Hong Kong police arrested 28-year-old Hong Kong independence leader Andy Chan Ho-tin at the airport Friday on his way to go speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Japan.
During his controversial speech in August 2018 at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents club, Chan referred to Beijing as the worst “colonial master” in Hong Kong’s history. He described China as an empire, not a state, that was a threat to all free people in the world.
Chan also called on foreign powers such as the United States and Britain to step in and help Hong Kong.
The speech, one year ago, prompted an immediate reaction from Beijing and its government in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor responded with a warning one day after Beijing’s head of Hong Kong affairs said the speech by Chan and the decision by the Foreign Correspondents Club to provide him a platform had exposed Hong Kong’s “inadequacies” in upholding national security.
Zhang Xiaoming, director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said, “This incident has reminded us we have to reflect and review Hong Kong’s inadequacies in protecting national security.”
Lam in her remarks said, “the government and myself are obliged to uphold national security, under Article 23 of the Basic Law, and local legislation should be enacted to uphold national security.”
In response to Chan’s arrest, which he posted on Facebook, CPAC Japan tweeted: “It is outrageous that the puppets of Hong Kong would arrest [Andy Chan Ho-tin] as he was getting ready to board a plane to speak at [CPAC Japan. The clash between freedom and authoritarianism is getting worse every day. We stand with the people of Hong Kong who desire freedom.”
Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union (ACU), the organization behind CPAC, noted that the New York Times report about the arrests left out any mention of CPAC Japan.
“This is shocking and appalling that the communists would be so threatened by someone speaking the truth,” Schlapp added.