Members Area

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Responds to the FCC’s Statement on Journalist Bao Choy



The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR issued the following response to the FCC’s statement regarding the prosecution of journalist Bao Choy:

The spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR expressed strong disapproval of and firm opposition against the unwarranted remarks by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong (FCC) and certain other external forces about the Hong Kong judiciary’s trial of a case related to false statements. Such comments openly vilified the SAR Government and trampled upon the rule of law on the pretext of press freedom, and constituted a blatant interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs.

The spokesperson said that Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law, where the law shall be strictly abided by, any lawbreaker shall be held accountable, and no organization or individual shall be above the law. The fact for the particular case was clear and the evidence solid. Both the Hong Kong police’s arrest of the suspect and the judicial proceedings complied with the law and had nothing to do with press freedom, which is enshrined in the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the Law of the PRC on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR. Some external forces, however, have tried to exploit the case and distorted the truth by alleging that press freedom is stifled in Hong Kong. It has only laid bare their ulterior motive to seek privileges above the law under the guise of press freedom, obstruct the SAR Governmnent’s law-based governance, and undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. But such wishful thinking will only come to naught.

The spokesperson emphasized that since the anti-amendment unrest, the Hong Kong police have lived up to their duty and rigorously enforced the law with admiring professionalism and commitment for the purpose of safeguarding national security and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, and protecting Hong Kong resident’s interests and well-being. The Hong Kong community and all those who love both the city and the country have born testimony to the fact. We firmly support the SAR Government’s law-based governance, and support the Hong Kong police’s legitimate efforts to combat violence and crime, uphold law and order, and ensure the continuous success of “One Country, Two Systems”.

The spokesperson reiterated that Hong Kong is part of China. We urge the FCC and relevant external forces to face the facts, know their place, truly respect Hong Kong’s rule of law and judicial independence, and avoid saying one thing but doing another, still less meddle with Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs at large on the pretext of press freedom.

An Open Letter to Commissioner of Police Chris Tang Regarding His Comments on Prosecuting ‘Fake News’

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong on 22 April delivered a letter to Commissioner of Police Chris Tang seeking clarity regarding his recent comments on prosecuting “fake news.” The FCC is publishing the letter in full below.


Related: How ‘Fake News’ Legislation Stifles Critical Reporting

The FCC Condemns the Prosecution of Journalist Bao Choy

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong strongly condemns the prosecution of Bao Choy, the former RTHK journalist convicted on Thursday for her use of a public database in the course of reporting a documentary.

The government’s actions against Choy set a dangerous precedent. They open the door to further legal action against journalists for engaging in routine reporting. They will also deter journalists from accessing legally available public records in Hong Kong.

Although Choy will not go to jail, she will be left with a criminal record and be forced to pay an HKD 6,000 (US$774) fine for only doing her job. In delivering her verdict, the judge accused Choy of misrepresenting herself and asked her to find other ways to seek the information she needed for her report.

However, the government has narrowed the categories of who could access the data in question and why. It is clear that Choy was singled out and punished for a search that is routinely conducted by journalists in Hong Kong. Choy’s documentary investigated the actions of police during an attack on protesters and commuters that took place at the Yuen Long MTR station on July 21, 2019.

While we appreciate that the judge overseeing the case spared Choy jail time, citing the merits of her reporting and the public interest involved, we wish the prosecutors had shown similar restraint and never brought this case in the first place.

Anti-coup Protests in Myanmar Are Breaking New Ground – Frontier Publisher Sonny Swe

Shibani Mahtani (left) speaks to Sonny She (right)

Protests taking place across Myanmar in the aftermath of the February 1 military coup are unlike any prior demonstrations because of the unity between different generations and the use of technology, said Sonny Swe, co-founder and publisher of Frontier Myanmar, in a Zoom webinar hosted by the FCC. 

“It’s a lot more organised, it’s a lot more tech-savvy and there are three generations working together,” Swe said. “This is a different resistance now.”

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced people in Myanmar to unify and help each other, a trend which has carried over to the country’s Civil Disobedience Movement, which aims to cripple the military through strikes that will weaken the economy. 

“That’s why you see citizens helping each other and helping each other. It comes from the COVID [response],” Swe told FCC Correspondent Governor Shibani Mahtani during the discussion. “This is the positive sign of this country.”

Swe said the junta has been caught off guard by the overwhelming backlash to the coup, and that the military’s way of thinking hasn’t changed in decades. Investor confidence has plummeted in a way it didn’t in past times of social unrest, he said.  

“A lot of people don’t trust in the military regime,” he said. “The strategies they’re using aren’t working obviously.”

Asked to comment on the controversy surrounding CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward’s recent reporting trip to Myanmar, Swe said that it had been misleading to label the story an exclusive – “the only exclusive was getting the permission” to enter the country. 

