The decision by the Chinese Communist authorities to expel United States citizens working for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times from China, Hong Kong and Macau is a flagrant assault on press freedom.
At a moment when the world needs openness, transparency, and accountability this serves to remind us of the nature of Beijing’s regime – to whom we are willing to entrust access to our telecommunications infrastructure and ownership of many of our key industries.
It is also a severe violation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration – which also demonstrates why so many Hong Kongers are so fearful as they gaze across the bamboo curtain at a society which does not uphold human rights or the rule of law – and is willing to break international treaty obligations..
As co-signatory to the Joint Declaration, the United Kingdom has a responsibility to lead the world in speaking out robustly and clearly against this reprehensible decision:
Today I joined with other Patrons of Hong Kong Watch in writing to the Foreign Secretary and tabled these questions in Parliament:
to ask HMG whether they believe the decision of the People’s Republic of China to revoke the Press credentials of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post journalists constitutes a breach of the Sino British Joint Declaration and its implementing legislation.
to ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are now intending to take to preserve freedom of speech in Hong Kong in the light of the withdrawal of press credentials from journalists from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times.