China opposes ‘foreign interference’ in visa denial row

China opposes ‘foreign interference’ in visa denial row

Agency News

Beijing, Oct 7: China warned foreign countries not to "interfere" over Hong Kong's decision to effectively blacklist a senior Financial Times (FT) journalist, after the UK and other governments expressed alarm over eroding freedoms in the former British colony.

Victor Mallet, the FT's Asia news editor and a British national, earned the ire of authorities for hosting a speech in August by Andy Chan, the leader of a tiny pro-independence political party, reported BBC. The FT said that immigration authorities in Hong Kong had declined to renew Mallet's visa, prompting the UK to request an "urgent explanation" for a decision described as unprecedented by rights groups and media organisations.

"No foreign country has any right to interfere”, a spokesperson at China's foreign ministry in Hong Kong said.

Meanwhile, a group of Australian journalists has been blocked from travelling to China because of “frosty” diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The reporters have been denied visas to travel this week. Between five and eight journalists, including the veteran political reporter Paul Bongiorno, had been due to leave for China on Thursday with Bob Carr’s Australia China Relations Institute. (PenNews with input from UNI)