Independent Hong Kong paper closed down

The pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily has been discontinued. Pressure from the Chinese authorities had increased in recent months: the paper's editor-in-chief and publisher were arrested and the company's assets frozen. China's authorities accuse the paper of "conspiring to collude with foreign forces". Publisher Next Digital has now announced that Thursday's edition would be the last. Europe's press is dismayed.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Resistance losing its voice

Slowly but surely China's leadership is stifling critical voices in Hong Kong - and not just in the media, laments The Guardian:

“Beijing is determined to crush that resistance. Each day it turns the screws further. ... This is the darkest moment yet for press freedom in the region. Its chilling effect, not only on the media, but even private discussion, is profound. But journalists anticipate a further crackdown. The guts and tenacity of Hong Kong’s reporters made its media essential to understanding what was happening in the city and on the Chinese mainland.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Weak China

Jyllands-Posten is not impressed with the authorities' approach:

“The most notable thing about the closure of Apple Daily is that the dictatorship in Beijing must be incredibly weak if a pro-democracy newspaper in a southern Chinese city is seen as such a threat that it has to be taken out of the game at any cost.”

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Next candidate: Taiwan

This is still not enough for China, Corriere del Ticino fears:

“Thus, the story of a newspaper that has remained faithful to press freedom ends with it falling victim to tyranny. A fate suffered by many dissident media and activists in the former British colony. ... 'One country, two systems', Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping had promised. ... It was agreed that Hong Kong should be guaranteed freedom of expression and the rule of law, a multi-party system and universal suffrage until 2047. This is not the case. Beijing's irrevocable plan is to 'reunify' and bring information in the former London colony in line with the motherland, a fate that could also be repeated for Taiwan, which Beijing is deliberately aiming to bring under its jurisdiction.”