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The cost of dancing with the enemy: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2020-08-10 22:16
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Hong Kong media tycoon and Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying. [Photo by PARKER ZHENG/]

In this case justice delayed didn't mean the absence of justice. That Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of tabloid-style Apple Daily newspaper, was arrested on Monday for national security-related offenses shows that eventually he will be brought to justice for colluding with foreign forces and being involved in fraud.

Instead of being grateful for having been condoned for the offenses he committed before the enactment of the new national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as the law lacks retroactive effect, Lai continued with his treacheries, including intriguing with foreign elements to undermine national security.

The majority of Hong Kong residents, who desperately long for an end to their sufferings caused by the relentless machinations of Lai and other key local proxies of foreign powers such as former Hong Kong University professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, and so-called activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, must have heaved a big sigh of relief after the arrest of Lai and several of his close aides.

The arrests of the "black hands" behind the yearlong violent protests in Hong Kong show that no offender is immune to the national security law, however mighty his or her foreign patrons be.

It should now be clear to the other local proxies of the foreign powers that it is not only naïve but also futile to try to leverage foreign interference in the country, and that no amount of foreign sanctions can stop China and its special administrative region from safeguarding national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security.

They should also be aware of the cruel reality that they cannot escape the hand of the law if they collude with foreign powers, who like master puppeteers will not hesitate to pull the strings and make them dance to their tune whenever they want. This is evidenced in the case of Lai, who continued with his perfidies even after the national security law was implemented because he could not break free from the strings.

Conspiring with foreign forces to hurt one's own country's national interests for whatever reason or objective is considered an act of treason in any country. Worse, traitors don't enjoy the respect of their foreign masters either; they are discarded like old batteries once their usefulness depletes.

And since those foreign elements fanning trouble in Hong Kong also deserve punishment, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against 11 US politicians and organization heads, including Senators Marc Rubio and Ted Cruz, which should remind the US administration that Beijing, too, can impose sanctions on US nationals.

The nation and the people will make those who collude with foreign forces pay for treason, and the arrests should be a warning to the foreign elements to keep their hands off China, including the SAR.

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