Over 100 protesters gathered outside the Legislative Council on Sunday afternoon, criticising pro-democracy lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan for “destroying One Country, Two Systems,” after Ho held a press conference together with returned bookseller Lam Wing-kee on Thursday evening.

pro-beijing protests
Pro-Beijing protesters waved the flag of China and sang patriotic songs outside the LegCo.

Lam was one of the five booksellers from the store who went missing last year. The shop sells political gossip titles banned in China; Lam founded and operated the bookstore before it was purchased by Mighty Current in 2014. He was ordered by his captors to bring a hard drive containing the bookstore’s customer list back to the mainland, but changed his mind and held a press conference instead. He gave an account of his detention in China and said that his TV “confession” was scripted and orchestrated.

Lam ‘slandered’ government 

The demonstrators on Sunday belonged to pro-Beijing organisations such as Voice of Loving Hong Kong and were transported to the Legislative Council in buses. They sang patriotic songs, waved the People’s Republic of China flag, and placed placards condemning Ho on the fences. They left about an hour later, Stand News reported.

Protesters said that Ho helped Lam with holding the press conference, during which, they said, statements inconsistent with the facts were made. They said that Ho was taking advantage of Lam and questioned why he, being an outsider in the incident, had to get involved. They also accused Ho of destroying One Country, Two Systems – the agreement which assures the city’s autonomy.

sunday protests

Demonstrators further claimed that Lam slandered the Chinese government and broke the laws of the mainland, Now TV reported. They demanded that the Hong Kong government arrest Lam.

See also: People of protest: Angry at bookseller’s testimony, Hongkongers rally for personal freedom

The protests came a day after over a thousand people marched from the Causeway Bay Bookstore to China’s liaison office in support of Lam.

protest bookseller lam
The protests in support of Lam on Saturday. Photo: Gene Lin/HKFP.

‘Sacrificing stability for personal gains’, says Global Times

Meanwhile, Global Times published a commentary on Monday, criticising Lam for “stirring up the Causeway Bay Books incident again and sacrificing the stability of Hong Kong for his personal gains.”

“Is it really legal to send and sell the political gossip titles published by Causeway Bay Books to the mainland? Are the Shenzhen police not allowed to arrest people who have committed such acts on the mainland? Common sense will help people come up with the correct answers,” the commentary said.

See also: ‘We are all Lam Wing-kee’ banner appears on Beacon Hill backing returned bookseller

lam wing-kee
Lam Wing-kee. Photo: Gene Lin/HKFP.

It also said that “radicals” in Hong Kong and the media claimed that One Country, Two Systems have been destroyed, an allegation they themselves knew to be “exaggerated and ridiculous”. It said that these radicals did not want One Country, Two Systems – they only desired “Two Systems”, which was where the problem lay.

one country two systems
Photo: Gene Lin/HKFP.

The commentary condemned the “radicals” for being aggressive towards these issues and said they should not mislead Hongkongers, warning that “it is not in Hong Kong society’s best interest to take on an extreme stance on the matter”.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.