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Journalists in HK Fear Greater Repression

Posted: Jul 03, 2012

A new study by the Hong Kong Journalists Association shows that 60 percent of reporters working there fear a serious decline in media freedom under the new chief executive, reports the Sing Tao Daily.

Leung Chun-ying, with strong backing from Beijing, was sworn in Sunday, becoming Hong Kong’s third chief executive since British rule ended 15 years ago. He was chosen as chief executive in March, winning 689 votes from a 1,200-seat committee of business elites.

Leung comes in at a time of increasing unrest over economic disparities and resentment over the mainland’s perceived curbing of long-held freedoms. Thousands of protestors gathered last week to greet visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao, there to attend Leung’s swearing in ceremony.

According to the survey, more than 50 percent of reporters also believe the new government under Leung will apply greater pressure on local media. Respondents urged their officials to push for greater transparency and openness in dealings with Beijing.

Protestors rallied a second time Tuesday to denounce Leung, 57, as he toured the city to greet citizens and attend a public forum. Crowds taunted the new leader, saying his efforts to mingle with the crowd were useless given his unwillingness to acknowledge their concerns.

Choy Chi-Keung is a senior instructor with the Department of Government and Public Administration at Chinese University. He says Leung will never win over Hong Kong residents if he continues to rely solely on Beijing’s support.

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