He understood why a news outlet would accept such a trip, but “CNN should have done the proper homework before she flew into Myanmar”.

“We have the other international news outlets here and also we have local journalists who are risking their lives every day on the street reporting everything”.

As for Myanmar-based media organisations, he said that they were facing an increasingly difficult situation.

“We are trying our best to stay alive at this point,” Swe said. 

Frontier had launched a membership programme before the pandemic and it was picking up, but safety was a major concern.

He described a situation of increasing danger for the journalists he employs, and the steps he’s taken to try to keep everyone safe and minimise harm, including only assigning people to cover their townships so they don’t have to travel. 

Still, the situation grows increasingly dangerous for journalists, and Swe shared the story of one of his journalists in Mandalay who’d been shot in the hand and will likely never regain full function in it, despite having undergone three surgeries already.

“If something like this happens, it ruins someone else’s life,” Swe said. “The only thing I can do is to keep fingers crossed and tell them to be safe, and I don’t know how long we will hold on to this.”

Watch the full event:

The FCC Expresses Concern About the Media Environment in Myanmar

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is alarmed and deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating media environment in Myanmar and the dangers faced by journalists reporting there. Since February 1, when the military seized power in a coup, journalists and media organizations have been relentlessly targeted by security forces. Publishing licenses have been revoked, journalists have been arrested, beaten and at least one has been shot while working. The offices of media organizations have been raided. Some journalists have gone into hiding or fled the country.

The crackdown is wide ranging; international media organizations, large and small platforms as well as ethnic media outlets have all been affected. All of the gains the country made in recent years towards a freer press environment stand to be lost if the targeting of the media continues.

Despite these threats and at great personal safety risk, journalists continue to fearlessly report, bringing the stories and images of a country in crisis to the world. Security forces should allow reporters to work without interference. Those arrested should be immediately released and the charges against them dropped so they can return to their jobs and families.

In an effort to aid the important work of reporters, below is a list of media outlets and assistance organizations currently active in Myanmar. The FCC commends their work and is providing links for members and the public to donate to their efforts:

Burma News International

Friends of Myanmar

Frontier Myanmar 

The Irrawaddy

Myanmar Labour News

Myanmar Now

Print for Crisis

The exhibition “Myanmar’s Bold Anti-coup Movement”, featuring the work of Frontier Myanmar’s photojournalists, is currently on display at the FCC through April 30. Non-members are welcome to view the exhibition from 10am-12 noon and 3-5:30pm daily.

Nominees for the Election of The Board of Governors 2021-2022

Here are the nominations for the FCC Board of Governors 2021-2022. Below are links to each nominee’s bio and policy statement. Please read them before voting.

  Note:    
  a. Please indicate your vote by putting a “✓” in the appropriate bracket. Any mark other than a “✓” shall invalidate this Ballot paper.  
  b. If vote(s) casted exceed(s) the number allowed in respective capacity, this Ballot paper shall be invalid.  
  c. Bio & policy statements of the candidates are available at the FCC website <www.fcchk.org>.  
  d. The completed Ballot paper must be received by the Club, either by mail or in the Ballot box, not later than 3pm on Thursday, 20 May 2021.  

Candidate


PRESIDENT:
(The position of President can be voted by Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than one)
  1. Keith RICHBURG – Journalism and Media Studies Centre The University of Hong Kong 
     
 

FIRST-VICE PRESIDENT:
(The position of First Vice President can be voted by
Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than one)

 
  2. Hannamiina TANNINEN – Kauppalehti, Hong Kong Correspondent
     
 

SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT:
(The position of Second Vice President can be voted by
Correspondent, Journalist or Associate members)
(Vote for not more than one)

 
  3. Tim HUXLEY – Mandarin Shipping
  4. WONG Kam Kuen Catherine – Barrister at law  
     
 

CORRESPONDENT MEMBER GOVERNORS:
(The position of Correspondent Governor can be voted by
Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than eight)

 
  5. Lucy COLBACK – Freelance
  6. Jennifer HUGHES – Reuters Breakingviews
  7. Kristie LU STOUT – CNN INTERNATIONAL
  8. Iain MARLOW – Bloomberg
  9. Shai OSTER – The Information
  10. Austin RAMZY – The New York Times
  11. Dan STRUMPF – The Wall Street Journal
  12. Lee WILLIAMSON – Generation T / Tatler Asia
  13. Eric WISHART – Agence France-Presse
     
 

JOURNALIST MEMBER GOVERNORS:
(The position of Journalist Governor can be voted by
Correspondent or Journalist members)
(Vote for not more than two)

 
  14. Clifford BUDDLE – SCMP
  15. Zela CHIN – TVB  
     
 

ASSOCIATE MEMBER GOVERNORS:
(The position of Associate Governor can be voted by
Correspondent, Journalist or Associate members)
(Vote for not more than four)

 
  16. Genavieve ALEXANDER – Genavieve Co. Ltd
  17. Antony DAPIRAN – Freelance
  18. LIU Kin ming – KM & Associates
  19. Christopher SLAUGHTER – Consultant
  20. Richard David WINTER – China Tonghai International Financial Limited  

 

Fareed Zakaria on U.S.-China Relations and the Post-Pandemic World

FCC President Keith Richburg speaks to Fareed Zakaria via Zoom.

