A spokesperson for the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macau Special Administrative Region commented Thursday on recent remarks by a local media association on the central government’s countermeasures against measures by the US against Chinese media organisations in the US.
According to a statement by the office, the spokesperson was asked by the press to comment on local media reports “that a certain foreign language media association in Macau disputed China’s countermeasures against US restrictive measures on Chinese media agencies in the US.”
The spokesperson’s answer was that “according to Article 13 of the Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, the Central People’s Government is responsible for the foreign affairs relating to the Macau Special Administrative Region.
“The announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China that the relevant journalists of US citizenship will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Region, is a necessary countermeasure China is compelled to take in response to the US oppression of Chinese media organisations there.
“The countermeasures are within the central government’s diplomatic authority in accordance with the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle and the Basic Law.
“[The] relevant media association should understand and respective the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle and the Basic Law of the Macau SAR in a comprehensive and accurate way.”
The Macau Portuguese and English Press Association (AIPIM) said it is highly concerned about the inclusion of Macau and Hong Kong in the central government’s decision to ban American journalists from three US media outlets from working in China.
In a statement, AIPIM called for clarification on the position of non-local journalists and media outlets and asked for a guarantee that press freedom will be upheld.
“AIPIM calls for a clarification on the activity of non-local journalists and media outlets in order to ease concerns and ensure that press freedom is fully upheld as enshrined in Article 27 of the Macau Basic Law. This applies not only to local journalists and media outlets but also to non-local journalists and news organizations with their headquarters outside of Macau, as mentioned in Article 9 of the Macau Press Law,” the organisation said.
“AIPIM is worried about the negative impact of the escalating tensions between the United States and China over press freedom and hopes that this situation can de-escalate and be reversed as soon as possible,” it added.
“AIPIM thus regrets both this decision by Beijing regarding US journalists and the measures previously taken by Washington affecting Chinese journalists and news organisations” it said.
The association’s membership comprises journalists from a number of local Portuguese- and English-language media companies. Journalists working for The Macau Post Daily are not members of the association.
José Carlos Matias is the Macau Portuguese and English Press Association (AIPIM) President and Gilberto Lopes is Vice President.