Pro-democracy Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who was arrested by Chinese authorities this week, said Wednesday he doesn’t believe he will be extradited to mainland China to stand trial against charges under the new national security law.
“I don’t see anybody in the national security team is from China,” Lai explained in an interview on Hong Kong Apple Daily with former South China Morning Post Editor-in-Chief Mark Clifford and Heritage Foundation Senior Foreign Policy Analyst Mike Gonzales, who just released a book last month on identity politics in America.
“They’re all Hong Kong people, Hong Kong police… So I don’t think they have intention of taking me to China or anybody to China. Not now. At least not now. Maybe after birthday. Maybe after they think I’ve done something really subversive to the country or whatever they decide something else.”
Lai remained confident however, that “at this moment, I rest assured of myself that I won’t be taken to China.”
Lai was arrested Monday along with his two sons and four employees while police raided the offices of his newspaper, the Apple Daily and charged Lai with sedition, criminal fraud, and “collusion” with foreign forces under China’s new national security law expanding Beijing’s power grab over the once semi-autonomous region. All were released on bail Wednesday.
Immediately following his arrest, Lai became a global figure of freedom representing Hong Kongers’ last stand for democracy being threatened by Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose aggressive behavior and human rights abuses have received bi-partisan condemnation from political foes in Washington where both parties appear united in their disdain for Lai’s arrest.
Gonzales, speaking from the American capitol half-way around the world explained that Lai’s arrest appears to be a “grave mistake” on the part of the CCP.
“You have become very famous,” Gonzales told Lai. “It seems like every time China has an attempt to have freedom in China, somebody steps up and becomes a symbol of freedom, like in Tienanmen it was ‘tank man.'”
“I just do my part,” Lai said.
Watch the full interview here: