Print Edition - 2018-10-11 | Oped
China’s media crackdown spreads to Hong Kong
- World View
Oct 11, 2018-
Hong Kong’s expulsion of a British journalist after he led a foreign correspondents’ meeting with a pro-independence activist is, first and foremost, an attempt by Beijing to tamp down any dissent in the former British colony. Hong Kong officials have not given a reason for rejecting a journalist visa for Victor Mallet, the Asia news editor for The Financial Times. China’s only comment has been that Hong Kong authorities are within their right to do so. The authorities have never criticized Mr. Mallet’s reporting. But he was the main spokesman for the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club in August when it hosted a talk by Andy Chan, head of a political party that called for Hong Kong’s independence from China. Mr. Mallet did not advocate independence or endorse Mr. Chan; he moderated a talk on a critical political issue, which is what correspondents’ associations do. Expelling a foreign reporter is sadly normal on the mainland. But in Hong Kong, a large and lively cadre of foreign journalists has enjoyed freedom of expression, and human rights groups could not recall any expulsions. The ouster of Mr. Mallet thus represents a serious and worrisome escalation in Beijing’s campaign to crack down on any dissonant voices in Hong Kong, especially in the wake of the “Occupy Central” movement for universal suffrage.
Published: 11-10-2018 07:58