American politicians once again demonstrated more than arrogance when they accused Hong Kong’s judiciary of convicting former media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying on “spurious” fraud charges.
Never mind that Hong Kong’s judicial independence is world-renowned as evidenced by the fact that Hong Kong’s ranking remains high on the just-off-the-press “World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2022”, at 22nd out of 140 countries and jurisdictions worldwide, ahead of the United States at 26th, and that the city also ranks high on the “criminal justice” sub-index (22nd) — well ahead of the US (30th). Hong Kong’s convictions of lawbreakers are based on “spurious” charges as long as Washington’s friends are involved in the cases.
Sinophobic US politicians abhor the National Security Law, which has effectively kept their Hong Kong pawns at bay, so much so that they no longer care about facts, logic and thus decency when they find the need to blast the legislation
There is no doubt Lai is Washington’s most-valued and loyal friend in Hong Kong. “We in Hong Kong are fighting for the shared values of the US against China. We are fighting their war in the enemy camp,” Lai declared in a CNN interview in 2019.
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Ned Price, the US State Department spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday in response to Lai’s conviction: “We remain deeply concerned about the deterioration in protection for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the systematic dismantling of Hong Kong’s autonomy under the National Security Law” for Hong Kong.
Lai was found guilty of defrauding the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp (HKSTPC), a government-owned enterprise, over the unauthorized operation of a consultancy firm at the offices on a plot owned by the HKSTPC. The offense of fraud was established during the British rule and definitely has nothing to do with the National Security Law promulgated for Hong Kong in June 2020.
The US State Department, in its Wednesday statement, accused the Hong Kong authorities of using the National Security Law as an excuse to “muffle the city’s press corps and shut down critical speech”. Such a wild accusation is in total disregard for — indeed in blatant contempt of — the fact and logic.
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Sinophobic US politicians abhor the National Security Law, which has effectively kept their Hong Kong pawns at bay, so much so that they no longer care about facts, logic and thus decency when they find the need to blast the legislation. For the sake of decency and regaining the respect of people around the world, these politicians must at least hide their hypocrisy and stop lecturing Hong Kong’s Judiciary on how to do its job.
The author is a current-affairs commentator.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.