A Chinese government spokesperson on Friday criticized certain politicians from Western countries for slandering Hong Kong's press freedom, saying it has only exposed their hypocrisy and double standards.
The arrests of people suspected of publishing seditious materials and the freeze of relevant assets by Hong Kong law enforcement are imperative to maintain law and order and safeguard peace, said a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
Press freedom and freedom of speech are protected by law, the spokesperson said, adding that on the other hand people should abide by the law when exercising these freedoms.
The recent arrests were in response to the law-breaking acts of certain Hong Kong media practitioners propagating "Hong Kong independence," "black terror" and "burn-with-us tactics" under the pretext of "press freedom," the spokesperson said, adding that these acts have posed a serious threat to national security and social stability.
The spokesperson said the rhetoric by some politicians of the United States and other Western countries is hypocritical, noting despicable acts of violating press freedom in their countries, including unlawful arrests of journalists, police brutality, persecution of whistleblowers, among others.
The spokesperson also criticized the obstruction of the operation of Chinese media outlets in the United States and Britain.