In Hong Kong, protestors flocked outside a luxury hotel and shouted anti-racism slogans on Tuesday prior to a speech by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon at an investor conference organized by a group of China’s biggest brokerage.
The far-right architect of U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, Bannon is the latest controversial figure invited to address a forum hosted by CLSA, a subsidiary of state-backed Citic Securities.
Bannon, whose views on immigration, climate and trade helped mold Trump’s election campaign and his first months in office, was fired by the Republican president in August in an effort to put an end to factional fighting within the White House. The group of about 15 protestors chanted, “No Bannon no racism”, and the protestors also held up signs that read, “Nazis are not welcome here”.
At first, the CLSA stated Bannon’s speech would be open to a select print media but then changed its decision a day later, without giving a reason why, although a CLSA spokeswoman reported the event was meant for invited clients only.
“We reserve the right to open or close sessions as we see fit,” she reported.
“The CLSA Investors’ Forum provides an agnostic platform for diverse views and opinions from people who influence policy, economies and markets. Mr Bannon is one of these, hence our decision to invite him.”
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Previous speakers at the forum have ranged from actors George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger to boxer Mike Tyson, who was convicted of rape, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed secret details of U.S. surveillance programs.