BEIJING: A Belize national detained in China will be prosecuted on charges of colluding with foreign forces in protest-wracked Hong Kong and funding “hostile elements in the US”, Chinese authorities confirmed Friday.
It follows a roundup of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, which last year was rocked by months of massive demonstrations and clashes with police.
The protests in the financial hub were part of a wider movement calling for greater freedoms but have died down in recent months, partly because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities in the southern city of Guangzhou told AFP that preliminary investigations into Lee Henley Huxiang – for financing criminal activities against national security – had been completed a day earlier.
The Belize national’s case has since been transferred to the Guangzhou People’s Procuratorate for examination and prosecution.
The central American country has no diplomatic relations with Beijing, as it is an ally of Taiwan – which China claims as part of its territory and has vowed to seize by force if necessary.
Nanfang Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper in Guangdong province, previously reported that Lee was a Belizean businessman living in China.
He was arrested in Guangzhou on Nov 26, the paper said.
Investigations showed that Lee had long been providing funds to “hostile elements in the US” and that he had “colluded with foreign, anti-Chinese forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs”, according to Nanfang Daily.
Lee is accused of also funding criminal activities endangering China’s national security.
Last weekend police in Hong Kong carried out a sweeping operation against high-profile democracy campaigners, arresting 15 activists on charges related to the protests in the semi-autonomous city.