Intellasia East Asia News – HK chief executive election 2022: Beijing lashes out at Google for taking down YouTube channel of candidate John Lee

Beijing has lashed out at American technology giant Google for terminating the YouTube channel of Hong Kong chief executive candidate John Lee Ka-chiu due to US sanctions laws, with the Chinese foreign ministry calling the move “completely wrong and unreasonable”.

Speaking at a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Google was helping the American government meddle in the internal affairs of other countries.

“It is completely wrong and unreasonable,” he said. “We firmly oppose this.”

Wang said the incident again exposed the hypocrisy of the United States, a nation bent on undermining free speech and fairness in cyberspace to achieve its political objectives.

“The US is interfering in Hong Kong affairs using different excuses and has evil intentions in destroying Hong Kong’s chief executive election,” he added.

Wang demanded the US and the West in general immediately stop interfering in the affairs of Hong Kong and the nation, adding that attempts to sabotage the poll would fail.

The condemnation came a day after the Post reported Google had terminated Lee’s election campaign channel on YouTube and Facebook had restricted his user status, with both citing a need to comply with American sanctions laws.

In Hong Kong, Bernard Chan, a top adviser to incumbent leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, called the termination “unfortunate” and an “isolated incident”, but saw no point in escalating the issue.

“What can you do about it? Even if you blow it up, I don’t see what good it will do for others?” he said. “Sometimes these channels felt helpless, involuntary too, amid international political wrestling.”

Chan said he believed Lee’s campaign would be unaffected by the termination of the channel and that Hong Kong had more important work to consider, such as bringing the pandemic under control and boosting the economy.

Lee, a former career police officer and security minister, said on Wednesday he was disappointed but unfazed by the termination, and, if anything, the ban had galvanised him to soldier on in his campaign for the May 8 election by a 1,454-member group of voters.

More to follow …


Category: China, Hong Kong

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