Anger soared in Hong Kong on Monday over an assault on pro-democracy protesters by suspected triad gangsters that left dozens of anti-government demonstrators injured.
“Regarding organisations like the triads in Hong Kong, as long as these people are patriotic, as long as they are concerned with Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, we should unite with them.”
These words were said by Tao Siju, China’s Police Minister (1990 -1998) during a press conference in 1993.
He went on to say that “our public security organs have broad links and ties with different strata in society, including such groups” and recalled how, when an unnamed Chinese state leader paid an overseas visit, the Chinese Secret Service was helped by “800 triad members to guard our state leader against any danger”.
China later played down Tao Siju’s statements, but today in Hong Kong, there is not much doubt that links between triads and Beijing are still firm.
Lam Cheuk-ting, a pro-democracy lawmaker, was one of those wounded in the weekend violence, sustaining lacerations to his face and arms.