'Risky for businesses': Taiwan warns against freezing of Jimmy Lai's assets

WION Web Team
Taipei, Taiwan Published: May 16, 2021, 11:36 PM(IST)

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai (C) arrives at the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong on December 31, 2020, to face the prosecution's appeal against his bail after he was charged with the new national security law. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Taiwan, which has been a supporter of Hong Kong’s pro-democratic voices, has urged China and Hong Kong government to stop ‘suppressing’ the locals and activists in Hong Kong

Taiwan has raised concern about the survival of international businesses in Hong Kong a day after authorities announced plans to freeze all assets of media tycoon and pro-democracy activist, Jimmy Lai.

The freezing of Lai’s assets sends a message that risks for international businesses in Hong Kong has increased alarmingly, Taiwan warned, and it "highlights the National Security Law's threats".

Also read | Hong Kong freezes Jimmy Lai's assets and shares in media publications

"It's equivalent to announcing to the international community that Hong Kong's business risks are increasing," Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement.

Taiwan, which has been a supporter of Hong Kong’s pro-democratic voices, has urged China and Hong Kong government to stop ‘suppressing’ the locals and activists in Hong Kong.

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"We also once again call on relevant parties to stop suppressing Hong Kong democrats, otherwise they will drift away from popular sentiment," the statement read.

Jimmy Lai, a 73-year-old pro-democracy activist and media tycoon, was sentenced to 12 months in jail a few weeks ago for attending a massive pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong and has been accused of calling for sanctions against China. If proven guilty, he could face a life-long prison sentence.  

Following that, all his assets and his shares in media houses such as Next Digital have been forfeited and also "the property in the local bank accounts of three companies owned by him".

(With inputs from agencies)

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