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high quality apple developer account:Press freedom in Macauu2019s gambling hub under spotlight as China ramps up scrutiny

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HONG KONG - At a meeting at the Portuguese unit of Macau's public broadcaster TDM on March 10, two senior journalists addressed about 25 staff, reading new editorial rules requiring them to promote "patriotism, respect and love" for mainland China.

The measures targeting Macau's largest broadcaster were detailed to Reuters by two people who were at the meeting and mark the first time that Portuguese language media in the former colony have been directly targeted by authorities.

Since the meeting, at least six journalists have resigned, the sources said.

The world’s biggest gambling hub, home to 700,000 people, has always been touted as a poster child of Beijing's "one country, two systems" style of governance alongside neighbouring Hong Kong. The system promises wide-ranging freedoms not seen in mainland China, including a free press and independent judiciary.

"We knew things might change one day, but this came as a total surprise to us," said one of the Portuguese journalists who attended the March meeting. They declined to be identified owing to the sensitivity of the matter.

The new TDM guidelines came roughly two weeks after Hong Kong announced an overhaul of its public broadcaster, RTHK, amid accusations by authorities that it has an anti-government bias.

Pressure is mounting on Macau's Portuguese and English media, which typically operate with more flexibility than the local Chinese press, which has faced tight censorship for more than a decade, journalists said.

Portuguese media in Macau, for instance, provided extensive coverage of Hong Kong’s protests in 2019, while Chinese-language media there largely stayed away.

Macau's government said all news organisations in Macau have the freedom to set their own editorial guidelines and that it continues to respect and uphold the principle of the freedom of the press as stipulated in the city's Basic Law.

Hong Kong's government and TDM did not respond to requests for comment.

However, like Macau, the Hong Kong government has said rights and freedoms remain intact.

In a public statement in March, TDM said its editorial policy remained unchanged and it will continue to "perform its media social responsibility and adhere to the principle of patriotism and love for Macau."

RED LINE

More than half of Macau’s population immigrated from China in recent decades, which has helped foster a stronger affinity for the mainland than in Hong Kong, where the bulk of residents were born in the territory.

Beijing typically lavishes praise on Macau while issuing stark warnings to Hong Kong that it will not tolerate any challenge to its authority. But Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests entangled Macau’s media through their coverage and attracted Beijing’s scrutiny, Macau experts said.

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