CE backs claim RTHK breached One China policy - RTHK
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CE backs claim RTHK breached One China policy

2020-04-07 HKT 11:10
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  • CE backs claim RTHK breached One China policy
Chief Executive Carrie Lam has thrown her weight behind Commerce Secretary Edward Yau's claim that RTHK has breached the 'One China' policy and warned that being a public broadcaster does not provide immunity against such things.

Yau set off a major controversy on Thursday by saying that an episode of the programme "The Pulse" breached the One China principle. But RTHK has rejected this charge, pointing out that Taiwan was not referred to as a country in the programme on the coronavirus outbreak.

“I certainly endorse and support this stance and position of Secretary Edward Yau," said Lam as she met the media before the weekly Executive Council meeting.

“Let me make this very clear: Either as a public broadcaster or a government department, RTHK has to fulfil the very important and fundamental principle of upholding One Country, Two Systems," the Chief Executive said.

"RTHK could not claim immunity by being a public broadcaster and not observe this very important principle of One Country, Two Systems," she said.

"As a public broadcaster, in the charter for RTHK, there are very clear requirements of this public broadcaster role in deepening the Hong Kong people’s understanding of One Country, Two Systems," Lam said. "So these are the clear parameters regulating the operation of RTHK.”

Yau and RTHK's director of broadcasting were expected to attend a special finance committee meeting at Legco later on Tuesday. Lam said the secretary would explain more about the issue then.

The programme in question featured an interview with the WHO's assistant director-general Bruce Aylward. The exchange went viral after Aylward appeared to pretend not to hear a question regarding Taiwan and then apparently ended the video call.

Lam also sidestepped questions by reporters asking if she would still accept her pay rise, and pointed to the announcement in February that she and her ministers will each donate one month's salary to the Community Chest.

“We said that the ultimate purpose is to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, so we will continue to do that with that objective in mind," she said.

"But my first priority right now is to finalise as early as possible the next package of relief measures under the second round of the anti-epidemic fund."

On Friday, it was reported that Lam will get an extra HK$120,000 in pay this financial year. With her annual salary hitting HK$5.21 million, she continues to be one of the highest-paid leaders in the world.

Lawmakers from both the opposition and pro-establishment camps had issued calls urging the CE not to accept the pay rise as the city is facing an unprecedented financial crisis due to the coronavirus outbreak.