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Commentary: Jimmy Lai's despicable legacy of fomenting chaos in Hong Kong

(Xinhua)    16:30, August 20, 2019

BEIJING, Aug. 20 -- The majority of people in Hong Kong have had enough of prolonged radical protests and violence since June. They are especially fed up with media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying who has continuously fanned up social disorder and even violence.

Lai, founder of Next Digital and the tabloid Apple Daily newspaper, has played an important role in fomenting the current chaos and instability in Hong Kong.

By inviting external forces to meddle in Hong Kong affairs, Lai shows how eager he has sought to serve as a political tool for foreign powers to oppose China and cause chaos in Hong Kong.

Over the years, Lai has tried to destabilize Hong Kong and willfully pushed his own political agenda. His actions challenged the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" principle and threatened China's national sovereignty.

Lai bought his status as a proxy in Hong Kong by donating to U.S. political parties. It is through him that foreign anti-China forces channel funding to opposition leaders and a small fraction of so-called "Hong Kong independence" forces.

Meanwhile, Lai frequently met with politicians in the United States. In July, he was received by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss developments related to amendments to the fugitive offenders ordinances and the status of Hong Kong.

Lai was believed to be the "black hand" behind Hong Kong's "Occupy Central" incident in 2014. A year before the incident, he went to Taiwan to learn street protest tactics. Lai also used the media he controlled to spread disinformation to the public, create and spread rumors, and fan the fire of hatred and fears against Chinese mainland.

Lai assumed an active role in the current round of protests and violence. The Apple Daily newspaper that he owns printed ads directly calling on people to take to the street, and created an echo chamber to defame the lawful efforts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government to fix loopholes in the legal system. His smear campaign misled many people in Hong Kong.

Even though the HKSAR government has announced on many occasions that the amendments have been halted, Lai demanded more. Glorifying rioters and vandalism, and vilifying the police, Lai declared: "As I watched the protesters kicking the police, I felt an utmost sense of release."

As Hong Kong reeled from radical protests and violence, an increasing number of people -- retailers, tour guides, restauranteurs, taxi and truck drivers -- earned less and suffered from the economic hardship, while Lai profited handsomely from the instability.

After radical protests gripped Hong Kong since June, the market value of Lai's media company rocketed. The market value of Next Digital, of which Lai is the majority stakeholder, surged more than 80 percent in a week after Hong Kong sank into chaos.

Despite his notoriety of spreading disinformation, Lai branded himself as a spokesperson of the Hong Kong people only to hijack the future of the Hong Kong people.

Lai claimed that the West has the obligation to lend support to "change not only the future of Hong Kong but even that of the whole of China," a blatant confession of whom he is loyal to.

History has proved time and again, anyone who betrays his country for personal gains will always be nailed to the pillar of shame in history.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shi Xi, Hongyu)

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