Chief Executive candidate John Lee on Wednesday denounced a move by US internet giant Google to shut down his campaign channel on YouTube.
His campaign team was told by Google, YouTube's parent company, that the channel was terminated in accordance with sanctions by the United States government.
Lee described these as “bullying acts” over his work in safeguarding national security.
"The so-called sanctions against me are unreasonable and oppressive, and are intended to exert pressure on me, to make me doubt myself," he told reporters.
"But I have stressed many times that their unreasonable acts only convince me that what I’m doing is right. Therefore I won’t pay their sanctions any mind. They're not worth my attention."
Lee expressed disappointment that his campaign team could no longer use certain media platforms, but made it clear Google's move won't affect his electioneering.
The CE candidate said there are still many channels available for him to reach out to the people and explain his governance philosophy.
The head of Lee’s campaign office, Tam Yiu-chung, said earlier that they weren’t given any warning before the entire channel disappeared.
"We find this very regrettable and completely unreasonable, but we think they can't stop us from spreading our candidate's message – our campaign's message – to the public," he said, adding that there are "plenty of alternatives" for Lee to continue reaching out to Hongkongers.
Lee, the sole candidate in the upcoming chief executive election and a former chief secretary, is among more than a dozen local and mainland officials sanctioned by Washington in 2020 over allegations that they had helped undermine Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy.
The central government and SAR authorities have strongly denied the allegations, calling them baseless and groundless, and Beijing has since imposed counter-sanctions on a number of US politicians and organisations for interfering in China’s internal affairs.
Also on Wednesday, Lee held an online meeting with around two dozen election committee members from the cultural, performing arts and sports sectors.
Pui Kwan-kay from the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong said the city’s athletes proved to be capable of competing with the world's best during the Tokyo Olympics last year. He said he hopes the incoming administration will provide more funding for the sports sector.
Pui added that he supports a government proposal to set up a new cultural, sports and tourism bureau.
Film producer Raymond Wong, meanwhile, called for stronger government support for the industry. He said pandemic relief funding earmarked for the trade paled in comparison to that of some other sectors.
Last updated: 2022-04-20 HKT 18:01