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Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said in a statement Monday night the Trump administration is "deeply troubled" by the arrest of Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai on suspicion of "collusion with foreign powers."

Why it matters: The arrest Monday of the most prominent person under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.

Details: Lai has been bailed, per the BBC. The 72-year-old's son was also arrested, Lai's pro-democracy newspaper the Apple Daily reports

  • Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital, tweeted that police had gone to Lai's home after issuing search warrants before heading to Apple Daily's newsroom to conduct a search.
  • Hong Kong police said in a statement Monday they searched a building in Tseung Kwan O, where Apple Daily's headquarters are located. They said they had arrested seven people on suspicion of breaching the national security law.
  • "Offences include collusion with a foreign country/external elements to endanger national security," the police added.

What they're saying: "These reported arrests, following the recent action by the Hong Kong government to unjustly disqualify candidates and postpone the Legislative Council elections, are the latest violations of Beijing’s commitments to the Hong Kong people and the world," O'Brien said.

"These arrests are also a clear effort to intimidate pro-democracy and political opposition figures and suppress Hong Kong’s free and independent media, which have played  key roles in the city’s character and success."
— Excerpt from O'Brien's statement

Of note: Lai was among a group of activists arrested earlier this year on charges of holding illegal assemblies in August and October related to the massive pro-democracy protests that swept the Asian financial hub last year.

  • When the national security law was imposed by Chinese lawmakers in June, Lai told the BBC in response that it "spells the death knell for Hong Kong."

Go deeper: With new security law, China outlaws global activism

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Trump bans Americans from investing in 31 companies with links to Chinese military

Photo: Kevin Frayer via Getty

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday prohibiting American companies and individuals from owning shares in any of the 31 Chinese companies previously listed as enabling the People’s Liberation Army, effective Jan. 11.

Why it matters: Many of these companies trade on U.S. exchanges and are sometimes purchased by American investors as part of mutual funds. It’s unclear what effect Trump’s latest sanctions could have on the markets.

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.