Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is voicing concern over attacks on media figures in Hong Kong after assailants targeted two executives planning to launch a new publication in the semiautonomous Chinese city.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong said four pipe-wielding men attacked and injured the executives of the Hong Kong Morning News Media Group outside a city landmark Wednesday. The assault comes three weeks after the brutal stabbing of a former editor of a prominent Hong Kong newspaper.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki urged Hong Kong authorities to fully investigate. She said the U.S. has been troubled by incidents in the past year that seem to target media figures.

She said freedom of the press and rule of law remains crucial to the city’s reputation as a center of global commerce.