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Former Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg has been hailed as a hero after he was rumoured to have sacrificed himself to protect his own staff while being questioned by Beijing over his employees' involvement in anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
Speculation has emerged online which claimed that the 57-year-old Briton had been asked by the Chinese aviation authority to identify those in his company who had participated in a city-wide strike to back the mass demonstrations.
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The former airline leader allegedly defied the Communist authority and handed it a list with just his name on it.
Mr Hogg announced his resignation from Hong Kong's flag carrier in a shock move on Friday as the company faced mounting pressure from China over its workers' roles in the pro-democracy rallies that have entered its 11th weeks.
Paul - Loo - Cathay - Pacific - Customer
Paul Loo, Cathay Pacific's chief customer and commercial officer, resigned along with Mr Hogg on Friday.
Rumours of the ex-CEO's 'warrior-like' behaviour started circulating on Facebook on Saturday.
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One such post said: 'He didn't betray any of the Cathay Pacific employees and shouldered all the responsibility himself.
'This is a name to remember: Mr Rupert Hogg.'
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The post quickly went viral and has been shared 13,000 times so far.
One Facebook user known as 'Bobby Chung' praised: 'A honor captain will go down with his ship. A leader will take responsibility of his action and own up to his actions. This is the knighthood of a Templar to protect and serve.'
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Another user with the screen name 'Cathy Chen' wrote: 'Thank you! Salute to you.'
Wang Ting-yu, a politician from Taiwan, called Mr Hogg 'a real warrior'.
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In a Facebook post, Mr Wang stated: 'A real warrior will have the most glorified glow of human nature when faced with significant choices.'
Cathay Pacific has declined to confirm or deny the speculation...
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