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HK business backs national security law

By Gang Wen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-06-29 16:38

Paul Chan Mo-po. [Photo/huanqiu.com]

Hong Kong's business community on Sunday voiced support for national security legislation for the city, while expressing confidence in the SAR's future prospects as a world-class financial center.

In his official blog post on Sunday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the city's financial sectors including people involved in banking and wealth management all agree with the need for national security legislation. They consider it an effective way to restore law and order in Hong Kong, to create a stable social environment conducive to business, investment and to improve people's livelihoods, he added.

When the national security law takes effect in the city, it will open up new opportunities for development and strengthen the one country, two systems" principle. Hong Kong can subsequently play a more positive role in the development and further opening up of the nation, Chan added.

He made the remarks as a three-day meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee was convened on Sunday. The meeting discusses and possibly votes on a draft law to safeguard national security in Hong Kong.

In a recent media interview, Phillips Stephen, the city's director-general of Investment Promotion, said most foreign businesses staunchly backed and welcomed the legislation.

Businesses crave "stability and certainty" — which means their operations will not be disrupted by things like social unrest, Stephen explained.

Wong Ting-chung, chairman of the Hong Kong Industrial and Commercial Association, said the national security law will not only protect Hong Kong's economic activities, but consolidate its vital role in national financial security. It will help to shield the mainland from economic threats by other countries with political agendas, he said.

For example, over the past years, the US government has been trying to disrupt China's development and to stop China's progress internationally, Wong said. This included applying new tariffs on China's products in a trade war and imposing so-called sanctions, he said.

In such circumstances, Hong Kong must be vigilant. It must not be used as a pawn by foreign powers to harm the nation's financial security, he added.

Li Yinquan, Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress and director of China Merchants Group, said the right choice for Hong Kong in the current circumstances is to actively support national security legislation and to resolutely implement the national security law.

After Hong Kong resumes social stability, relations between the central authorities and the special administrative region will be closer and mutual trust will deepen. Hong Kong will have more opportunities to better position itself in the nation's global financial and economic strategy and to embrace a more prosperous future, he said.

Li said the threat of US sanctions against Hong Kong will be limited — and are mostly just bluffing. This is because any restrictions on a leading international financial center will undermine the US dollar's position in the global monetary system. This will ultimately harm US interests.

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