Press freedom in Hong Kong

China’s fears over Hong Kong revealed in visa denial for FT editor Victor Mallet

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 5:01pm

The decision not to renew Financial Times Asia news editor Victor Mallet’s work visa is not the sign of a confident China striding the world stage as a modern 21st century superpower – it is the sign of a petty, spiteful dictatorial clan that places its own survival above everything else.

Mr Mallet broke no laws and acted fully within his rights as set out in Chapter III of Hong Kong’s Basic Law. This decision will make any individual or business think twice before moving or investing here, and is as stupid as it is counterproductive.

The Preamble to the Basic Law states that “upholding national unity and territorial integrity” and “maintaining the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong” were the reasons for setting up the “one country, two systems” framework in the first place.

If the Communist Party of China continually obsesses about what it sees as “national security” then the whole edifice of “prosperity and stability” will collapse – the party would be wise to read the play The Chalk Circle to see what that implies about its real intentions towards Hong Kong.

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Article 1 of Basic Law may well say that Hong Kong “is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China” but a significant minority, or perhaps even an actual majority of Hongkongers would really rather it wasn’t – surely the Communist Party should see that as the real threat to national security?

Lee Faulkner, Lamma