English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

US widens rift with China — flags Hong Kong as a high-risk destination

US widens rift with China--sanctions seven officials, flags Hong Kong as a high-risk destination

After the updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory earlier this week, the United States on Friday night issued a business advisory to caution US businesses about emerging risks to their operations and activities in Hong Kong. 

The advisory jointly issued by the US Department of State, along with the US Department of the Treasury, the US Department of Commerce, and the US Department of Homeland Security says that many of these risks stem from the implementation of the controversial National Security Law (NSL) in Hong Kong and other recent legislative changes.

"Developments over the last year in Hong Kong present clear operational, financial, legal, and reputational risks for multinational firms. This business advisory provides companies with information that can assist them in making informed business decisions and properly assessing risk," the advisory states.

Also read:  Biden acts tough on Beijing, says after Xinjiang, situation in Hong Kong also 'deteriorating'

The advisory highlights that businesses operating in Hong Kong, as well as individuals and businesses conducting business on their behalf, are subject to the laws of Hong Kong, including the NSL. Foreign nationals, including one US citizen, have been arrested under the NSL.

"Businesses should be aware that the risks faced in mainland China are now increasingly present in Hong Kong. The National Security Law and actions taken by PRC and Hong Kong authorities may negatively affect their staff, finances, legal compliance, reputation, and operations," it said.

The US Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on seven Chinese officials over the Hong Kong democracy crackdown. These are:  Chen Dong, Yang Jianping, Qiu Hong, Lu Xinning, Tan Tieniu, He Jing, and Yin Zonghua – all Deputy Directors of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (LOCPG). 

Also read:  India, US solidify strategic partnership in the Indo-Pacific

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that LOCPG is China's main platform for projecting its influence in Hong Kong and has repeatedly undermined the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong in the Sino–British Joint declaration.

"We will continue to stand up for the rights and freedoms guaranteed to people in Hong Kong by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. In the face of Beijing’s decisions over the past year that have stifled the democratic aspirations of people in Hong Kong, we are taking action. Today we send a clear message that the United States resolutely stands with Hong Kongers," said Blinken.

In his statement marking one year of Hong Kong's National Security Law, Blinken said that over the past year, China and Hong Kong officials have systematically undermined Hong Kong's democratic institutions, delayed elections, disqualified elected lawmakers from office, and forced officials to take loyalty oaths to keep their jobs. 

The US Secretary of State said that Beijing has "chipped away" at Hong Kong’s reputation of accountable, transparent governance and respect for individual freedoms, and has broken its promise to leave Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy unchanged for 50 years.

"Since protests began in 2019, local authorities have arrested thousands for speaking out against government policies with which they disagreed, including for their social media posts and for attending vigils. Journalists have been arrested simply for doing their jobs in reporting on the government’s activities and repressive efforts against protesters," Blinken said in a statement.