China has 'many, many, many' ways to grab fugitives, Gordon Wu saysLocal | 3 Jul 2019 4:10 pm
Property tycoon Gordon Wu said he cannot understand people's fears over Hong Kong government's extradition plans, because Beijing is already able to get hold of anyone it wants, without the need for any law, RTHK reports.
"Are they going to use this bill to nab every Tom, Dick and Harry from Hong Kong to their side? I don't think this will be the case. Because if they want to do that, they can do it in many, many, many other ways," Wu said.
The comment, during a speech at an American Chamber of Commerce event on the development of the Greater Bay Area, prompted some laughter from the audience.
Wu, who is the chairman of Hopewell Holdings, added that he doesn't understand why people don't trust the central government, or why so many concerns have been raised over the proposed changes to the city's extradition legislation.
"I really don't understand why some of the Hong Kong people say this is so important. Today, I can criticize anybody because I have freedom of speech, as long as it's based on facts, and as long as it's not libel and as long as it's [not] rude language."
He said Hong Kong's international image has not been affected by the storming of Legco by protesters on Monday, but warned that if "things get worse, then Hong Kong will go down the tubes.''
The businessmen also said he doesn't think young people are particularly "desperate" for Hong Kong to get full democracy, and he thinks the recent protests were actually sparked by anger over the city's wealth gap and housing woes.
"Yes, we have the wealth. But where is the wealth concentrated? The government and also the land owners," he said, adding "I must declare an interest, I am one of them."
"This Occupy Central and the extradition law... probably one of the real reasons is that people don't see the opportunities. Is our government not doing enough? Or not doing anything? I don't know the answer."
Five Hong Kong booksellers were kidnapped by mainland agents in 2015, with one of them, Gui Minhai, still in custody.
In 2017, billionaire Xiao Jianhua vanished from the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong and also later resurfaced on the mainland. It was widely believed that he too had been abducted and it was later reported that he would be put on trial for stock market manipulation and bribery.