Pro-Beijing lawmaker ‘stabbed’ in Hong Kong

(The Guardian) – The pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho has been attacked in an apparent stabbing in Hong Kong.

Ho, who is running in the upcoming district council election, was out campaigning in his constituency on Wednesday when he was attacked.

In a video of the incident, a man holding a bunch of flowers approaches and speaks to Ho, then reaches into his bag and pulls out an implement, believed to be a knife, which he uses to stab Ho.

The man could be heard shouting in Cantonese: “Junius Ho, you scum!”

The attacker was arrested by police, according to Hong Kong Free Press. Ho was taken to Tuen Mun hospital with a stab wound to his chest. The alleged attacker and one of Ho’s aides were also taken to hospital with injuries, the South China Morning Post reported.

Alongside Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, and its police chief, Stephen Lo, Ho has become one of the most loathed establishment figures among democracy protesters.

He has long been one of the most stridently pro-Beijing politicians in the city.

He attracted criticism after he was captured on a video that went viral shaking hands with men in white T-shirts. The video followed an attack on protesters and other MTR passengers by a group of men in white T-shirts at Yuen Long MTR station in July, which resulted in 45 people being injured.

Ho denied that the people he shook hands with had any connection to the attackers at Yuen Long.

The attack on Ho comes amid more than five months of sometimes violent political unrest in the former British colony-turned semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Further protests were planned on Wednesday at some of Hong Kong’s universities, activists said. Police fired water cannon to disperse protesters at a Guy Fawkes-themed march on Tuesday.

China’s Communist party said on Tuesday it would not tolerate any “separatist behaviour” in Hong Kong, after some of the protesters called for independence.

What started as a protest against a proposed China extradition bill has widened into the gravest challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s rule since he came to power in 2012.

Protesters are demanding an end to perceived Chinese meddling in the territory’s affairs, as well as universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, among other demands.

Beijing denies interfering and blames foreign governments for fuelling the unrest.
Xi met Lam on Tuesday in Shanghai, vouching support for her administration.

Following the meeting, Lam denied rumours that the government was considering an amnesty for protesters charged with offences.