In August Joshua Wong, 24, responded angrily to a claim by the Chinese consulate in Belfast that Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill had told the consul that Stormont “understands and respects” the Hong Kong crackdown.
Wong told his 650,000 Twitter followers it would be “unbelievably scandalous if it is really the case that the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland have said they ‘understand and respect’ Beijing’s human rights abuses under its sweeping national security law”.
But Mrs Foster and Ms O’Neill denied they had given such support and China retracted the claim. Mrs Foster said her position on Hong Kong is the same as that of the UK.
Writing in today’s News Letter, John Cushnahan, former Alliance Party leader, condemns this month’s jailing of Wong for his part in a rally demanding that the Hong Kong government withdraw an extradition to China bill.
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Mr Cushnahan, who was an MEP and European Parliament Rapporteur on Hong Kong, details other jailings and says international condemnation of China is a “totally insufficient” response.
• Morning View: Hong Kong student’s jailing is warning against NI-China cosiness
• John Cushnahan: China is ruthlessly tightening grip on Hong Kong
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