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Dunne slams 'outrageous' Chinese law change

Dunne slams 'outrageous' Chinese law change

United Future New Zealand leader, Peter Dunne, today attacked a Chinese government-proposed law change in Hong Kong as 'an outrageous assault on free speech'.

Mr Dunne, who chairs Parliament's foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee, said the proposed law change - known as Article 23 - would make illegal any written or oral statement that was deemed to be inflammatory or intimidating to the Chinese Government.

"The proposed law is vague and all-embracing. It would apply not only to Hong Kong residents, but also to residents who live abroad and to foreigners who visit or pass through Hong Kong. It thus seeks to muzzle any New Zealand journalist or politician who wishes to speak out about the state of democracy in Hong Kong.

"This proposal is a disgraceful breach of the commitments made in 1997 when Hong Kong was handed back to China under the concept of "One Nation - Two Systems".

"I have today written in protest to the Chinese ambassador to New Zealand and I will be calling on Foreign Affairs Minister, Phil Goff, to make plain New Zealand's opposition to this attack on free speech in Hong Kong," said Mr Dunne.

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