Foreign Ministry Spokesman Addresses FCC Press Freedom Survey
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin responded to a question concerning the FCC’s Press Freedom Survey during the ministry’s daily press briefing on Friday. In his comments, Mr. Wang offered details about the number of overseas employees holding work visas at foreign media outlets in Hong Kong, saying the figure has increased over the last year.
Mr. Wang’s complete remarks about the Press Freedom Survey are posted below. The full transcript of the press briefing can be found here.
Bloomberg: Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong put out a report this morning, saying that nearly half of their members are considering leaving and only about half of them said they understand where the Hong Kong government’s redlines on reporting were. What is your response to the report? Do you think the government of Hong Kong should be clearer about its redlines on reporting?
Wang Wenbin: I want to point out first that the legitimate rights and interests of foreign media and journalists in Hong Kong are fully protected as long as they abide by laws and produce reporting in accordance with laws and regulations.
With regard to what you mentioned, I would like to share some numbers with you. As of April 2021, there are 628 foreign employees holding work visas working with foreign media outlets in Hong Kong, which is an increase of 98 people or 18.5 percent year-on-year. These numbers don’t lie. They are a faithful reflection of the views on and perception of Hong Kong’s socioeconomic and reporting environment of people from all walks of life including the press sector.
During the past year, Bloomberg, the agency you work with, added 55 foreign employees alone. That speaks volumes. I would like to stress that since the promulgation and implementation of the Hong Kong national security law, Hong Kong people’s rights and freedoms have received better protection, and Hong Kong citizens, international investors and people working in various sectors have all witnessed a brand new Hong Kong and become more confident in its future.