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China: Press Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 31448, tabled on 18 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential for British journalists to be expelled from (a) mainland China, (b) Hong Kong, and (c) Macau, following the decision by the Chinese Foreign Ministry to expel US citizens working for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times from those regions.

Answered on

23 March 2020

As Lord Ahmad said in the Lords on 19 March, we have consistently stated our concern about media freedoms in China. The Chinese Government's announcement that they will prevent certain American journalists from working in China and Macao further restricts transparency at a particularly important time. The suggestion by the Chinese MFA that this measure may apply in Hong Kong is deeply concerning. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is clear. It sets out that immigration decisions are the sole responsibility of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, and freedom of the press is guaranteed. It is imperative that these rights and freedoms are fully respected.

We are concerned about the implications this decision could have upon British Journalists. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments on this issue.

We remain fully committed to upholding Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms underpinned by the legally binding Joint Declaration, and the 'One Country, Two Systems' framework set out in the Hong Kong Basic Law.