Amid continued censorship of political and ideological dissent in Hong Kong, the island’s authorities have refused to renew a journalist’s visa who is a correspondent for “The Economist,” according to the British magazine’s editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes.

“We regret their decision, which was given without explanation. Sue-Lin is not currently in Hong Kong. We are proud of Sue-Lin’s journalism,” Beddoes said in a statement issued on Saturday, November 13, as reported by the Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP). 

He added that they are urging the island’s government to maintain foreign press access, “which is vital to the territory’s standing as an international city.”

Sue-Lin Wong, a journalist who graduated from the Australian National University and Tsinghua University in China, was a correspondent for the British magazine focusing on current affairs, international business, politics, and technology. 

Wong had previously worked for the Financial Times and Reuters in China.

In a message on her Twitter account, the journalist wrote: “Very sad I won’t be able to continue reporting from Hong Kong. I loved getting to know the city and its people. I will miss you all.”

As the HKFP said a week ago, Beijing assured that press freedom in Hong Kong “has not been affected at all,” but as is known, it is being increasingly eroded since the Chinese regime installed, in June 2020, the National Security Law by which a security force acting directly under the dictatorial orders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was created. 

From then on, the ideological, political, and religious persecution of all pro-democratic citizens began and penetrated every area of Hong Kongers’ lives.  

Before Sue-Lin Wong, several journalists were also denied visas without explanation, including in August 2020, incoming HKFP editor Aaron Mc Nicholas in August 2020, and veteran Chinese journalist Chris Buckley of the New York Times. 

Apple Daily, owned by pro-democracy billionaire Jimmy Lai, was forced to shut down in June after Hong Kong authorities blocked $2.3 million of its assets and arrested five key members, including editors and executives, on charges of foreign collusion to endanger national security.

Based on data from a survey by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong (FCC) last week, nearly half of the journalists are considering leaving Hong Kong. While 56% admitted to self-censoring or avoiding reporting on sensitive topics.

FCC chairman Keith Richburg said he hoped foreign journalists would be able to stay in the city. 

“Hong Kong traditionally has been a convenient, welcoming place for foreign correspondents to base themselves to cover China, Southeast Asia and the wider Asian region… We’ve long been part of the DNA of Hong Kong,” Richburg said.

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