Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (front row, fifth from the right) and Lu Xinning (front row, fourth from right), deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, join distinguished guests for a photo at a reception held by the Hong Kong media to mark the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu on Thursday told the city’s media industry to tell Hong Kong stories well and proactively to audiences across the world.

Speaking to a roomful of media representatives at a cocktail reception to mark the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Lee said the success stories of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, including the city’s achievements, can encourage and motivate the next generation to forge ahead and create greater opportunities for development in the city.

“Thus, we should tell the stories of Hong Kong and the successful practice of ‘one country, two systems’, as well as the rapid development of the country, well and in a proactive manner. These are stories that make people proud,” Lee said.

He added that freedoms of speech and of the press in Hong Kong are guaranteed by the Basic Law, a fact that is recognized around the world. The responsibility of journalists is to bring objective and fair reports to the public, Lee said, and all residents including journalists are equal before the law. Thus, they need to act in accordance with the law.

Lee also warned anyone against trying to disguise illegal activities as journalistic activities and called on the media sector to stay away from those who intend to sabotage press freedom by pretending to be media.

Also making a speech at the event, Li Dahong, chairman of the executive committee of the Hong Kong Media Preparatory Committee for the Celebration of National Day and chairman and editor-in-chief of Hong Kong Ta Kung Wen Wei Media Group, said media practitioners should always bear in mind the interests of the country and be attentive to developments presented in the nation’s blueprints, such as the nation’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and development plans for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Media representatives should also focus more on the development of youngsters and provide opportunities and platforms for them, and reach out to them in ways they understand so that they can seize the opportunities available, Li added.

Li told his peers that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, to be held from Oct 16, is of great importance to the development of the city. He said he believes that it will bring better prospects for the practice of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong.

The reception was attended by high-ranking officials from the central government and the SAR government, as well as heads of media outlets in the city. They include Lu Xinning, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Li Jiangzhou, deputy head of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR; Pan Yundong, deputy commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the HKSAR; and Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government Chan Kwok-ki.