Xia Baolong singles out trio for 'severe punishment' - RTHK
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Xia Baolong singles out trio for 'severe punishment'

2021-03-01 HKT 17:04
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  • Xia Baolong is quoted as describing Jimmy Lai, Joshua Wong and Benny Tai as 'the most vicious traitors'. File photo: RTHK
    Xia Baolong is quoted as describing Jimmy Lai, Joshua Wong and Benny Tai as 'the most vicious traitors'. File photo: RTHK
The head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, has reportedly called for “severe punishment” for Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, jailed activist Joshua Wong and former HKU legal scholar Benny Tai.

In a transcript published by the pro-Beijing Bauhinia magazine, Xia apparently called the trio “the most vicious traitors” while attending a forum in Shenzhen to discuss election reforms in Hong Kong.

"In terms of those rioters who are anti-China and who instigate riots with extremely notorious acts, for example, Jimmy Lai, Benny Tai and Joshua Wong, they are not only prohibited from interfering in any public power of the HKSAR, they also need to be punished severely in accordance with the law," Xia was quoted by the magazine as saying.

Wong and Tai are among the 47 pro-democracy figures charged with subversion, while Lai has his own national security case for allegedly colluding with foreign forces.

Last month, Xia warned that people who "oppose China and disrupt Hong Kong” have been able to exert their influence in the city because the principle of letting "patriots" rule Hong Kong has not been fully implemented.

He said Beijing will have to lead work on political reform in the SAR to ensure that those who "hysterically attack the central government, openly advocate 'Hong Kong independence', bad-mouth or spread pessimism about China and Hong Kong in the international community or beg for foreign sanctions against China and Hong Kong," cannot hold positions of power.