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To the Editorial Board of the Washington Post
2024-03-12 18:19

Editorial Board of the Washington Post:

I am deeplyshockedby your ignorance and double-standard on Hong Kongafter reading your editorial piece titled With the new security law, Hong Kong doubles down onrepression” published on March 10.

The Hong Kong 47 case mentioned in yourpieceis being tried byHong Kong courts in accordance with law. To your dismay, the evidence exposed during the trials shows that those charged are not as “innocent” as you thought, and I believe thecourts will make fair verdicts.I totally understand your despair of letting all 47 go free”, but I suggestyou leave the judgment to the courts, because it is their job, right?

When I read the part about the Jimmy Lai case, I just cant help laughing.You insisted that Lai was exercisinghis right asthe founder and ownerof the Apple Daily when the newspaper editorialized in favor of U.S. sanctions against Hong Kong officials, and that it“seems like normal editorial decisions or the prerogatives of a media owner”. What about this: the owner of the Washington Post exerciseshis prerogativesof ordering you to editorialize in favor of foreign sanctions against U.S. officials?

I havesome experience in dealing with U.S. media, and they seem to be rather proud of the red linethat prevents the ownerof a media agency from interfering with the specific operation of the agency. Then why the red line turns into green light, even a normal prerogativein the case of Jimmy Lai and Apple Daily?

Lai ordered Apple Daily not to publish any positive reports about China, andnot tobadmouth certain U.S. politiciansin a bid to wintheir support.How do you comment on that? Does the “goldenrule of “fairness, objectivity and balance”of Western journalismstill apply here?

On Article 23 legislation of Hong Kong Basic Law, you claimed that the public consultation period was “shortened”. As far as I know, the USA Patriot Act was passed just 45 days after the9/11 attackswithout holding a hearing. I wonder if the time for this legislationisalso shortenedbased on your standard? Have you ever bothered to opine against it?

Many jurisdictions have their own legislation based on national security needs. The US has 21 such laws, the UK has 14while Hong Kong has none locally enacted. After the U.S. Capitol attack, more than 800 people have been sentencedin relation to that andsome even got record 22 years in prison. How could the US possibly do that without its national security laws in place?

You are right in referring to February 28 this year, the end of Article 23 legislation consultation period, as a milestone, but it is a milestone marking Hong Kong’s upward trajectory from chaos to stability and prosperity, rather than downward trajectoryin your gloomy forecast. Surely, I assume, you don’t want to see a repeat of the riots on Capitol Hill, right? So, when Hong Kong is striving to avoid a repeat of chaos, and provide abetter living and business environmentwith a national security law, how can anyone with common sense say Hong Kong is on a “downward trajectory”?

Regardingyour alarmistassertion that “China has crushed what had been one of its greatest assets”, well, just relax and take a deep breath. With the firm support of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, the Pearl of the Orient will only shine even brighter.

Spokesperson of the Commissioner’s Office of the Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China in the HKSAR

March 12, 2024