Jimmy Lai, Hong Kong entrepreneur and pro-democracy activist, has been arrested this week for “violating” new national security laws imposed by the Communist Party of China. 

The Hoover Institution was fortunate to host Mr. Lai before a live audience at its October 2019 retreat and on June 9, 2020 for a special edition of Uncommon Knowledge following his arrest in May for defying a police ban and participating in demonstrations against Beijing. Both programs were conducted in-conversation with Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow Peter Robinson.  

“Fight on, fight on… This is a time for sacrifice,” an emotional Lai pledged in the June interview for his commitment to a free Hong Kong. “I can't leave. I will have to fight to the last day. I'm not afraid.”

Lai maintained that the struggle was well worth it. He told Robinson that President Xi Jinping's belligerent behavior was evidence of a China economically over-leveraged, internally mismanaged, and in decline.  

“The more precarious [Xi’s] position is, the greater he has to pose himself as a strong man to threaten the world, to show to the Chinese people how strong China is,” Lai explained.

Now in the hands of authorities answering to Beijing, Lai faces an uncertain future. The Hoover Institution presents these two interviews in their entirety as a tribute to a patriot and very brave man fighting for his country.  

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