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James Cleverly challenges China on jailing of British citizen Jimmy Lai

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The British Parliament released a hard-hitting report on U.K.-China relations while British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited Beijing. We welcome James Cleverly challenging Chinese officials on the imprisonment of British citizen Jimmy Lai and ongoing repression in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Sebastien Lai, son of Jimmy Lai, told The Independent, “James Cleverly should be calling for my father’s release. My father is a British citizen and he is in jail for championing British values.”

On 31 August 2019, the Hong Kong police assaulted innocent pro-democracy protesters at Prince Edward station in Hong Kong. The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation) joined Hong Kong supporters in London to remember those who were targeted four years ago.

Photo Credit: Howard Cheng

Frances Hui, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for the CFHK Foundation, joined American Thought Leaders to underscore how the Chinese Communist Party continues to keep thousands of Hongkongers behind bars while targeting pro-democracy activists overseas. Ms Hui also toldVoice of America, “This strategy [of targeting overseas activists] makes the cost of engaging in activism higher so other members of the Hong Kong diaspora community wouldn’t dare to do the same things.”

The CFHK Foundation, Ronald Reagan Institute and Foundation for Defense of Democracies are co-hosting a screening of The Hong Konger: Jimmy Lai’s Extraordinary Struggle for Freedom and panel discussion featuring Sebastien Lai on 7 September 2023. Secure your virtual ticket by clicking here to register.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Language Learning Association shut down after the authorities raided the home of its founder last week.

Matthew Connors, a U.S. photography professor who reported on the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, was denied entry into the city. “I think you can expect to see a lot of people who would normally have been interested in doing business or living in Hong Kong, looking to other major Asian capitals instead,” said Mr Connors.

The Hong Kong police raided the family home of Andrew Chan, a Brisbane-based activist, over his three-year-old work of fiction that allegedly violates the National Security Law.

The Hong Kong authorities arrested two more individuals who are connected to a now-defunct relief fund that supported those targeted during the 2019 protests in Hong Kong.

Sebastien Lai, son of Jimmy Lai, told Al Jazeera that the Hong Kong government continues to delay his father’s show trial because they lack a strong case. Jimmy Lai’s trial is now expected to begin on the 18th of December.

UK-China Relations

The Chinese Communist Party is sabotaging British universities using Chinese students who have vowed to abide by Xi Jinping’s civil-military fusion agenda.

Five campaign groups urged British Home Secretary Suella Braverman to change the visa rules to allow Hong Kong citizens in the U.K. to receive a pension even if they have not lived and worked in Britain for the required minimum of ten years at the age of retirement.

US-China Relations

The U.S. Department of State released a statement condemning the Hong Kong authorities’ ongoing harassment of eight exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activists who now live in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

The National Review reported that the new director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York City previously worked for CY Leung and Carrie Lam, two former Hong Kong chief executives who repressed the rights of Hongkongers at home and abroad.

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