No one should use press freedom as a shield to undermine natl security in HK: central govt authority
Published: Feb 08, 2022 07:09 PM
The street view of Hong Kong Photo: VCG

The street view of Hong Kong Photo: VCG

Any attempt to interfere with Hong Kong affairs and exert pressure in the name of press freedom is doomed to failure and the historical trend of Hong Kong's transition from chaos to prosperity is irreversible, the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong said on Tuesday, in response to a statement from the so-called media freedom coalition, which slandered Hong Kong's press freedom and smeared the HKSAR government's law enforcement activities. 

The British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office along with some of its partners in the "Media Freedom Coalition" released a statement on Monday to express deep concern at the closure of media outlets in Hong Kong and "alleged Chinese mainland authorities' attacks on freedom of the press and suppression of independent local media in Hong Kong." 

The spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR strongly disapproved and firmly condemned the so-called statement. 

According to the spokesperson, the Hong Kong Basic Law and the National Security Law safeguard lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, including freedom of speech and the press. Since the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong, Hong Kong's social stability has been restored, development has returned to the right track, freedom of the press has been better protected in a safe, stable and law-based environment, and the number of international media and journalists in Hong Kong has further increased. 

No one should use freedom of the press as a shield for engaging activities disrupting China and Hong Kong SAR or undermining national security and social stability, the spokesperson said. 

Some external forces, including the "Media Freedom Coalition," have turned a blind eye to the good governance in the HKSAR and the facts of Hong Kong's well-developed media sector and free flow of information. They teamed up to vilify Hong Kong's freedom of the press, interfere with the rule of law in Hong Kong, and support anti-China elements in the city. This fully exposes their intention of creating chaos in Hong Kong. Their move to confuse black and white is just wishful thinking and will fall flat, the spokesperson added. 

The spokesperson pointed out that members of the so-called "Media Freedom Coalition" are not templates for press freedom. In the US alone, at least 117 journalists were arrested or detained in 2020, and 148 were arrested or attacked in the week after the death of George Floyd. 

The spokesperson reiterated that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and China is determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests and to fully and faithfully implement the principle of "one country, two systems." 

"We urge relevant countries and groups to recognize the facts, respect the general trend, abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs under any pretext," the spokesperson said. 

Global Times