The director of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Luo Huining, said on Sunday that the SAR needs patriotic media that will continue to hold on to the truth as the SAR anticipates the 25th anniversary of its return to Chinese sovereignty.
“In a pluralistic society like Hong Kong, we especially need media that love the country and love Hong Kong, that can drain away filth and bring in fresh water, and we need patriotic media people who hold tight to their mission and shoulder their responsibilities,” he said.
Luo was speaking at a ceremony to celebrate 120 years of the Ta Kung Pao newspaper.
The official also read out a letter from President Xi Jinping, who congratulated the paper and its staff, and said they had contributed to Hong Kong’s stability, its integration with the mainland and the reunification of people’s hearts with the nation.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Chief Executive-designate John Lee said freedom of the press in Hong Kong is protected by the Basic Law and is in line with international laws.
“As long as they do not breach the law, freedom of the press is unlimited,” he said, adding this standard is in line with those adopted by western countries and other advanced nations.
The outgoing CE, Carrie Lam, meanwhile, said the media should not only monitor the government, but also take the initiative to promote national security, so people can receive correct, complete and impartial information.