Media should consciously defend national security

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Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said media in Hong Kong should consciously defend national security, describing that the role of media is becoming more critical. And she is right. Freedom of speech is very nice, very important, but by nature it is below and not above the need to survive and thrive. Food, roof, health, safety are all in a higher level of the common interest of: government, citizens, courts, and the media.

She spoke at the 120th anniversary ceremony of the pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao that the media is responsible for information gathering, analysis, comparison, commentary and advocacy, while the industry players should facilitate healthy discussion and social progress.

Lam said Hong Kong has gone through a lot in the past few years, and the city is now back on the right track of "one country, two systems" after the central government has introduced two major measures, that is, the national security law and improving the electoral system.

She said in addition to monitoring the government's administration, the media should also consciously protect national security, abide by the law, convey messages of national security and provide accurate, comprehensive and unbiased information.

Luo Huining, the director of Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, read out a letter written by president Xi Jinping at the ceremony. Xi stated that Hong Kong needs patriotic and responsible media to uphold the truth and he hoped the media continue to promote the patriotic tradition.

Incoming Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu stressed that there is no limit to freedom of the press as long as it does not violate the law and that the criteria would be the same as those of advanced countries. He said Hong Kong was a place where information was well developed, and the media was blossoming.

"Freedom of the press is protected by the Basic Law and is in line with international conventions on civil and political rights,” he said.
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