, 11 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Ever since #HongKong's protests began, I often got asked why the city's tycoons have stayed silent.

Today, HK's richest man Li Ka-shing has published two separate msgs on front pages newspapers across political spectrum.

Here are some interpretation on the 91-yo's wisdom:
The colour msg is more direct. It says “violence” with a cross through it, flanked by slogans calling for loving China and HK, and “stop anger and violence in the name of love”.
What not to miss is that it also says "the worst fruit [result] could be bore from the best cause".
The black-and-white msg is what left people guessing. It begins with: "As I have said before", & 8 Chinese characters: “The melon of Huangtai cannot bear the picking again.”

Li has used this line in addressing contentious political issues before. This is the story behind it:
It was derived frm a poem was written by Li Xian, the crown prince of the Tang dynasty who lived between 654 and 684AD.
He's the son of Wuzetian, the sole officially recognised empress regnant of China in history, who prosecuted her own children to death in order to secure power
Li, a capable prince, was put under house arrest by Wuzetian.
In desperation, he wrote the poem as a subtle protest to his mother.
Here is a rough translation from @SCMPNews :

"Growing melons beneath Huangtai,
Hanging heavily, many grow ripe,...
@SCMPNews Pick one, the others will be fine,
Pick two, fewer are left on the vine,
If you want to get yet another one,
That’s where we must draw the line,
For if there is any more reaping,
You will end up with an empty vine."

The story ended sadly. Wu forced her son Li to commit suicide.
@SCMPNews The melon of Huangtai, however, became a popular expression in Chinese culture, symbolising suffering in the face of persecution and seen as a warning of ruthlessness

Now this part of this story sounds familiar to #HongKongers - A mother pushing her own children to death
@SCMPNews The beauty of using poems as a message is the ambiguity that opens for interpretation.

Li has signed off both of his front pages ads with:
"A Hong Kong citizen Li Ka-shing".

His son Richard Li & other #HK property tycoons hv earlier published statement to “oppose violence".
@SCMPNews Some more context:
Li has been facing criticism from Beijing mouthpieces for cashing out of the mainland and not being patriotic enough.

The reaction from @thepointwithlx (who famously 'debated' Fox's @trish_regan) on his front page ads says it all

@SCMPNews @thepointwithlx @trish_regan #Hongkongers and #China watchers have been interpreting and sharing Li Ka-shing's wisdom on social media all Friday morning.

Ending my thread with side story of "spiderman" scaling the Li's skyscarper and hanging a flag - also open for interpretation:

@SCMPNews @thepointwithlx @trish_regan No matter how you interpret the message that #HongKong's richest man Li Ka-shing sends thru his front page msgs on the city's newspapers- the 91-yo man has lived long enough to know not to put an ad on Apple Daily, owned by pro-democracy campaigner Jimmy Lai.
Photo: internet
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