Belligerent pro-China Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho is in the hospital Wednesday following a stabbing attack in broad daylight that was caught on video.
A witness reportedly heard the still-publicly unidentified attacker telling Ho he “must pay with [his] life” for his ties to pro-China thugs responsible for a mass attack on unarmed protesters in July. Reporters caught Ho shaking hands and chatting with several communist attackers following the brutal beating of dozens of protesters on their way home from an event in Yuen Long.
Ho appeared on a video from the hospital in Chinese state media saying he only suffered a two-centimeter-deep wound and that he believes he will make a swift recovery. In addition to this attack, an unknown group vandalized the tombs of Ho’s parents following his appearance alongside the pro-China thugs in July.
The attack on Ho follows a gruesome incident this weekend in which a pro-communist man speaking Mandarin – a main language in Beijing but not Hong Kong, where most speak Cantonese – bit off the ear of pro-democracy district councilman Andrew Chiu.
The Global Times, a communist state media outlet, published a video of Ho’s stabbing in full:.
[Warning: graphic images]
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) November 6, 2019
Ho was reportedly canvassing in anticipation of the city’s upcoming elections when a man in blue carrying a yellow messenger bag approached him. According to a translation from the Asian outlet Coconuts, the stabber approached Ho to hand him flowers and asked to take a photo with him. When he reached into his bag, appearing to search for a camera, he took out a knife and stabbed Ho in the chest.
“The man kept shouting abuse at Ho, calling him ‘human scum’ and accusing him of orchestrating the attack at Yuen Long MTR Station on July 21, when dozens of people were beaten up by a group of men in white T-shirts,” according to Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK.
Authorities listed Ho, the attacker, and a third party as the three injured in the event. The Global Times reported an alleged fourth injury among Ho’s staffers.
Ho posted a video from the hospital that Chinese state media circulated online, accusing the assailant of having “mental issues” and promising to be out on the campaign trail again as soon as possible.
“Everything will be ok, the attack came suddenly this morning. Luckily, I dodged very quickly,” Ho said. “The knife did not reach my heart. … I believe the assailant had some mental issues”:
#HongKong legislator Junius Ho said he believes the assailant had mental issues and that he was lucky the knife did not reach his heart. Ho was stabbed Wednesday morning in Tuen Mun. #香港 pic.twitter.com/9wKaYmkKNE
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) November 6, 2019
In a post on Chinese social media network Weibo, however, Ho blamed the pro-democracy protest movement for the attack on him, referring to them as “black forces.” The Hong Kong protest movement has adopted black as its signature color and many wear black shirts to protests. The pro-China mobs attacking protesters often injure anyone wearing black, including many who have no connection to the protests.
“In comments posted on Weibo after he was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital, Ho said the pro-establishment camp is being threatened by ‘black forces,'” according to RTHK. “He said there is no order or fairness left for the elections, but he will not be scared by such attacks.”
The attack on Ho closely followed a meeting between Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping on Monday in which the latter expressed a “high degree of trust” in the pro-China Hong Kong government. Lam remains in Shanghai for more meetings, where other senior officials have decried the protest movement as a violent criminal uprising.
“Stopping violence and restoring order is still the most important work for Hong Kong society, the common responsibility of the city’s executive, legislative and judicial bodies, as well as the biggest consensus of the city,” Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng said following a meeting with Lam on Wednesday, vowing Beijing would help end the “extreme and destructive acts” by protesters.
Millions have taken to the streets of Hong Kong since June to protest China’s growing illegal impositions on the capitalist city. Under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, Hong Kong cannot vy for sovereignty, and China cannot impose Communist Party law. The Hong Kong legislature proposed a bill this year that would have allowed the government to extradite any individual present in Hong Kong if accused of violating Chinese law, essentially making Chinese law viable in Hong Kong.
The protesters have issued five demands to their government: the withdrawal of the extradition bill, freedom for political prisoners, direct election of lawmakers, an independent probe into police brutality, and an end to calling protesters “rioters.” Lam granted the extradition bill withdrawal but has ruled out addressing the others.
The protests were entirely peaceful until the July attack in Yuen Long. Following a peaceful protest attracting thousands in the suburban neighborhood, a mob of between 100-150 people stormed the Yuen Long metro station and beat anyone they found wearing black with metal rods and bamboo sticks. Police later found evidence that the pro-China mob contained members of triads, Hong Kong’s organized crime gangs.
Junius Ho was present outside of the metro station, shaking hands and thanking some of the attackers. Ho claimed that some were constituents and that he had a duty to listen to the concerns of those in his district.
Ho has repeatedly threatened military intervention to silence dissent.
“At this crucial juncture, if Hong Kong reaches an uncontrollable state, we will deal with the situation,” Ho said in a recorded message in July, listing provisions in Hong Kong’s Basic Law, its constitution, allowing for an invasion by the People’s Liberation Army.
More recently, in October, the Legislative Council ejected Ho from a meeting for using sexist invective against pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo, saying she was “used to eating foreign sausage” because she had married a British man. Confronted about his outrageous statement, Ho replied, “freedom of expression.”