Response From Chinese Foreign Ministry to FCC Statement on New Police Accreditation Policy
On September 23, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, published a statement opposing a restrictive new accreditation policy for journalists in the city as detailed in a 22 September letter from the Hong Kong Police. The same day, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong released a response to that statement, which we publish here.
Commissioner’s Office urges FCC Hong Kong to immediately stop meddling with Hong Kong affairs
The spokesperson of the Commissioner’s Office expressed strong disapproval of and firm opposition against the unwarranted remarks FCC Hong Kong made about the Hong Kong police force’s amendment of the definition of “media representatives” under the Police General Orders, and urged the organization to immediately stop meddling with Hong Kong affairs on the pretext of press freedom.
The spokesperson pointed out that some anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong who proclaimed themselves as journalists deliberately obstructed the police from enforcing the law and even assaulted police officers during the anti-amendment protests last year, hampering the interviewing and reporting work of other journalists and seriously undermining law and order. The truth is not to be distorted. By anxiously whitewashing the fake journalists, FCC Hong Kong is attempting to endorse the rioters and condone their “burn with us” violence, thus sowing more trouble in the city.
The spokesperson emphasized that there is no such thing as absolute press freedom above the law. Hong Kong is part of China, and any media practitioner in the HKSAR shall strictly and voluntarily abide by national laws applied to Hong Kong and local laws. No organization or individual shall seek privileges above the law, impede the HKSAR Government’s law-based governance, or endanger China’s national security and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability on the pretext of press freedom.
The spokesperson said that it is only right and proper for the relevant HKSAR authorities to strengthen the management of and services for the media, and amend the policy to address prevalent maladies and set things right, so as to better safeguard the legitimate rights of recognized media outlets and journalists and protect press freedom in Hong Kong. We urge FCC Hong Kong to observe national and local laws and regulations, stop provoking trouble on purpose, and refrain from meddling with Hong Kong affairs under any pretext.