Beijing Official Tells Hong Kong Media Back Chinese Regime..

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A Chinese official told Hong Kong journalists at a luncheon last Thursday that, in times of crisis, their role is to assist the Chinese communist regime. The Hong Kong public protested, saying the official is trying to restrict media freedom in the region.

A Beijing official told dozens of Hong Kong journalists last Thursday that when social order is in crisis, their primary role is to assist the regime, not to act as a watchdog.

The Director General of Publicity, Cultural and Sports Affairs at Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Hao Tiechuan was speaking at a luncheon organized by the Hong Kong Journalists Association. He added, the media should “show restraint” in times of crisis, when covering riots and severe natural disasters for example.

Although Hao said he was speaking as a law expert—not from his position at the Liaison office—his remarks still drew criticism.

[Mak Hin-ting, Chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association]: (female, Cantonese)
“Media is a right of the society, and it’s responsible for supervising the society and government, so that each person is held accountable. But obviously Director General Hao’s remarks are what China’s communist ideology expects of the media.”

[...]

[Mak Hin-ting, Chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association]: (female, Cantonese)
“If there are social conflicts, then the human rights of the demonstrators or of the public are at greater risk if there are no reporters present.”

Some local residents also protested Hao’s speech outside Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong on Sunday.

[Jaco, Hong Kong Resident]: (male, Chinese)
“Under the mainland’s dictatorship rule, there is certainly no media or democratic freedom, and these are bound to be suppressed. We are here to oppose the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian regime.”

The protestors draped white pieces of cloth around the building. They say it was a symbolic gesture to stop the Chinese regime from interfering with media freedom.

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