China Lashes Out at Press Freedom Survey in Hong Kong | Business News

By ZEN SOO, Connected Push

HONG KONG (AP) — China on Friday criticized a press independence study from the Hong Kong Overseas Correspondents’ Club that located nearly half its customers ended up contemplating leaving the metropolis.

The survey said the customers have been anxious about a decrease in press freedoms less than a sweeping countrywide stability legislation imposed by Beijing following large anti-federal government protests in 2019.

Eighty-four per cent of 99 journalists polled said that the operating environment had “changed for the worse” due to the fact the law was released past June. The law outlaws subversion, secession, terrorism and international collusion to intervene in the city’s affairs, and has since been utilized to arrest in excess of 120 individuals in the semi-autonomous Chinese metropolis.

“These benefits obviously demonstrate that assurances that Hong Kong nevertheless enjoys press flexibility, confirmed under the Fundamental Legislation, are not sufficient,” FCC President Keith Richburg said. “More techniques need to have to be taken to restore self confidence between journalists and to make confident Hong Kong maintains its many years-extensive popularity as a welcoming area for the worldwide media.”

Political Cartoons

In a assertion, the Commissioner’s Place of work of China’s Overseas Ministry in Hong Kong warned the FCC to quit making “noise” and accused the firm of being “black hands” that intervene in the city’s affairs.

“There is no absolute press liberty in the planet that is over the legislation,” the statement examine. “It is a frequent global exercise for international locations to supervise the news media working in their individual nations around the world in accordance with the law.”

The study arrives as authorities are cracking down on political dissent in Hong Kong. Most of the city’s outstanding pro-democracy activists are presently in jail. Critics say the safety legislation has rolled back freedoms promised to Hong Kong for 50 many years when it was handed over to China in 1997.

The former British colony was beforehand recognized for its lively press freedoms, and for decades has served as regional headquarters for lots of English-language news shops.

The countrywide safety law has been made use of from journalists in the metropolis. The pro-democracy newspaper Apple Each day was pressured to close in June immediately after thousands and thousands of dollars in property ended up frozen and many leading editors and executives arrested.

The New York Occasions has claimed it would transfer some of its workers from Hong Kong to Seoul due to the uncertainties about the city’s potential clients for journalism beneath the stability laws.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin claimed Friday at a regular news briefing that the legal rights of foreign media and journalists in Hong Kong will be “fully protected” as extensive as they report in accordance with the law.

Wang stated that as of April this calendar year, there ended up 628 overseas staff with operate visas for overseas media in Hong Kong, a 18.5% increase from the exact same time final 12 months.

“It is a accurate reflection of how people today from all walks of daily life, like international media in Hong Kong, see and sense about the financial and social and media reporting ecosystem in Hong Kong,” he stated.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This content may perhaps not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.