Letter to Wall Street Journal: Hong Kong Defends the Arrests of Journalists (English only)

The Editor
The Wall Street Journal

Dear Editor,

Re: your editorial “Arresting Hong Kong’s Press” (June 17).

It is regrettable that your Editorial Board has once again resorted to fearmongering and groundless speculation in relation to the National Security Law (NSL) for Hong Kong.

It is plainly wrong to suggest that the police operation and asset freezes referred to in your editorial have anything to do with “offending Beijing”.

The arrests under the NSL relate to an alleged conspiracy involving the exploitation of journalistic work as a tool to commit collusion with a foreign country or external elements to impose sanctions or engage in other hostile activities against the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong.

This is a serious offense under the NSL and will be handled in accordance with the law.

My decision to freeze assets related to the media company in question was taken in accordance with Schedule 3 to the Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the NSL, which provides that “where the Secretary for Security has reasonable grounds to suspect that any property held by any person is offence-related property, the Secretary may issue a notice to freeze that property”.

Apart from seeking a licence to deal with the property, the person affected by such notice may apply to the Court of First Instance for the “freezing notice” to be revoked.

Countries around the world take threats to national security extremely seriously. China, with Hong Kong as its Special Administrative Region, is no different.

Hong Kong remains a secure, open and dynamic environment that welcomes investors and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Yours sincerely,

John K.C. Lee

Secretary for Security

Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

(The article was published on Wall Street Journal on June 23, 2021)