Taiwan has urged the Tung administration to defend press freedom in the wake of Vice-Premier Qian Qichen's warning against promoting calls for Taiwan separatism. 'In a free and democratic society, anyone is entitled to express their ideas on any topics, and that freedom should be respected,' Mainland Affairs Council vice-chairman Sheu Ke-sheng said. 'The Hong Kong authorities should act to ensure an environment of press freedom.' On Thursday, Mr Qian said in Beijing that Hong Kong should not support the so-called 'two-states theory', as this would violate the seven guidelines he had spelled out on the Taiwan issue. The Taiwan official also defended remarks made by managing director of Chung Hwa Travel Services Cheng An-kuo, whose support for the 'two-states theory' on an RTHK programme has been criticised by the SAR Government as inappropriate. 'His explanation is simply a representation of the reality,' Mr Sheu said. The pro-Taiwan 123 Democratic Alliance hit out at information co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung, saying his criticism of Mr Cheng infringed freedom of speech. 'This has set a very bad precedent. We are worried Hong Kong will become another city with Chinese characteristics under the SAR Government's single-voice policy.' It said reports on the 'two-states theory' were lawful and reasonable.