From Xinhua News Agency, July 12, 2021. Complete text:

Beijing – In a ridiculous statement posted on the website of the US State Department recently, the so-called “Media Freedom Coalition” pointed accusing fingers to the lawful actions of the Hong Kong authorities against the local Apple Daily newspaper.

Washington is up to the same old tricks by interfering in China’s domestic affairs under the guise of “press freedom.” No matter what the pretext, nothing will halt Hong Kong’s desire for stability and prosperity.

The Apple Daily – a so-called “media outlet” – has for years engaged in illegal activities that have seriously endangered China’s national security and disrupted Hong Kong’s development.

From publishing fake news and spreading hate speech, to hyping up “color revolutions” and instigating “Hong Kong independence” as well as violent and criminal behaviors, the daily is widely regarded as “a toxic apple” by the people of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong police arrested the directors of Apple Daily, who were suspected of colluding with external forces and jeopardizing national security. The arrests were not about “suppressing journalism” as claimed by the West. Instead, they were a legitimate move to safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and a response to the needs of residents who have long yearned for a return to normalcy in their city.

Behind the coalition’s “strong concerns” about the newspaper are some of its members’ malicious intention to use “press freedom” as an excuse for violence and criminal acts. But media organizations and related personnel are not free to act outside the law.

There is no doubt that the coalition’s statement is part of a Washington-instigated smear campaign against China to contain the Asian country’s development. For quite some time, anti-China elements in the US have been meddling in China’s internal affairs concerning Hong Kong and Taiwan, fabricating a “human rights crisis” in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and politicizing the coronavirus pandemic to attack China.

The global community needs to keep vigilant over Washington’s habitual tactics of twisting facts and truth, creating biased narratives, and deliberately stirring up an ideological confrontation to influence global public opinion.

Michael Lueders, a well-known German writer, has revealed in his new book “The Hypocritical Superpower” that the US government and its interest groups are apt at influencing and shaping public opinion by selecting information and polarizing the public’s views.

The so-called coalition is neither a representative of the global majority, nor a reflection of the main voice in the international arena. Most importantly, its statement cannot shake China’s resolve to implement the “one country, two systems” principle, maintain the rule of law in Hong Kong, and safeguard the country’s sovereignty and security.

It is time for Washington to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations and stop talking down to other countries. Finally, it has to stop interfering in Hong Kong’s and China’s internal affairs under the pretext of “press freedom.”