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Beijing gives directives to Hong Kong media

(RSF/IFEX) - In a 20 August 1999 letter to Chinese Prime Minister Zhu
Rongji, RSF expressed its concern about a statement by the Chinese
vice-premier about Hong Kong's media reporting on Taiwanese diplomacy. RSF
said it "considers that Hong Kong's media are free to report on all issues,
even on the Taiwan-China relationship, as Beijing guaranteed press freedom
in the area after the retrocession in June 1997." Secretary-General Robert
Ménard added that "it is the duty of Hong Kong journalists to inform the
public and the right of Hong Kong citizens to be informed on such an issue."
Therefore, RSF asked Zhu "to ensure that the Chinese authorities do not
interfere in Hong Kong media policy and do not gag press freedom there."

According to news reports, Qian Qichen, the Chinese vice-premier, said "open
support for the 'two-states theory' is a violation of guidelines on Hong
Kong-Taiwan relations." Qian was referring to a controversy over comments by
a Hong Kong-based Taipei representative in support of the Taiwanese
president's call for "special state-to-state" relations with China.

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