Commissioner's Office urges the US side to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs on the pretext of press freedom

In response to media inquiries about a statement concerning Apple Daily released by the White House website, the spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR said that the statement groundlessly accused the Central Government of China and the HKSAR Government of suppressing "media freedom", attacked the National Security Law for the HKSAR, and smeared the successful practice of "One Country, Two Systems" in Hong Kong in disregard of international law and basic norms governing international relations. We deeply regret the shocking allegations, and express our strong disapproval and firm opposition.


It was not until Hong Kong's return to China that Hong Kong citizens started enjoying true democratic rights and freedoms. The National Security Law for the HKSAR enshrines principles of rule of law including safeguarding human rights, addresses the most pressing and prominent risks facing national security in Hong Kong, and targets a small handful of criminals committing activities endangering national security. Hong Kong people's extensive rights and freedoms have been better guaranteed under the law in a safe, stable and law-based environment instead of being eroded.


Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law, where the law shall be strictly abided by and any lawbreaker shall be held accountable. The key problem in Hong Kong is whether national security shall be defended, whether law and order shall be upheld and whether crimes shall be punished in accordance with the law, which has nothing to do with media freedom. Hong Kong citizens are clear-eyed about the nature of Apple Daily, a rumor mill inciting unrest in Hong Kong and China as a whole. The US side also knows that very well. Press freedom should not be exploited as an excuse for criminal activities, still less a fig leaf for acts to destabilize Hong Kong and China at large. If anyone claims it is a repression of "media freedom" just because the party involved in the case is a certain news agency and the suspects its executives, they are either pretending to be unaware of the truth or deliberately confounding right with wrong out of ulterior motives.


While paying lip service to press freedom, the US itself has a poor record in this regard. It has frequently denied journalists access to open government events, shut down news websites and flagrantly targeted media agencies of other countries. Citing "media freedom" against others only betrays its own hypocrisy, double standards and hegemonic mindset.


It is China that has initiated, led, practiced and maintained "One Country, Two Systems". No one understands its value better than us, or stays more committed to the original aspiration of the policy, or cares more about the wellbeing of our Hong Kong compatriots. Hong Kong is part of China, and its affairs are China's internal affairs, which no other country, organization or individual shall meddle with. We urge the US side to respect the fact and the rule of law, stop distorting "One Country, Two Systems", stop vilifying the Central Government's Hong Kong policy, stop assaulting the HKSAR's rule of law, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs as a whole on the pretext of press freedom.

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