The relationship between the United States and China is set to define the global order for decades to come, and both countries will emerge strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways, said journalist and author Fareed Zakaria in a Zoom webinar hosted by the FCC.

“You’re going to be thinking about America’s relationship to China and China’s relationship to America, and everything will be read through that prism,” Zakaria said. “How do you maintain that open system while having this rivalry? That’s the great challenge for both the United States and China.”

Though he said that China will of course benefit from the pandemic due to its “vaccine diplomacy” efforts and by virtue of being the world’s second-richest economy, Zakaria, who hosts Fareed Zakaria GPS for CNN Worldwide and is a columnist for The Washington Post, was quick to argue that the U.S. will remain richer and more powerful for a long time to come.

“The United States has 59 treaty allies, China has one: North Korea. The United States has 800 bases around the world, China has three,” Zakaria said. “The truth is China is in a geographically very complicated place where as it rises, it annoys the hell out of its neighbours: India, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Australia.”

Zakaria, whose mother Fatima, died recently of complications caused by COVID-19, made the appearance to discuss his most recent book, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World

He spoke to FCC President Keith Richburg about how countries around the world have fared during the pandemic, and he credited smart governments and early intervention for staving off serious public health crises in various nations. Zakaria also singled out Taiwan’s government for acting early, aggressively and intelligently in response to COVID-19 by quickly identifying and quarantining infected and potentially infected people. 

“What’s remarkable is that Taiwan was able to get through this crisis with 10 COVID deaths with a population of 22 million and, much more importantly, not a single day’s lockdown,” Zakaria said. “Just to give you a comparison, Taiwan has 22 million people, New York State has 20 million people. New York State is at 40,000 deaths, Taiwan is at 10.”

Though he said Hong Kong has strong, competent institutions like Taiwan, he described the city as a “very peculiar, unique case” with regard to pandemic management and the vaccine rollout. He pointed to relations between Hong Kong and China as well as “Hong Kong people’s distrust of Carrie Lam’s government” as complicating factors. 

In his book, Zakaria elaborates on different ways the world is likely to change after the pandemic is over, and during the talk he said that where people choose to live and how they choose to work will shift significantly, with more people moving from big cities to suburban areas and smaller cities. 

“You will view offices as places where you meet, gather, plan, congregate, but you don’t have to do solo work there and if you do, you’ll get a cubicle where you will plug in” Zakaria said. “Other than C-suite executives, the idea of a dedicated office that you have 24/7 with your family photographs and memorabilia, that I think is a relic of the past.”

Despite many countries turning inward during the pandemic, Zakaria predicted that globalisation will continue, albeit in a slower, more thoughtful way. He also described the world as being in a state of “new class warfare” with democracy under threat as autocrats exploit the growing divide between urban, educated populations and their rural, less educated counterparts. 

“The autocrats have gotten very clever over the last 15 years, and they have figured out how to use democracy to subvert democracy,” Zakaria said. 

In spite of the technological advances that have made remote work and social interaction possible during the pandemic, Zakaria pointed to the shortcomings of remote education as a reminder that we are human and can’t interact solely on Zoom. 

“We will want to actually gather physically and get the social connection that comes from actually being in the presence of people and in groups and having accidental conversations and serendipitous meetings.”

 

Watch the full discussion:

FCC Restrictions Continue To Remain In Place

FCC Restrictions Continue To Remain In Place
      
Dear Members:
The Hong Kong government is extending its anti-virus restrictions through April 28. As a result, all the recent club measures will remain unchanged as follows:
               
