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HK continues to protect freedom of information, expression
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A top commerce and economic official of Hong Kong pledged Monday that the government of the special administrative region will continue to protect the free flow of information and freedom of expression.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau made the remarks when addressing the opening session of the 39th Annual Conference of the International Institute of Communications, which kicked off Monday.

Highlighting Hong Kong's strong and robust communications infrastructure, Lau said a combination of marketplace competition and a reasonable policy framework is the key to Hong Kong's success in the advanced communications field.

"The government has a light-handed regulatory regime for the industry," she said, adding that the emergence of new media platforms driven by advances in technology not only opened up new markets for the communications industry, but also brought new challenges for the community, such as how to protect content against piracy and safeguard minors from harmful content.

"We are engaging the public in consultation over the above two issues. I want to stress that any new proposals will not be allowed to undermine our core values. We will continue to protect the free flow of information and freedom of expression," Mrs. Lau said.

Hong Kong is a world leader in transforming its infrastructure from copper wire to fiber optics and wireless services, and its mobile telephone penetration rate exceeds 150 percent.

Entitled "Trends in Global Communications: Capturing the High Ground in an Uncertain World", the two-day conference attracted more than 130 delegates from 25 countries or regions.

The event provides a forum for the exchange of perspectives and experience on key trends and developments in the communications sector.

(Xinhua News Agency November 3, 2008)

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