In the name of press freedom, a handful of Western politicians have interfered in China's internal affairs, tried to cover up for an illegal Hong Kong media, and even threatened with sanctions.
Those politicians' smearing has once again demonstrated their hypocrisy and double standard on the issue of so-called press freedom.
The recent actions taken by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government against relevant personnel and organizations of Apple Daily are in accordance with the law. Those measures are to defend rule of law and social stability, and have nothing to do with press freedom.
There has never been such a thing as absolute press freedom. As a matter of fact, those Western countries that are trying to disparage China have strict regulations on the production of news, as well as red lines on freedom of speech or press. Some are even intensifying their restrictions.
In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission is responsible for managing and licensing media outlets and the content those media produce all across the country.
In Germany, speeches like Holocaust denial and other forms of incitement to hatred against segments of the population are punishable by imprisonment of up to five years. In 2017, Germany passed the Network Enforcement Act, which requires Internet platforms to take action against hate, harassment and terror propaganda.
While those Western countries act tough on media that instigate hatred and spread disinformation, they are encouraging acts of a similar nature in other countries as defending freedom and human rights. What a brazen play of their double standard on the issue of so-called press freedom!
In fact, what those Western countries intend to do by repeatedly absolving Apple Daily of blame is to stoke chaos in Hong Kong, and pressure China. When they are crying for "media freedom," they are actually worrying about losing a tool to destabilize Hong Kong and contain China.
Hong Kong is not a lawless land, and press freedom should not be an excuse. No one who violates the law of Hong Kong will go unpunished.
One year since the national security law came into force, Hong Kong has recovered from turbulence and local residents are looking forward to stability and enjoying the even greater benefits of China's rapid development.
The external forces should abandon their political illusion to create chaos in Hong Kong, and adopt an objective and rational attitude towards China's practice of "one country, two systems."
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