China to prosecute first foreigner over Hong Kong ‘meddling’

Lee Henley Hu Xiang, a citizen of Belize, was detained in Guangzhou last November. His current whereabouts are unknown.

hong kong
Mass protesters began in Hong Kong last June over a now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed the transfer of suspects for trial in mainland China [Jerome Favre/EPA]

China will prosecute a citizen from Belize for his alleged involvement in providing funds to “meddle” in Hong Kong affairs, a newspaper backed by the ruling Communist Party reported on Friday.

The Guangzhou Daily, official party newspaper of the southern Chinese city, said security authorities had concluded their investigation into Lee Henley Hu Xiang and he would be prosecuted.

“Investigations by the national security agency confirmed that the suspect provided a large amount of funds to hostile elements in the United States, colluded with foreign anti-China forces to intervene in Hong Kong affairs, and funded the implementation of criminal activities that endangered our national security,” the paper said.

Lee, a citizen of Belize, was arrested in November in Guangzhou. His whereabouts are unknown and he is not reachable. He has made no public comments on the charges.

Hong Kong was the site of enormous pro-democracy protests for most of last year, with millions taking to the streets to demonstrate against what local residents said was increasing interference from mainland China.

The city is ruled under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, which is supposed to afford Hong Kong a level of autonomy that other cities in China do not have.

Beijing has on multiple occasions accused western countries, particularly the US and the United Kingdom, of inciting violence and discord in the city.

The situation has calmed since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, but city authorities launched a surprise crackdown last weekend when they arrested 15 of Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy figures. 

Source: Reuters