In response to media enquiries on the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) 2015 Annual Report, a Government spokesman today (November 18) said:
On Hong Kong maintaining a high degree of autonomy
"Since the return to the Motherland, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has been exercising a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the Basic Law. This demonstrates the successful implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle, which is widely recognised by the international communities."
On press freedom
"The HKSAR Government is firmly committed to protecting the freedom of expression and freedom of the press, which are fundamental rights guaranteed by the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance.
"The media reports freely in Hong Kong and rigorously performs its role as a watchdog. Over 80 foreign media organisations have offices in Hong Kong and operate alongside a diverse array of local media with no intervention from the Government. We support that every endeavour should be made for journalists to report news professionally and accurately under the principle of editorial autonomy.
"The HKSAR Government has always striven to maintain law and order and safeguard the personal safety of all members of the public. Any act of violence, whether or not targeted at the press, will be tackled seriously under the law."
On academic freedom
"Academic freedom is an important social value treasured by Hong Kong and protected by the Basic Law. It is also a cornerstone of our higher education sector. The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to upholding academic freedom and institutional autonomy.
"The eight University Grants Committee-funded institutions are all independent and autonomous statutory bodies. They have their own governing ordinances and statutes which set out their objectives, functions and governance structure. The legislation provides the institutions with the power and freedom to carry out their objectives and functions."
On USCC's recommendations
"Foreign governments and legislatures should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of Hong Kong."
Ends/Wednesday, November 18, 2015