporting.

Lee, 81, nicknamed as ‘the father of democracy’ in Hong Kong, is a founder of the Democratic Party and served on the government’s Basic Law drafting committee in 1985. However, he was later expelled and banned from China for his support of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. 

Martin Lee Chu-ming and Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying are pictured together on June 4, 2015 at a candlelight vigil to commemorate the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Crackdown. Lee banned from China for his support of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement

Martin Lee Chu-ming and Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying are pictured together on June 4, 2015 at a candlelight vigil to commemorate the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Crackdown. Lee banned from China for his support of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement

Lai is the 70-year-old founder of Hong Kong media giant Next Digital and the Apple Daily newspaper, which is known for its pro-democracy stance and colour reporting

Lai is the 70-year-old founder of Hong Kong media giant Next Digital and the Apple Daily newspaper, which is known for its pro-democracy stance and colour reporting

Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history after millions of demonstrators took to the streets and sporadic violent confrontations between police and pockets of hardcore protesters

Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history after millions of demonstrators took to the streets and sporadic violent confrontations between police and pockets of hardcore protesters

‘Lai Chee-Ying, Lee Chu-ming and other long-time “democracy leaders” have reached unprecedented frequency in contact with the US and Western governments and parliaments, forming an unscrupulous collusion that fuels Hong Kong’s street politics,’ the article said. 

Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history after millions of demonstrators took to the streets and sporadic violent confrontations between police and pockets of hardcore protesters.

The demonstrations were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms. 

The international finance hub has experienced seven weekends in a row of largely peaceful mass rallies followed by violent clashes, an unprecedented challenge to Beijing’s authority since its 1997 handover. 

‘Under the name of “democracy” and “freedom,” these modern traitors have been destroying the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and preventing China from becoming stronger,’ it said, with United States and other Western countries backing these people who are ‘even more deceptive than the traitors in history’. 

The international finance hub has experienced seven weekends in a row of largely peaceful mass rallies followed by violent clashes, an unprecedented challenge to Beijing's authority since its 1997 handover

The international finance hub has experienced seven weekends in a row of largely peaceful mass rallies followed by violent clashes, an unprecedented challenge to Beijing’s authority since its 1997 handover

China committed to allowing Hong Kong to retain key liberties when it took back the territory from the British in 1997 under the 'One Country, Two Systems' formula

China committed to allowing Hong Kong to retain key liberties when it took back the territory from the British in 1997 under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ formula

‘These people have one ambition: To turn Hong Kong into a chess piece in the strategic game between China and the United States,’ it added. ‘To minimise or even to eliminate the “One country” principle and push for Hong Kong’s independence under the “Two systems” policy.’ 

China committed to allowing Hong Kong to retain key liberties when it took back the territory from the British in 1997 under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ formula. 

Beijing accused US officials on Tuesday of being behind the violent protests in Hong Kong and advised them to remove their ‘black hands’ from the territory. 

Hong Kong police on Thursday banned a planned protest against suspected triad gangs who beat up pro-democracy demonstrators in a train station in Yuen Long on Sunday night, ratcheting up tensions ahead of what is expected to be another weekend of anti-government rallies.

'Under the name of "democracy" and "freedom," these modern traitors have been destroying the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and preventing China from becoming stronger,' the Global Times article said, with United States and other Western countries backing these people who are 'even more deceptive than the traitors in history'

‘Under the name of “democracy” and “freedom,” these modern traitors have been destroying the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and preventing China from becoming stronger,’ the Global Times article said, with United States and other Western countries backing these people who are ‘even more deceptive than the traitors in history’

Hong Kong police on Thursday banned a planned protest against suspected triad gangs (above) who beat up pro-democracy demonstrators in a train station in Yuen Long on Sunday

Hong Kong police on Thursday banned a planned protest against suspected triad gangs (above) who beat up pro-democracy demonstrators in a train station in Yuen Long on Sunday

Protest organisers have vowed to go ahead with their march despite the police denying their request in a rare move. The last time police rejected a protest request was in 2014, according to South China Morning Post.

Police have been heavily criticised for being too slow to respond to the violence that left 45 people injured, fueling accusations of collusion or turning a blind eye to the pro-government mob – allegations the force have denied.

Footage from the attack circulating on social media showed people screaming as the gangsters beat groups of protesters and journalists in Yuen Long subway station and inside trains, leaving pools of blood on the floor. Twelve people, some with links to triads, have been detained. 

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has said police were stretched thin due to the massive crowds and denied accusations that her government colluded with the assailants.  

Footage from the attack circulating on social media showed people screaming as the gangsters beat groups of protesters and journalists in Yuen Long subway station and inside trains, leaving pools of blood on the floor

Footage from the attack circulating on social media showed people screaming as the gangsters beat groups of protesters and journalists in Yuen Long subway station and inside trains, leaving pools of blood on the floor

Police have been heavily criticised for being too slow to respond to the violence that left 45 people injured, fueling accusations of collusion or turning a blind eye to the pro-government mob - allegations the force have denied

Police have been heavily criticised for being too slow to respond to the violence that left 45 people injured, fueling accusations of collusion or turning a blind eye to the pro-government mob – allegations the force have denied

Calvin So, a 23-year-old cook, shows his wounds sustained during the train station attack

Calvin So, a 23-year-old cook, shows his wounds sustained during the train station attack

‘It is groundless for anyone to accuse the government of colluding with attackers,’ she said on Monday. ‘Their behaviour was infuriating. We absolutely do not allow and tolerate such behaviour. I have already requested the police commissioner spare no effort in arresting the attackers.’ 

In the objection letter, police said they had ‘reason to believe participants of the march would have physical conflicts with villagers and cause danger to participants of the march, villagers and other members of the public’.

Protest organisers vowed to push ahead, raising the likelihood of fresh clashes between demonstrators and police. Social messaging channels used to organise the largely leaderless movement quickly filled up with vows from people to mass.

On top of Saturday’s rally, activists are planning to protest inside Hong Kong’s airport arrival gates on Friday and hold a series of marches on Sunday.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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