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Friday, February 3, 2023

The Chief of Security of Hong Kong requested the list of members of the news group

HONG KONG – The head of Hong Kong’s security affairs on Wednesday called on the city’s major press associations to disclose to the public who their members work for and how many of them are students, the day after he accused the organization of infiltrating schools.

After Beijing implemented comprehensive national security laws on the former British colony last year, the remarks of the Secretary of Security Chris Tang may intensify concerns about the suppression of civil society by the Asian financial center.

When Tang was interviewed by a pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung PaoThe Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) announced on Tuesday that it is infiltrating schools to recruit students as reporters.

HKJA did not specifically mention the allegations of penetration in its response to Tang, but stated that it had 486 members as of Wednesday, of which 56 were students. It did not disclose who its members work for.

On Wednesday, Tang defended his remarks, saying that he expressed “the suspicion of many people in society about the Press Association”.

“I believe that if they publicly let the public know this information, their names will be innocent,” Tang told reporters outside the Hong Kong Legislative Council, referring to details about who the HKJA members work for.

Since Beijing implemented the National Security Law last year, the media industry has undergone profound changes.

Media mogul Li Zhiying is a staunch critic of Beijing and is currently in prison awaiting trial on national security charges.His democratic newspaper Apple Daily It was closed after police raids and arrests of senior executives including its editor-in-chief.
In the past year, dozens of civic groups and opposition parties disbanded or scaled back their operations, and some of their members were arrested and imprisoned.

Hong Kong’s largest professional teachers’ union was disbanded this month after being criticized by the Chinese state media for “politicizing” education.

The National Security Law was implemented after months of sometimes violent democratic protests. It punishes what Beijing broadly refers to as subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces, and terrorism, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The Hong Kong government has repeatedly stated that the law only targets a small group of “troublemakers,” and all enforcement actions against individuals or groups “have nothing to do with their political stance or background.”

Hong Kong’s once thriving media sector and vibrant civil society have long characterized the city. The city returned to Chinese rule in 1997 and promised that it could not guarantee widespread freedom on the mainland.

World Nation News Desk
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