Mark Simon, senior Next Media executive, AppleDaily, Jimmy Lai’s right hand and friend for over 20 years, sheds light on CCP’s influences in Hong Kong, Europe and USA, their #VaticanDeal and appeals to the Polish people and government to cut ties with Communists.

  • “What Pope Francis is doing is going to leave a black mark against the church for a thousand years”.
  • Poland, is it really worth it, for a dollar a month to sell your security and entire nation to Communist China?
  • EU, Mercedes Benz, Siemens and other big corps are fully invested in China. They don’t understand how evil the CCP is.
  • Jimmy Lai’s will end up in HK prison eventually, his arrest shows the CCP will go after everyone who opposes them.
  • You can’t have repression of a free press and a financial center. Doesn’t work.

IB: We know that Cardinal Zen is an unsparing critic of the Vatican-China deal. What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you expect more arrests in Hong Kong? What do you think might happen to cardinal Zen or others?
MS: I think they’ll be reluctant to arrest Cardinal Zen. I know quite a bit about the deal, I’ve been involved for maybe 15 years working on Vatican-China relations. Unfortunately, Pope Benedict was fantastic. Francis is not. Francis is basically, as Cardinal Zen once said, Pope Francis sees the communists the same way he used to see the communists as a boy or a young man in Argentina. He sees them as a liberating force. He sees them as something else. And now he’s been trapped by the Vatican bureaucracy, willingly trapped, I should say, let’s not let him off the hook. And essentially, he’s got this deal with China that, you know, every time you cut a deal with the communists, it just doesn’t work.
And so what’s happened now is that they thought they were going to get all these great things. Hong Kong happened. The Uyghurs have happened. This Pope is sitting in the Vatican keeping completely silent on a genocide that is taking place against the Uyghurs.

It is going to be a black mark against the church for a thousand years and this pope is doing it.

I can’t tell you the duplicity with the way the Vatican deals with this. And I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve seen it over and over again. Cardinal Zen tells him something is going to happen. Other loyal church followers tell them something negative is going to happen in China. They completely ignore it. Francis has completely let people down.

And because of that, because the Church is probably the most formally strong group in China, everybody suffers. The evangelical house churches suffer. Of course, the Uyghurs are suffering. All religions suffer when the main religion basically packs it in. And what I mean by packs it in is Pope Francis and his secretary of state, Parolin, are literally pompadours of the mainland Chinese. I can’t tell you what they’ve done. Also, by the way, just so everybody knows, the Vatican China deal does include Hong Kong.
Absolutely. Which is why the Hong Kong Catholic Church has essentially as much as could be possible, I’d say they’ve endorsed the national security law. It’s a really tough time for Catholics in Hong Kong right now. We’re having a very, very difficult time. You have to remember, I think of myself as a resident of Hong Kong. I go back and forth to the States, but I lived in Hong Kong.
IB: Were you disappointed to hear about the scale of expansion of China and Poland and the strategic partnership we have with them at virtually every level from central to local government, 5G, you know, Huawei and the telecoms infrastructure. We even sent police and local police to train in China. What would you say to the president and the prime minister of Poland and their administration in this regard?
MS: I think they’re not reading their history books about communism, but I think the other problem they have is they just do it for money. It’s just it seems like a free deal. It seems like everything’s great. But, you know, when you look at the Huawei equipment when you look at some of these deals, you almost have, it’s like the modern-day version of buying the old Soviet cars from the 1970s. You know, I’m saying I mean, they’re just basically Huawei is not top quality stuff. So basically, it’s cheap, it’s free. It gets you up and running. But we all know that it’s not going to take you to the next level and you’re also going to be a supplicant of them.

