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Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020

Clarify position of foreign reporters here: FCC

Clarify position of foreign reporters here: FCC

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong has called on the government to immediately clarify the situation regarding the expulsion of US journalists by the central government and provide assurances to foreign reporters working here that they won't be kicked out by Beijing.
The Carrie Lam administration should assure foreign reporters applying to work in Hong Kong that "it will continue to issue employment visas without interference from the Chinese government", the club said in a statement.

"If that system has changed, it would represent a serious erosion of the One Country, Two Systems principle," the club warned.

The FCC said under the Basic Law, all decisions about employment visas for foreign nationals in Hong Kong, including journalists, have been made independently by the Immigration Department.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said it deeply regrets that the authorities in Beijing have taken the further step of banning the journalists affected from reporting in Hong Kong and Macau. "The FCCC is not aware of any precedent for such a requirement," it said.

Beijing overnight ordered numerous journalists – working for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times – to leave the country and also barred them working in Hong Kong and Macau.

The central government said the action was in retaliation of Washington's decision to cut the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work for its state-run media on American soil.

Last month, Beijing expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters over what it deemed a racist headline in the newspaper. But whether they would not be allowed to work in Hong Kong or Macau either was not mentioned.

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P. J. O'Rourke
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