23 October 2018
Jimmy Lai insists it was just a gathering of friends. Photo: Apple Daily
Jimmy Lai insists it was just a gathering of friends. Photo: Apple Daily

Jimmy Lai: I won’t ask for help from US who has long betrayed us

Outspoken newspaper publisher Jimmy Lai said he has never thought America will help Hong Kong because it has long betrayed the city, Apple Daily reported on Friday.

Lai, chairman of Next Media (00282.HK) which publishes the newspaper, was reported by local media to have met secretly with former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz on a yacht for five hours late last month while the issue of political reform is raging in Hong Kong.

China opposes any interference by foreign powers in Hong Kong’s affairs, Hua Chunying, deputy director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department, told reporters in Beijing on Thursday. She said she did not know the details of the supposed meeting.

Lai said it was just a gathering of friends, adding that he never takes advantage of foreign countries or organizations.

He said he never thought the United States would help Hong Kong as the superpower had betrayed the city a long time ago. 

The US ignores issues affecting Hong Kong, and foreign countries will not take a firm stand on such issues, Lai said. If ever, they will voice views that will be to the benefit.

China, on the other hand, will provide a few economic benefits to shut them up, and this has only encouraged foreigners to interfere, he added.

About the meeting, Lai said five people attended, including himself, Wolfowitz, Lai’s assistant and two Wall Street Journal writers. He said they met before Wolfowitz set off for Indonesia, and they talked and swam, Headline News reported.

Former Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee was supposed to attend but he did not. So “he was able to skip the media interviews”, Lai was quoted as saying.

Wolfowitz, who joined the US defense department in the 70s, once said China is the biggest threat to America’s interests in the Asia Pacific, and the US should strengthen its relations with other countries in the region to balance Chinese power and maintain Western powers’ influence in the region, Headline Daily reported.

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