Four people will be allowed at tables in all outlets and the number of guests per member is now extended to three.
All restaurants will close at 10 p.m. every day. Last orders for food will be 9 p.m. while last orders for drinks will be 9:30 p.m. Any food or drink should not be consumed in areas adjacent to the FCC after 10 p.m.
The takeaway menu is available from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., though last orders must be made by 9 p.m. The menu can be downloaded from our website at fcchk.org. Please place orders with the FCC Restaurant at 2844 2806 or [email protected]. Orders will be confirmed by a phone call.
The gym will reopen yet the sauna and steam room remain closed. No more than four people are allowed at a time. Wearing a mask while exercising is required in the gym. Please pre-register with the gym attendant at 2844 2849.
Banqueting will continue except for cocktail parties, and distancing and mask-wearing while not eating or drinking are being enforced. The number of participants per event is limited to 20, with four to a table until 10 p.m. Please contact the banquet team at 2844 2838 or [email protected] to book.
Live performances are suspended.
All outlets are restricted to 50% capacity. Please book ahead.
The workroom is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Be reminded that wearing a mask is required and phone or video meeting is not allowed. Be considerate of others on the volume of phone conversation.
All member and guest are required to scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” venue QR code displayed at the entrance of the club with their mobile phones, or register the personal details, and date of visit and time at the front desk when checking in.
In keeping with government requirements and best practices, all members, guests and staff must wear face masks except when eating or drinking. Hand sanitizer must be used. The FCC will continue the temperature-taking and declaration measures upon entry to the club, as well as the frequent cleaning protocols throughout the building. Please inform the staff if you are concerned that any of the rules are not being followed.
People who have traveled overseas in the past 21 days are not allowed to visit the club.
Thank you for your continued support of the FCC.
14 April 2021

The FCC Condemns the Attack on the Epoch Times’ Printing Presses

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong strongly condemns the attack on the Epoch Times’ printing presses and calls for the perpetrators to be brought swiftly to justice.

The newspaper posted CCTV images of the four attackers smashing equipment with sledge hammers and said that they had threatened staff with violence during the early morning raid on Monday 12 April.

The FCC insists that media should be able operate freely without fear of violence in Hong Kong regardless of their political stance.

The Epoch Times’ printing plant was targeted in a similar attack during the Hong Kong protests in November 2019.

2021 Human Rights Press Awards Ceremony Cancelled – Winners to be Announced May 6 | 二零二一年人權新聞獎頒獎禮取消 得獎名單將於5月6日公佈

2021 Human Rights Press Awards Ceremony Cancelled,
Winners to be Announced May 6
(Scroll down for Chinese version)
April 1, 2021Due to continuing uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and the Hong Kong government’s advice to limit large gatherings, the organisers of Human Rights Press Awards have decided to cancel the 2021 awards ceremony.

The winners will be announced online on May 6. Voting for the People’s Choice Photography Award will also go ahead online, starting today. Those images will be displayed, as in past years, on the Wall at the FCC.

The Human Rights Press Awards, in their 25th year, are organised by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The awards are the most prestigious recognition of human rights reporting in Asia.

This year saw a record 549 entries in both English and Chinese languages, up 12.5% from last year. We have received an excellent variety of powerful writing – work that highlights crucial issues facing individuals and communities in what has been an extraordinary year for world news.

It should also be noted that for the first time in the awards’ history, we received a request from the director of broadcasting at RTHK, Hong Kong’s public broadcaster, that RTHK’s entries be withdrawn “in totality” from consideration for the awards, citing a review of its corporate governance including the nomination procedure for the awards. However, because the judging process for the awards is already underway, and because entries can only be withdrawn by the individual who submitted them, we denied the request and have not withdrawn any RTHK entries.

Showcasing these works has become more important than ever as governments around the region step up threats to basic freedoms of the press, speech and expression.

For further information of the awards, please visit:

http://humanrightspressawards.org


二零二一年人權新聞獎頒獎禮取消 得獎名單將於5 月6 日公佈
2021 年4 月1 日因應新型冠狀病毒疫情仍存在不確定性,以及香港政府限制人群聚集的活動,人權新聞獎籌委會宣佈,2021 年人權新聞獎頒獎禮將會取消。

得獎名單將於5 月6 日在網上公佈;「一人一票最佳新聞圖片獎」則於今日開放予公眾投票,相關新聞圖片作品將於香港外國記者會展出。

人權新聞獎由香港外國記者會、國際特赦組織香港分會及香港記者協會合辦,以表彰亞洲區的卓越人權新聞報道,今年已是第二十五屆。

今屆我們共收到549 份中、英文作品,較去年上升12.5%,刷新了歷年紀錄。參賽作品題材廣泛,報道世界各地發生的重大新聞事件,記錄這不平凡的一年。

另外,我們收到香港電台廣播處長通知,指香港電台正進行營運檢討,包括提名節目參與遴選新聞獎項的機制,要求撤回已報名競逐人權新聞獎獎項的所有參賽作品。這是人權新聞獎創辦以來首次收到相關要求。但由於人權新聞獎的評選程序已經展開 ,加上僅接受報名者本人的退賽申請,故此我們拒絕有關要求,未有撤回任何香港電台的參賽作品。

近年亞洲區內多個政府對基本人權包括出版自由、新聞自由及表達自由之侵害變本加厲,令舉辦此獎項以表揚優秀的人權新聞,更形重要。

詳情請瀏覽新聞獎官方網站:

https://humanrightspressawards.org

We measure site performance with cookies to improve performance.