Chinese Embassy Spokesperson's Comment on the Statement on the Closure of the Hong Kong's Apple Daily Issued by Some Members of the So-called "Media Freedom Coalition"

    Recently, 21 members including Iceland of the so-called "Media Freedom Coalition" issued a statement and made irresponsible remarks on the closure of the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily. They accused judicial proceedings of China's HKSAR, smeared the National Security Law for the HKSAR, slandered China's Central Government's policy towards Hong Kong. Such actions constituted a gross interference in China's internal affairs. China strongly deplores and opposes this statement.

    Apple Daily and its relevant personnel are suspected of conspiracy to collude with external forces to endanger national security. Their arrests and prosecution and freezing of assets taken by the Hong Kong police are fully carried out in accordance with the law. These necessary and legitimate actions to safeguard Hong Kong's rule of law have nothing to do with the freedom of speech and press. In a society under the rule of law, anyone who breaks the law should be punished. The press freedom is not an excuse for engaging in criminal acts by certain people.

    A few members of the so-called "Media Freedom Coalition" cannot represent the mainstream voice of the international community. We urge relevant countries to abide by the international law and basic norms governing international relations, stop lecturing others in a condescending manner, stop endorsing anti-China as well as destabilizing forces in Hong Kong, and stop the disgusting behaviour of interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs under the pretext of media freedom.

    Hong Kong is part of China. China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests. Any attempts by external forces to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs will never succeed. Hong Kong will definitely be more secure, more democratic, more free, and more harmonious in the future.