This Nov 17, 2016 photo shows the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Central. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region condemned, strongly disapproved and firmly opposed the statement issued by some members of the so-called “Media Freedom Coalition” which meddled in judicial proceedings in the HKSAR.
A spokesperson for the office said the statement smeared the National Security Law for the HKSAR and slandered the central government’s policy towards Hong Kong.
A spokesperson for the office said the statement smeared the National Security Law for the HKSAR and slandered the central government’s policy towards Hong Kong
The spokesperson solemnly stated that this is a gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, and is a blatant violation of the rule of law and judicial independence of the HKSAR.
Apple Daily is a “poisoned apple” that has long engaged in illegal acts of harming the country and destabilizing Hong Kong, the spokesperson said in a statement.
“It has seriously violated the journalistic ethics and jeopardized the media environment of Hong Kong,” the statement reads.
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“Relevant executives of Apple Daily were suspected of colluding with external forces to endanger national security, and the action taken by the Hong Kong Police Force towards them in accordance with law just serves them right,” it added.
The spokesperson said the police action, embodying the rule of law spirit, is a legitimate effort to safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong, which has nothing to do with freedom of the press and speech.
“It is surprising that some members of the so-called ‘Media Freedom Coalition’ tried to whitewash the lawless media outlet and relevant persons who aimed to create disorder in Hong Kong and China at large, and attempted to exert pressure on law enforcement and judicial authorities of the HKSAR,” the statement reads.
“What they have done is an insult to the rule of law spirit and a serious violation of the media ethics. It taught us yet another lesson on how shameless one can be and how malicious an intention one can have,” it added.
The spokesperson stressed that press freedom is not an excuse for engaging in criminal acts, nor is it a fig leaf for external forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs.
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For quite long time, some Western countries have had a bad track record in safeguarding human rights and press freedom, the spokesperson said.
Out of ideological pride and prejudice, certain media outlets in these countries have fabricated too much fake news and staged too many farces by abusing press freedom and press privilege, the spokesperson added.
According to the statement, the few members of the so-called “Media Freedom Coalition” represent neither the vast majority of the international community nor the mainstream voice of international public opinion.
“They cannot shake our rock-solid will to fully and faithfully implement one country, two systems, to defend law and order in the HKSAR, and to safeguard our national sovereignty and security,” the statement reads.
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“We urge relevant members of the so-called ‘Media Freedom Coalition’ to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, stop lecturing us in a condescending manner, stop endorsing anti-China, destabilizing forces in Hong Kong, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs under the pretext of press freedom; otherwise, they will be firmly opposed by all the Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots,” it added.