Now, I don’t know if everybody in Poland is going to be all that excited about having all their data going back to China. But we pretty much know that’s what Huawei does. I don’t understand the moral position of Poland more than anything else. In other words, I get it. Free money, free trade, things like that. But here’s your problem. China is never going to be a huge market for you. In other words, you don’t have what China really wants in a lot of different ways. Your industries are moving forward. They’re moving quickly. But essentially, China is never going to be a massive trading partner for you.
So I don’t understand the trade angle. I also do not understand really the infrastructure angle either. I think interest rates are so low all over the world. If you’re going to borrow money, why are you going to work with the Chinese on something? And the third part of it is the political angle. Let me tell you, I can assure you within a year, the intrepid journalist in Poland are going to start finding the corruption that follows the Chinese everywhere they go. It’s insidious. It’s just insidious. I shouldn’t say the Chinese. The Chinese Communist Party, I think I don’t know what it is with certain leaders. And unfortunately, you guys have one right now.
OK he is making the case based on economics for China certainly is not making a moral he’s making on economics. I think the economics don’t work. In other words, when I look at it, I’m a businessman. Really? What, in China? What is China going to buy from Poland in my mind? What are they going to buy? And I don’t see them buying a tremendous amount of goods from you, maybe some agriculture that’s about it. But everything else, from machinery to expertise to anything else, I don’t see them buying it. Tourism. All right. That’s a little bit of money. But you know, that’s not you don’t sell your soul for that.
I think the problem is they have, as I think the world is now waking up to China, it’s the same problem I think the Polish government has. You’ve got your Polish elite government officials cutting these deals. And I think the man on the street in Poland when he looks at the economics of it, he’s going to like, all right, well, this guy made some money and that guy made some money.
But overall in Poland, does it really matter that we have this deal with China? Not really. You’ve got Ericsson across the way. Does it really matter for your telecom companies that it’s Huawei and Huawei doing what they do for infrastructure and phones, five percent, 15 percent cheaper than Ericsson? What does that mean to somebody in Poland’s daily bill? Maybe thirty-five cents less per person, less a month, a dollar less a month per person, what does that mean?

So you’re going to sell your security. You’re going to sell your entire nation out to save everybody a US dollar per month or a US dollar per year by using Huawei. I just don’t see the economics of it.

One of the things about Hong Kong, I will tell people: it’s incorrect to say Hong Kong is the new Berlin. Berlin was outside. Believe it or not, Hong Kong is the Warsaw. It was inside the Iron Curtain and you guys had to free yourselves. Hong Kong is the same way our people are going to have to find a new way and for now, a peaceful way as hopefully as long as possible of resistance.
In other words, if you’re in Hong Kong, look to Prague and look to Warsaw. Berlin had basically the US Army on the other side of it or halfway through it. We don’t have that in Hong Kong and never will. […] There’s a lot of Polish heroes who we should look to. Because we’re inside the belly of the beast. We’re not on the outside waiting to be taken over. We used to be. We used to be, but not anymore. That that changed July 1st.
IB: Let’s switch to the European Union, the respect for human rights and freedom in Hong Kong after the arrest of Jimmy Lai, it seems like quite a poor response on the side of Merkel and other EU leaders to actions taken now by the CCP. What do you think about the stance of the European Union?
MS: I think the fact of the matter is that there’s not an understanding of how really evil the CCP can be. In other words, you know, the devil doesn’t come on a bed of fire. The devil comes and basically offers you a lot of gifts and everything like that. The Germans, the Mercedes Benz, Siemens, or whatever have made a decision that they’re going to basically make money in China. That’s fine. Go ahead and do it. But the European Union doesn’t seem to understand that essentially they are never going to get what they want in China, which is a commercial success, as long as they are constantly shoe-shining the CCP.
In other words, it’s getting better. I’ll say it’s much better than it was before. There are people who are waking up. But the problem is, again, you’ve got someone like Merkel, you’ve got some of the other folks who basically, in my mind, just have to go. In other words, this is the problem you have. It’s these people who are so invested in China, they’re their business structure. Their supporters are basically completely invested in China financially, and they’re not going to change. The EU, by its nature, will always be a lesser force in China, which is one of the great worries we have about the Biden administration. The Biden administration… Multilateralism is a religion with them. So you can bet that they’re going to say: we’re going to approach China with the EU.

