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Chinese authorities arrested five speech therapists in Hong Kong for publishing children’s books that allegedly contained anti-Beijing sentiments.

The five therapists, arrested more than a year ago, are finally tried on sedition charges for a series of books about a sheep village and a wolf village. The books very clearly differentiate the two cities into good and bad, with the wolf society having a striking resemblance to mainland China.

The books describe the society of wolves, monitored by CCTV, planning an infiltration into the sheep village after their shepherd is gone.

The characters are clear analogues of mainland China, Hong Kong, and the island’s former British government.

“[The books’] the combined effect has been to influence or educate readers not to be Chinese or to have a sense of belonging to the country, “said Laura Ng Shuk-kuen, the chief prosecutor, according to the South China Morning Post.

VATICAN WARNS HONG KONG CATHOLICS OF THE COMING PERSECUTION, SAYS “IT’S BETTER TO BE PREPARED”

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends an event to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 9, 2021. Xi appears to lay the groundwork for a third term as the all-powerful Communist Party gathers in Beijing Beijing. The official Xinhua news agency said the president and general secretary of the Xi party issued a draft resolution on the party’s “main achievements and historical experiences” during the plenary session of the Central Committee which opened on Monday 8 November. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)
(AP Photo / Andy Wong)

“[The books] effectively instilled in readers [sentiments of] separatism, tribalism and betrayal of their country, resulting in the loss of national identity, as well as damage to Chinese sovereignty, territorial integrity and long-term stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “, the SCMP translation of the opening of Shuk -kuen statement continues.

After conquering the village, the wolves announced that a new rule would allow any wolf to eat any sheep they liked. The sheep resisted and were “beaten in the eyes” and “beaten in the legs”, but eventually expelled the wolves from their village.

The books also made explicit references to real-life political controversies, including the arrest of would-be Hong Kong fugitives.

The defendants, all in their 20s, are members and officers of the former Hong Kong speech therapists union: Lorie Lai Man-ling, Samuel Chan Yuen-sum, Marco Fong Tsz-ho, Melody Yeung Yat-yee and Sidney Ng Hau-yi.

Protesters show a banner "Hover Hong Kong, Revolution of our time" in a shopping mall during a protest in Hong Kong in June.  The slogan had just been banned by the government under the new legislation, claiming it had separatist connotations.  (AP)

Protesters displayed a “Librate Hong Kong, Revolution of our time” banner in a shopping mall during a protest in Hong Kong in June. The slogan had just been banned by the government under the new legislation, claiming it had separatist connotations. (AP)

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday before the 25th anniversary of the British handover and after a two-year transformation that brought the city more closely under the control of the Communist Party. It is Xi’s first trip outside mainland China in nearly two and a half years.

Supporters waving the flags of China and Hong Kong chanted: “Welcome, welcome! A warm welcome!” as Xi’s train stopped at the train station.

Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were greeted by city chief Carrie Lam as they got off the train. Xi greeted supporters who greeted him on the platform, and later greeted John Lee, the incoming leader of the city, and Leung Chun-ying, a former chief executive of the city, along with other officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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