Taiwan's FM slams Hong Kong government for threatening press freedom

04/04/2020 10:05 PM
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Foreign minister Joseph Wu; Photo courtesy of MOFA (CNA file photo)
Foreign minister Joseph Wu; Photo courtesy of MOFA (CNA file photo)

Taipei, April 4 (CNA) Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Saturday slammed the Hong Kong government for threatening press freedom after one of its officials reprimanded a broadcaster for an interview in which a World Health Organization (WHO) official was pressed on Taiwan's membership.

 "It's a disgrace to see this is happening to #HongKong, a place that used to shine as a beacon of #PressFreedom in East Asia," Wu said in a Twitter post Saturday.

"The people of #Taiwan will stand with the people of #HK in the pursuit of truth," he further tweeted.

Wu made his comment after foreign and local news reports said Edward Yau (邱騰華), chief of Hong Kong's Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, accused Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), the special administrative region's public broadcasting service, of violating the "One China" principle.

Yau said RTHK's head Leung Ka Wing (梁家榮) will be held responsible for not abiding by RTHK's charter, which includes "promoting understanding of the concept of 'One Country, Two Systems'."

In a March 28 episode of the station's TV program "The Pulse," a reporter asked Bruce Aylward, a WHO assistant director general, during a video call whether the WHO would reconsider Taiwan's membership.

Aylward appeared not to hear the reporter and later the video communication was temporarily lost. The Canadian physician-epidemiologist did not answer the question directly when the link was reestablished.

The following day, the WHO issued a statement that said the question of Taiwan's membership of WHO is a matter for WHO member states, not WHO staff.

(By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim)

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