IB: What do you think the arrest of Jimmy Lai is spelling for the situation in Hong Kong? And what do you expect might happen to Mr. Lai following the arrest?
MS: Human rights are being pulled down the drain. In other words, what they’re doing is they’re pulling everybody down to the same low level of a lack of basic freedoms.

Jimmy Lai, what they’re doing with him is they’re letting everybody know that we will go after somebody no matter who they are, no matter what position in society they have.

We are going to come and we are going to use this national security law against Jimmy. More troubling is that they used it against basically my co-workers and my friends, who certainly by any even a far-out view of national security, had nothing to do with the national security.
For example, the administration manager or in fact, Jimmy’s sons. What they’re telling people is, is that essentially the Chinese Communist Party is in charge. And guess what? They’re playing by China rules. In other words, they just brought the rules of China and how they do things, charging family, charging friends to Hong Kong. As for Jimmy, he’s going to be on trial this week for a variety of different charges. He’s got they’ve got a whole slate of charges against him for civil disobedience. He has yet to be charged with national security. I’m sure that’s coming. My expectation is that my boss will probably end up in jail one way or the other in Hong Kong. I think they’ll try to keep him in Hong Kong for a while.
IB: And what do you think might happen to “Apple Daily” and the free media in general in Hong Kong? Is this the end of free speech?
MS: Hong Kong is an international financial center and information is the lifeblood of any city. But more importantly, the information is the lifeblood and it’s everything for a financial center. If you pull down “Apple Daily” for what is essentially just disagreeing with the government, you’ve really struck a blow against Hong Kong as a financial center. So to me, the day they decide that they’re really getting rid of “Apple Daily” is also the day they’ve decided that they’re getting rid of Hong Kong as a financial center. Can’t have both. You can’t have repression of a free press and a financial center. Doesn’t work.

IB: And finally, just on that note, with regard to Poland, how can our community, how can Polish people who love freedom help support Hong Kong right now
MS: Well, I don’t like to delve into domestic politics of other nations, but I will and what I’m saying to the Polish people is this: look at the economics of the deal that you’re cutting with China. I mean, think about it. Look at it for Huawei. Is it really worth it in your lives for a dollar a month to basically be doing business with a bunch of basically Chinese communist toadies who are probably stealing your information? In the end think about what it means to you as an individual. You know, if a man was at the end of the street and he ran a shop and he beat his wife and he beat his children, would you shop there?
That’s all I’m asking. Apply that same test to China. I’m not telling you to boycott Chinese goods, I’m not telling you anything else. But maybe tell your government, you know what, we don’t really need you, our representatives that we voted for to basically help these guys get to where they want to go.
On a government to government level and granting them favors and things like that, why, that’s my point to the Polish people. Just ask your government officials why? You don’t have to do a lot of different things, but ask why.
It’s wonderful to see younger people like yourselves but I think the older folks should remind the younger ones exactly what communism is and we know exactly who communists are. Why is our government cutting a deal with these guys?

IB: Exactly, and we, of course, ask all our viewers to also pray for Hongkongers and for strength, because we know that as Elmer Yuen said in our television, the biggest weapon that we have, the Chinese CCP doesn’t have is God.
MS: Amen. That’s exactly that. I’m too much of an American. But, yeah, every all the prayer means so much you wouldn’t believe it, you know, prayed for my boss, Jimmy, like, please pray for him and pray for Cardinal Zen. And also, to be honest with you, pray for our very solid Protestant leaders in Hong Kong. We have some very, very solid guys who are moving forward, are stepping up.
IB: Thank you very much, Mark. On behalf of freedom-loving Poles, I would like to also thank you for your courage and for standing up to the Chinese Communist Party’s oppressive regime, and fighting for freedom of Hong Kong. Our television and community continues the longstanding Polish tradition of fighting for your freedom and ours. And so Hong Kong and all freedom-loving people around the world can always count on our support.
MS: Thanks so much and God bless.

cooperation: Hanna Shen, Eunika Chojecka