Going back on (historical) words

When asked about Hong Kong’s “rights and freedoms protected by the Sino-British Joint Declaration”, on June 30, before the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said:

As for the remarks made by those from the US and the UK, I want to stress that Hong Kong is China’s SAR, and Hong Kong affairs belong to China’s domestic affairs. The Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) clearly marks the transitional period off from China resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. It’s been 20 years now since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, and the arrangements during the transitional period prescribed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are now history and of no practical significance, nor are they binding on the Chinese central government’s administration of the Hong Kong SAR. The British side has no sovereignty, no power to rule and supervise Hong Kong after the handover. It is hoped that relevant people will come around to this.

至于媒体报道英美有关人士的表态,我想强调,香港是中国的特别行政区,香港事务属于中国内政。1984年的《中英联合声明》就中方恢复对香港行使主权和过渡期有关安排作了清晰划分。现在香港已经回归祖国怀抱20年,《中英联合声明》作为一个历史文件,不具有任何现实意义,对中国中央政府对香港特区的管理也不具备任何约束力。英方对回归后的香港没有主权,没有治权,也没有监督权。希望上述人士认清现实。

Of no practical significance, nor are they binding. Best wishes to the people of Hong Kong, especially those still fighting for those rights and freedoms. Taiwan must take note.

How China reports “Taiwan”

Xinhua News Agency, China’s official press agency, recently released a list of rules regarding the use of certain terms in official reporting, ranging on topics from daily life, legal jargon, religion, and of course, any reporting concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. As China places tight control over its press and media, a Chinese person who has never stepped outside of his/her country is unlikely to realize that the rest of the world does not report the news the way it is done, and will probably believe whatever is written as facts.

Looking at the points concerning Taiwan, I can’t help but shake my head at how petty some of them are. But then again I guess China isn’t exactly taking any chances on anything that might suggest Taiwan is a separate country. Among the interesting points, we have the following:

Section 4: Banned terms concerning Chinese territories, sovereignty, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau Continue reading “How China reports “Taiwan””