Press freedom in Hong Kong

Why Victor Mallet does not have widespread support in Hong Kong despite outrage in the West

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 4:15am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 4:15am

The Hong Kong Immigration Department’s decision not to renew the visa of the Financial Times’ Asia news editor Victor Mallet is neither “chilling” nor “deeply troubling”. Mr Mallet chose to host an event that confronted the sovereignty of China, not in his capacity as a journalist but as first vice-president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club; he was not reporting news, he was creating it.

Mr Mallet chose to ignore government requests to cancel a talk by Andy Chan Ho-tin, leader of the now banned Hong Kong National Party, and instead provided a platform for an extremist. The talk also ignited division in Hong Kong, including protests by people who objected to the FCC’s hosting of the event. Judging by comments from readers and others in your newspaper, many do not support Mr Mallet.

Freedom of speech is not an invitation to challenge the sovereignty of a nation, nor is it a right to create division by offering a platform for political subversion. The West seems intent on painting Hong Kong as a city suffering under Chinese interference, but the truth is rather different. A poll of people in the street in Hong Kong would find many condemning Mr Mallet, Mr Chan and others who seek to undermine our city’s place within China.

Mark Peaker, The Peak

Watch: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responds to denial of visa for Victor Mallet

Britain’s ‘hostile’ immigration policy trumps Hong Kong’s silliness

Philip Dyke’s remarks on the silliness of Hong Kong’s visa decision are misleading, to say the least (“Journalist’s visa refusal made Hong Kong ‘look silly’”, October 16). Has he taken the time to research Britain’s “hostile environment policy” on immigration? Theresa May’s immigration policy has, among other things, divided thousands of families in which a spouse is a non-European.

And no, it isn’t just a matter of people being unable to fulfil financial criteria. It’s mostly about ambiguity, high costs of getting visas and the Home Office’s blatant incompetence.

Justin Hayward, Tai Po