'Chilling message': Hong Kong refuses to explain FT journalist visa denial

Victor Mallet speaks at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong ahead of a talk by Andy Chan, founder of the Hong Kong National Party. Mallet has since had his visa denied by city authorities.

Hong Kong (CNN)The unprecedented denial of a visa to a Financial Times journalist "sends a chilling message to everyone in Hong Kong," the paper said Sunday, as press groups and politicians in the city continued to denounce the move.

Asia news editor Victor Mallet was informed Friday that his visa renewal -- usually a procedural matter -- had been refused, weeks after he hosted a controversial pro-independence activist in his role as vice president of the city's Foreign Correspondent's Club (FCC).
"No criticism has been offered of his work as a journalist," the FT editorial board said. "In the absence of any proper explanation for the decision, it is therefore hard to resist the conclusion that it amounts to retribution for his role as (FCC vice president)."
A huge amount of pressure was applied to the FCC by both the Hong Kong and Chinese governments to cancel the talk by Andy Chan, founder of the Hong Kong National Party in August.
    The Hong Kong National Party has since been banned -- itself an unprecedented move -- though it was completely legal at the time of his speech.
    "By virtue of its historical, geographical and cultural difference, Hong Kong is a truly separate entity from the so-