- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The New York Times is gearing up to move part of its Hong Kong office as China’s newly imposed national security law begins to take effect.

The publication announced the move on Wednesday and said it is sending about a third of its Hong Kong-based staff to Seoul, South Korea’s capital, after facing challenges to obtain work permits. The move will take place over the next year.

In May, China’s legislature approved the controversial law, which would allow Chinese intelligence and security forces to be based inside the district for the first time, and seeks to address terrorism, secession and foreign interference in the city.

Critics say it does not align with the 1997 Joint Declaration between Britain and China that bound Beijing’s communist rulers to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy as a special administrative region and to leave its liberal economy and government for 50 years under the formulation “one country, two systems.” It has also sparked fears that freedoms of speech and press could be jeopardized.

“Given the uncertainty of the moment, we are making plans to geographically diversify our editing staff,” a spokeswoman for The Times told Reuters.

“We will maintain a large presence in Hong Kong and have every intention of maintaining our coverage of Hong Kong and China.”

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