SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng
Although the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong is supposed to have a free press under the “one country, two systems” notion, that freedom is disappearing. The latest sign: The Hong Kong government said last week that its own public broadcaster RTHK “had breached the One China principle and its mission as a public service broadcaster with a report on Taiwan being ignored by the World Health Organisation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The Hong Kong government is now wanting to police what journalists can and can’t say on political grounds,” commented Hong Kong–based writer and corporate lawyer Antony Dapiran. “Press freedom was already under serious threat in Hong Kong and it looks like it will only get worse.” Other recent examples of Hong Kong’s growing censoriousness:
- In 2015, four key people at a publisher of politically sensitive books were disappeared.
- In 2018, the Hong Kong government effectively expelled a Financial Times journalist after he moderated a talk by a pro-independence activist.
- In February this year, Hong Kong police arrested a media mogul who is critical of Beijing, the latest of many acts of official and unofficial harassment.