Hong Kong warns Wall Street Journal of legal action over election editorial

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American newspaper on Monday printed A letter from Hong Kong’s Secretary of State for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Eric Tsang, under the headline “Hong Kong Issues a Threat to the WSJ.” In it, Tsang took issue with editorial, adding that it contains “baseless assumptions”, and is “not only wrong, but also intimidating.”

In an editorial published on 29 November, the Journal described the city’s upcoming elections as a “lie” and said that “boycotts and blank ballots are one of the last ways for the people of Hong Kong to express their political views.”

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Tsang said he was “shocked” by that claim.

“Please be advised that it is an offense to incite any other person not to vote or cast an invalid vote by doing public activity during the election period,” he wrote. “We reserve the right to take necessary action.”

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The newspaper declined to comment. Hong Kong’s Office of Constitutional and Mainland Affairs did not respond to a request for further comment from Granthshala Business.

The upcoming December 19 election was originally scheduled to be held in 2020, but was postponed for a year by the government, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board suggested in its piece that the government delayed the vote because “during the November 2019 district council elections, the people of Hong Kong humiliated China by voting in record numbers to elect pro-democracy candidates.” did.”

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“We bring you this message from Hong Kong because the Communist Party of China wants the world to forget how it trampled on the autonomy given to the region,” the board wrote.

In his letter, Tsang rejected the claim, saying the delay was “due to the public health risk posed by Covid-19, and not the result of the district council election.”

Beijing has been tightening its grip on Hong Kong in recent years, especially after the historic mass protests by pro-democracy activists in 2019. Since then, in the city restricted many pro-democracy candidates running for election, and passed law It says it will ensure that only “patriots” can run for office.
Hong Kong passes film censorship law to 'protect national security'
comes under stress Growing Concern For freedom of press In the former British colony, especially after a controversial national security law came into force last year. NS Law Beijing bans any activity that Beijing considers to be treason, secession and subversion, and allows Chinese state security to operate in the region.
Last month, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong said In a recent survey, 84% of respondents indicated that the environment for journalists had “changed for the worse” since the law came into force.
This is not the first time the Journal has found itself in trouble in China. Last year, three employees of the publication were expelled from the country, as an opinion piece titled “China is Asia’s real sick man” ran.

The article, which ran at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, angered “the Chinese people and the international community”, a Chinese government spokesman said at the time, adding that the Journal had “neither issued an official apology nor We were informed what it is. Plan to do with the persons involved.”

Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin and journalists Chao Deng and Philip Wen were given days to leave the country.

Beijing expels three Wall Street Journal journalists

The Wall Street Journal said in its recent editorial that “Hong Kongers risk harsh punishment for protesting in public.”

Tsang also rejected the statement, saying that the city’s laws “stipulate that rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, publication, association, assembly and demonstration, shall be protected.”

“But any manipulation to sabotage the election will not be tolerated,” the secretary wrote. “This is fully in line with international practice for the Government of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong to take enforcement action against lawbreakers attempting to sabotage elections.”

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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