Patrick Nip sidesteps RTHK Taiwan question - RTHK
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Patrick Nip sidesteps RTHK Taiwan question

2020-04-04 HKT 10:14
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  • Patrick Nip sidesteps RTHK Taiwan question
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip says it will be down to the Commerce and Economic Development to handle issues surrounding an RTHK interview with a World Health Organisation representative.

But Nip would not be drawn on how the public broadcaster had breached the "One China" principle and its own charter by asking about Taiwan's membership of the WHO, which commerce minister Edward Yau accused it of doing.

"The membership of the WHO is confined to sovereign states," he said on Saturday. "And Hong Kong's participation in the WHO is as part of the Chinese delegation, so I think on the membership of the WHO, the issue is clear enough.

"As regards the handling of the interview by RTHK, I think we have to look at it from the angles of RTHK as a government department, and also RTHK as a corporate broadcasting authority."

The interview with the WHO's assistant director-general, Bruce Aylward, by RTHK's "The Pulse" was watched by millions across the globe after going viral on social media.

The exchange was reported on by numerous media outlets across the world after Aylward appeared to pretend not to hear a question regarding Taiwan and then apparently ended the video call.

RTHK reconnected the video chat and Tong asked Aylward if he could comment on how Taiwan has done in tacking Covid-19. 'Well, we've already talked about China," he replied.

Yau on Thursday released a statement in which he said he had told RTHK it must uphold and abide by its charter when discharging its duties, including its mission to foster a sense of citizenship and national identity.

Meanwhile Nip said the government was planning to go ahead with September's Legislative Council election as planned, despite calls from some pro-establishment lawmakers for a delay. But the administration will keep an eye on the situation as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Last updated: 2020-04-04 HKT 10:30