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Beijing's Targets: Lu Siwei and the Hong Kong Eight Under Attack Again

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Chinese human rights lawyer Lu Siwei, who lost his legal licence for defending one of the twelve Hong Kong activists who attempted to flee to Taiwan in 2021, was arrested in Laos. The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation) joined more than 70 other non-profit organisations to call for the immediate release of Lu Siwei. Other nations should not allow the long arm of the Chinese Communist Party to threaten Chinese and Hong Kong dissidents, including the Hong Kong Eight, abroad.

Iain Duncan Smith MP shared how British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, “You’ve got to get used to it” in response to British Indo-Pacific Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan meeting with Chinese official Liu Jianchao, who formerly carried out transnational repression against Hong Kongers and other groups worldwide. Mark Sabah, UK and EU Director for the CFHK Foundation, told Mail Online, “[James Cleverly] is desperate to look like a statesman. Instead of taking the opportunity to reshape Britain’s relationship with Beijing and protect our national security, he is replicating the approach we used to have with Russia which led to so many issues.”

Frances Hui, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for the CFHK Foundation, spoke to the Cato Institute about growing up in Hong Kong and witnessing its changes under Chinese rule as well as the story of Hong Kongers including those like Jimmy Lai who are behind bars for simply defending freedom.

Benedict Rogers, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Watch and author of The China Nexus: Thirty Years In and Around the Chinese Communist Party’s Tyranny, wrote in the CFHK Foundation’s Flame of Freedom blog about the oppressive hand of the Chinese Communist Party. He wrote, “Last year I joined the campaign on social media to ask #WhereIsPengShuai? I never imagined I would be tweeting #WhereIsQinGang. But that is the truth of China today, and the fate that now faces Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong authorities ordered Jimmy Lai to cover the cost of his two "unreasonable" legal challenges after the Hong Kong government barred his lawyer of choice.

The Hong Kong national security police continue to interrogate the families of the eight Hong Kongers abroad with HK$1 million bounties on their heads. This week, US-based Elmer Yuen’s children and ex-wife were questioned. Mark Sabah said, “The US, UK and Australian governments must take concrete action to immediately support the Hong Kong Eight. They must make it known that the National Security Law has no jurisdiction abroad…Intimidation will not win.”

A Hong Kong court dismissed the Hong Kong government’s injunction application to ban the pro-democracy anthem Glory to Hong Kong. Judge Anthony Chan said such a ban “could have had chilling effects on the freedom of speech”.

The Hong Kong stock exchange removed the requirement for companies to indicate China-related risks in listing applications, revealing the city’s closer alignment with mainland China, where businesses face security risks dictated by the Chinese Communist Party.

The Hong Kong Secretary for Security Chris Tang claimed that “foreign forces” fuelled the 2003, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2019 protests in Hong Kong, jeopardising national security.

UK-China Relations

Finn Lau, one of the eight exiled Hong Kongers with a bounty on his head who now lives in the UK, told The Guardian that he will not be deterred from partaking in pro-democracy activities to preserve human rights in Hong Kong and around the world.

The UK imposed sanctions on Russian judges responsible for sentencing British citizen Vladimir Kara-Murza while British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for his immediate release. Rishi Sunak should similarly take strong action against authorities in Hong Kong who continue to detain British citizen Jimmy Lai, who has been behind bars for 946 days.

North America-China Relations

The Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and Chinese Communist Party launched an investigation into BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, which has been accused of facilitating U.S. investment in Chinese companies despite human rights violations by China against Hong Kongers, Uyghurs, Tibetans and others.

The 2023 World Police and Fire Games continue in Winnipeg, Canada, where there is controversy regarding the participation of 300 Hong Kong police officers who continue to repress Hong Kongers at home and abroad.

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