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People's Daily Online

Stop undermining Hong Kong's rule of law under pretext of press freedom: commissioner's office of Chinese foreign ministry in HKSAR

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:12, July 12, 2021

HONG KONG, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Sunday strongly disapproved and firmly opposed a statement by the so-called "Media Freedom Coalition," which accused judicial proceedings in Hong Kong, smeared the national security law in the HKSAR, and slandered the central government's policy towards Hong Kong.

"It is a gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs, and is a blatant violation of the rule of law and judicial independence of the HKSAR," the spokesperson of the office said.

The Apple Daily is a "poisoned apple" that has long engaged in illegal acts of harming the country and destabilizing Hong Kong, seriously violating the journalistic ethics and jeopardizing the media environment of Hong Kong, the spokesperson said in a statement.

Relevant executives of the tabloid were suspected of colluding with external forces to endanger national security, and the action taken by the Hong Kong police force towards them in accordance with the law just serves them right, the spokesperson said.

The action is a legitimate effort to safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and is a common aspiration of the Hong Kong people, which has nothing to do with freedom of the press and speech.

It is surprising that some members of the coalition tried to whitewash the lawless media outlet and relevant people who aimed to create disorder in Hong Kong and China at large, and attempted to exert pressure on law enforcement and judicial authorities of the HKSAR, the spokesperson said.

"What they have done is an insult to the rule of law and a serious violation of the media ethics," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson stressed that press freedom is not an excuse for engaging in criminal acts, nor is it a fig leaf for external forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs.

Some Western countries had a bad record in safeguarding human rights and press freedom, and certain media outlets in these countries fabricated fake news and staged farces by abusing press freedom and press privilege, the spokesperson said, noting that only a few members of the so-called coalition represent neither the vast majority of the international community nor the mainstream voice of international public opinion.

The spokesperson urged the so-called coalition to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, stop endorsing anti-China, destabilizing forces in Hong Kong, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs under the pretext of press freedom.

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