Press freedom in Hong Kong

Press freedom in Hong Kong has nothing to do with copying the West

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 7:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 7:00pm

On the topic of Hong Kong rejecting the visa renewal application of Financial Times correspondent Victor Mallet, I find Roger B Houghton's letter puzzling, even contradictory (“Hong Kong has no need to copy others, Mallet and the West should see that”, October 9).

I fail to understand what Mr Mallet’s “Englishness” has to do with the incident. Does he think the result would have been any different were Mr Mallet of American, Canadian, South African or French nationality? Contrary to Houghton's claim, the concept of press freedom is not solely an “English” invention, nor even a Western one.

Many Asian countries uphold the freedom of the press and do not randomly expel journalists without giving a reason. The European Union has spoken out about this particular case, as has American Chamber of Commerce president Tara Joseph, who was previously on the board of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club herself. In fact, your editorial the same day also came to Mr Mallet’s defence (“ The government must clarify its decision not to grant visa to journalist”, October 8).

Mallet visa denial shows just how insecure China is over Hong Kong

Mr Mallet has broken no laws and it is natural for anyone in Hong Kong to be concerned about his treatment. Mr Houghton then goes on to criticise the democratic camp, indiscriminately accusing them of unruly antics and looking like “brawling individuals”; he even implies they receive orders from Taiwan. I fail to see what this has to do with Mr Mallet’s actions and his subsequent treatment.

Cecilia Li, Fanling