WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump on Aug. 13 condemned attacks on press freedom in Hong Kong, calling the recent arrest of media mogul Jimmy Lai and the police raid on his newsroom a “terrible thing.”
“I hate to see what happened to Hong Kong, because freedom is a great thing,” he said at a press briefing, in response to a question from The Epoch Times.
Lai, an outspoken critic of Beijing, was released on bail on Aug. 11, following widespread public support.
“I think it’s a terrible thing,” Trump said.
“We gave tremendous incentives to Hong Kong, because of freedom. We have now withdrawn all of those incentives, and it will be impossible for Hong Kong to compete with the United States.”
The Chinese communist regime recently imposed a national security law over Hong Kong, posing a threat to the city’s autonomy as well as the “one country, two systems” framework.
Beijing tightened its grip on the city with this new law, which criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and foreign collusion with penalties of up to life imprisonment.
“We made it very convenient for people to go there, for companies to go there. We’ve withdrawn all of that. And the United States will be a big beneficiary from an economic standpoint,” the president said.