Hong Kong has long profited on its unique position as a culturally Chinese city with freedom of expression, rule of law along with an incorruptible civil service.
Those attributes turned the idea into a remarkable success as a dynamic banking along with trade center known worldwide for being a safe, efficient along with reliable place to do business. yet an unprecedented decision by local immigration authorities to effectively expel a Hong Kong-based foreign journalist for a prestigious British newspaper has thrown in which equation into question.
Authorities’ rejection of a brand new work visa for Victor Mallet, an editor with the Financial Times, “sends a worrying signal” for Hong Kong, Tara Joseph, the president of the local American Chamber of Commerce, said in a Monday statement.
“Without a free press, capital markets cannot properly function, along with business along with trade cannot be reliably conducted,” added Joseph, a former president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong.
On Friday, the Financial Times announced in which Mallet’s request for a renewal of his visa had been rejected. The FT said no reason was given along with Hong Kong immigration authorities said the same day they could not comment on individual cases.
Such applications have traditionally been approved as a matter of course in Hong Kong. The situation is usually different in neighboring China, where authorities have used actual along with threatened expulsions of journalists as punishment for reporting they find sensitive or embarrassing.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, was famously promised the idea could have a high degree of autonomy along with its legal system could not change for 50 years when the idea became a special administrative region of China in 1997 under the “one country, two systems” formula, yet the situation has been seen as steadily eroding for quite a few years.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s top official, was pressed by journalists Tuesday on Mallet’s case, yet refused to comment on specifics.
“I can assure you … freedom of expression, freedom of reporting are core values in Hong Kong,” she said, according to an official press Discharge, adding in which she along with the government could protect such rights.