The Foreign Correspondents' Club in Hong Kong says it will go ahead with a scheduled talk by the Hong Kong National Party convener Chan Ho-tin, despite coming under pressure with mainland officials based in the city expressing displeasure over the planned event.
A source who is aware of the club's affairs, told RTHK that three officials from the Foreign Ministry had visited the club and told the club that their view is that people like Chan Ho-tin or anyone from the Hong Kong National Party should not be allowed to talk at the club.
The source said the FCC pointed out that it is the club's policy to give space to all sides to air their views. They also pointed out that mainland economists and intellectuals were also invited to the club to speak.
The source said the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong subsequently sent a letter to the club saying that it is their view that such people should not be allowed to speak at the FCC.
Club officials have decided that there will be no change in the programme and Chan will be speaking as scheduled on August 14.
The Hong Kong National Party meanwhile accused Beijing of trying to block the event.
The pro-independence party accused the central government of trying to pressure the foreign press into self-censorship.
Speaking to RTHK’s Phoebe Ng, the FCC’s first vice president, Victor Mallet, confirmed getting a representation about the event, but said the club wouldn’t be changing its plans.