习近平向中国-海合会国家产业与投资合作论坛致贺信
习近平向中国-海合会国家产业与投资合作论坛致贺信
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US must stop interfering in China's domestic affairs: spokesperson

Source: Xinhua | 2021-12-31

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The United States should abandon its hypocritical double standards and stop interfering in China's domestic affairs in the name of freedom, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday.

Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson, made the comments in response to statements from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who reportedly called on Chinese authorities to stop targeting Hong Kong's free and independent media.

Zhao said since the implementation of the Law on Safeguarding National Security, Hong Kong has returned to the right path of development, and press freedom there has been better protected in a secure and stable environment with rule of law. "This is a fact that cannot be denied by anyone without bias."

He said that supporting media freedom is just a false pretense used by the United States to serve its true agenda of destabilizing Hong Kong.

The United States has seen press freedom deteriorating at home, Zhao said, citing reports showing that at least 117 journalists were arrested or detained in 2020 in the United States, a staggering 1,200 percent increase from 2019.

Meanwhile, the lawful actions taken by the Hong Kong police to arrest individuals suspected of conspiring to publish seditious publications and freeze relevant assets are necessary actions of justice to safeguard the rule of law and public order in Hong Kong, Zhao said. It has nothing to do with freedom of the press or speech, he added.

"Hong Kong is a society with rule of law where residents' lawful rights and freedoms, including freedom of the press and speech, are fully protected. That being said, media and speech freedom should not be used to shield criminal acts," he said, adding that media practitioners in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) must strictly comply with Chinese and Hong Kong laws and offenders will bear the legal consequences.

Zhao stressed that no country, organization or individual has the right to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs. Some external forces are distorting the facts in an attempt to confuse the public by wantonly criticizing the justified law-enforcement activities of the Hong Kong SAR under the disguise of media freedom.

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