Netizens hail closure of Radio Free Asia in Hong Kong, as end of 'fake news creator' rumor-mongering era beneficial to the city
Published: Mar 31, 2024 03:19 PM
Netizens in Hong Kong hailed the decision of US-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA) to shut down its Hong Kong office, calling it "another example of the color revolution failing in Hong Kong," which also shows that this anti-China agency has a guilty conscience and has fled in panic. 

RFA on Friday announced it had shut down its Hong Kong office, citing concerns about staff safety, following the implementation of the locally-drafted national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law, local media RTHK reported. 

In a statement, RFA said it no longer had full-time staff in Hong Kong and had ceased operations of its physical office, the media report said. 

In response to media inquiries, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government declined to comment on the operational decisions of individual organizations, RTHK said.

However, a HKSAR spokesperson said the government expressed strong disapproval of and condemned any scaremongering or smearing remarks made about the new national security legislation.

Both the HKSAR government and Secretary for Security Chris Tang have criticized US news outlets. including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and the New York Times for attacking Article 23.

Many netizens in Hong Kong welcomed the RFA decision to exit Hong Kong. "It should have shut down long ago. Good riddance without farewell," a netizen said. 

Another netizen said RFA is "the US government's tool, and its job is to subvert China, and [it's afraid] being even half a step slow would result in being put into jail."

Willy Fu, a law professor who is also the director of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday that RFA prioritizes its political stance over journalistic ethics, violating the professional code of journalists. 

"It has repeatedly smeared the legislation of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance and issued withdrawal [from Hong Kong] statements, acting with a guilty conscience, making alarmist statements, inciting public sentiment and creating panic. Its malicious intentions are blatantly obvious," Fu said, noting that it is fundamentally a disgrace to the journalism industry and must be strongly condemned.

Funded by the US government, RFA has always been thoroughly pro-US and anti-China, with extremely biased wording and reporting focus. It has long used the guise of "freedom of the press," aiming to oppose China and harm Hong Kong, Jacky Ko Chung-kit, a 45-year-old Hong Kong online opinion leader, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

"The fact that it has managed to survive until now is indeed a 'miracle,' and as the saying goes, 'An old woman hurries only when something is amiss.' If it is not a 'US proxy,' why the rush to leave after the enactment of the ordinance," Ko asked.  

In fact, this indirectly proves again the necessity and deterrent power of the law. Moreover, before withdrawing from Hong Kong, the media outlet still collaborated with the US to smear the law one more time, thoroughly proving itself to be just a political tool of the US, with no credibility to speak of, he said. 

In 1994, the US Congress passed the International Broadcasting Act with the so-called aim of promoting the flow of information and ideas and furthering the goals of US foreign policy. In 1996, RFA was established, targeting the Chinese mainland as its primary focus, according to open data and statistics. 

For the past 28 years, RFA has never ceased its fabrication, attack and smear campaign against China. With the US intensifying its strategy to contain China, it has become even more aggressive. 

For example, regarding the violent incident on August 31, 2019 amid the riots in Hong Kong, RFA slandered the Hong Kong police, claiming the "police Special Tactical Squad stormed into the MTR Prince Edward station, attacking anyone they saw" and described it as "a riot and terrorist attack led by the police," according to local media reports. 

On November 13, 2019, when a violent incident occurred at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, RFA beautified the rioters' acts of damaging the campus and creating violent weapons, instead calling it a "university defense battle."

From July to December 2022, the HKSAR government requested Google remove content inciting hatred among young children. RFA, however, quoted "commentaries" expressing concerns that the HKSAR government might use the incident as an excuse to "shut down the internet" and "restrict the freedom of speech and information of Hongkongers."

With the closure of its physical office in Hong Kong, observers said this "fake news creator" is finally ending its 28-year-long rumor-mongering era in Hong Kong, which is absolutely beneficial to the city.