An official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party today accused “some Portuguese” of having “suzerain complex”, following criticism of the directive that requires a patriotic editorial line in TDM – Teledifusão de Macau.
“Hong Kong’s affairs are China’s internal affairs. Macau is obviously no exception, ”wrote the Global Times, an English-language newspaper in the People’s Daily group, the central body of the Chinese Communist Party.
“Some Portuguese, however, still seem to have an overlord complex,” he accused.
The newspaper recalls that, after guidelines were transmitted to TDM journalists, prohibiting them from disclosing information contrary to China’s policies, the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration is binding.
The newspaper notes that 150 Portuguese journalists signed an open letter in support of the Macau media and some politicians questioned the government about what it intends to do in relation to China.
The newspaper also points out dismissal of Portuguese journalists in the Portuguese language radio service of the Macau public broadcaster and the position of pro-democracy deputy Sulu Sou, who defended the autonomy of the media in the Chinese semi-autonomous region.
“All this type of operations makes people think this is the UK“, Accused the newspaper, referring to British measures in face of the growing influence of the Chinese regime in Hong Kong.
“Some analysts, however, put water on the boil, remembering that Portugal is just one poor settler, unable to make a difference“Said the Global Times.
The position of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, who said that the Portuguese government “waits and counts” China to comply with the Basic Law of Macau, “Is all that Portugal” can do, according to the newspaper.
The transfer of the Macau administration took place in late 1999, just over two years after China regained sovereignty over the former British colony of Hong Kong.
In the basic law of Macao, mini-constitution of the territory that should be in force until 2049, it reads that “Macao residents enjoy freedom of expression, press, edition, association, meeting, parade and demonstration ”.
The two regions have autonomy in all areas, except diplomacy and defense.
On March 10, guidelines were transmitted to TDM journalists, forbidding them to divulge information contrary to China’s policies and urging them to adhere to the “principle of patriotism” and “love of Macau”.
The guidelines were criticized in the following days by the Macau Portuguese and English Press Association (AIPIM) and the Portuguese Journalists Union, as well as by the Macau Journalists Association, which represents Chinese-language ‘media’ reporters.