The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, is alarmed at the decision of the Chinese government to expel U.S. journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The FCC is even more concerned by reports that they will be banned from working as journalists in Hong Kong, given that Hong Kong has its own system under which press freedom is a right according to the law.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed American journalists for the three news organisations whose press credentials are set to expire this year to “notify the Department of Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within four calendar days starting from today and hand back their press cards within ten calendar days”.
It added that the journalists “will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions”.
Under the Basic Law, all decisions about employment visas for foreign nationals in Hong Kong, including journalists, have been made independently by the Immigration Department.
If that system has changed, it would represent a serious erosion of the One Country, Two Systems principle.
The Hong Kong government must immediately clarify the situation and must immediately and without reservation provide assurances that foreign journalists working in Hong Kong and those applying to work in Hong Kong will continue to be issued employment visas without interference from the Chinese government.