September 29, 2023
HONG KONG – Chief Executive of Hong Kong John Lee Ka-Chiu said on Thursday that Hong Kong still enjoys media freedom, and warned against the resurgence of destructive forces that could drag the city down into chaos.
He made those remarks at a reception organized by the Hong Kong press sector to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
More than 300 people attended the event, including officials from the central authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, leaders from various sectors and members of the media industry.
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Calling on the public to stay vigilant against the resurgence of destructive force, the CE said there have been some grandstanding “farces” at international events in which anti-China troublemakers attempted to use media freedom to make a fuss of such occasions.
“In the lie that they propagated, they declared that you can’t lay a finger on a person who has committed crimes, as long as he or she is in the media trade. Instead, they claimed that you would violate media freedom (if you ever launch legal action against the person), while in fact the person had plotted since day one when he or she decided to break the law, even endangering national security, using the disguise of (their work in the) media,” he said.
It’s important to let the world know that the Hong Kong media still enjoys freedom of speech in accordance with the law, he added.
Lee said there had been a series of world-renowned achievements since the PRC’s founding, and the nation’s development has also benefited the rest of the world. Hong Kong has always made good use of its unique advantages to connect the world with the country under “one country, two systems”, he added.
The CE said he hopes that local media outlets make full use of their expertise to report more stories spreading positive energy to Hong Kong readers, and contributing to the harmony and stability of the society.
Addressing the same event, Li Dahong, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Journalists, pointed out the importance of a “constructive media”, which means that media outlets must cultivate national sentiment, and optimize professionalism. Instead of focusing only on discovering and exposing problems, being problem-solving oriented is more important, Li said.
He said that Hong Kong is a place that blends Chinese and Western culture. In terms of external communication, Hong Kong media has advantages that mainland media does not have, thus the Hong Kong media should join hands with media in other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and jointly tell the good stories of Hong Kong, the GBA, and the nation.
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The media sector in Hong Kong jointly organized the first National Day media reception in 1956. The annual reception has since then been held on 67 occasions.
Lu Xinning, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR; Pan Yundong, deputy commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong SAR; Chan Kwok-ki, chief secretary for administration; and Paul Lam Ting-kwok, secretary for justice, also attended the reception.