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News Press Freedom Response From Chinese Forei...

Response From Chinese Foreign Ministry to FCC Statement on Jimmy Lai Arrest

On August 10, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, published a statement condemning the arrest of Apple Daily founder and chairman Jimmy Lai and eight others, as well as a police raid on the newspaper’s headquarters that was reportedly carried out by almost 200 officers. Hong Kong, On August 11, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a response to that statement, below. 

In response to a statement by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC), Hong Kong on August 10, which misrepresented the truth, heaped groundless accusations upon the National Security Law and law-enforcement efforts of the Hong Kong police, and tried to whitewash and justify Jimmy Lai and other criminal suspects, the spokesperson of the Commissioner’s Office expressed strong disapproval and firm opposition.

The spokesperson said that law shall be abided by, lawbreakers shall be held accountable, and no one shall be above the law. By openly colluding with external forces to endanger national security, Jimmy Lai and a small handful of other anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong have purposely undermined Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and its citizens’ fundamental wellbeing, and have put the enduring success of “One Country, Two Systems” and the long-term stability of Hong Kong into jeopardy. Eagerly justifying Jimmy Lai is nothing short of siding with the forces sowing trouble in Hong Kong and China at large.

The spokesperson pointed out that rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, including the freedom of the press, are safeguarded under the National Security Law. With over seven decades of presence in the city, the FCC, Hong Kong knows it very well that press freedom is fully cherished here. It should also be clear that there is no such thing as absolute press freedom above the law anywhere in the world, and that it is totally unacceptable to interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s national security and Hong Kong’s stability under the pretext of press freedom. National laws applied to Hong Kong and local laws of the HKSAR, including the National Security Law, shall be observed on the land of the HKSAR, part of China.

The spokesperson emphasized that it is only right and proper for the Hong Kong police to take actions against the troublemakers in accordance with the National Security Law and other local laws so as to safeguard national security and Hong Kong’s stability. We firmly support the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing the law, and firmly oppose any external interference in Hong Kong affairs. We call on the FCC, Hong Kong to respect the facts, distinguish right from wrong, and stop smearing under the pretext of press freedom the implementation of the National Security Law.

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