HK govt warns US threats of sanctions will hurt itself


Hong Kong Photo:VCG

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government late on Thursday expressed strong opposition to sweeping remarks contained in a report by the US State Department titled US – Hong Kong Policy Act, and warned that the interests of US corporations in Hong Kong will also be affected if the US adopts sanctions on Hong Kong.

"The threat of sanctions to achieve the purpose of interfering with the policy of another place is a violation of international law and international practice. Practically, in Hong Kong-US relationship, any sanctions are a double-edged sword that will not only harm the interests of Hong Kong but also significantly those of the US,” a HKSAR government spokesperson said, according to a press release posted on the HKSAR government’s website. 

"In the past decade, the US' trade surplus with Hong Kong has been the biggest among all its trading partners, with merchandise trade surplus totaling $297 billion from 2009 to 2018. In 2019, that surplus had come down from US$31.4 billion in the preceding year to $26.4 billion as a result of the US-China trade tensions. Should any sanctions be contemplated in other areas like services and investment, the interests of the 1,300 US corporations based in Hong Kong might further be affected,” the spokesperson said.

The comment comes after US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would hold a news conference “on China” on Friday, but provided no other details.

Between 3:15 pm, when news of the Friday presser hit wires, and the 4:00 pm close of the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 300 points, wiping out its positive gains for the day and ending down half a percent, CNBC said.

On Thursday, China’s National People’s Congress voted to adopt a draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security, at the conclusion of the annual session of the nation’s top legislature. 

 The HKSAR Government hopes that the US Government would adopt a pragmatic attitude, and would bear in mind US' own interests in Hong Kong, refrain from interfering with the internal affairs of our nation and Hong Kong, and maintain its economic and trade policy towards Hong Kong, the spokesperson said.

The HKSAR government’s press release also condemned the “sweeping remarks” contained in the US State Department’s report on Hong Kong. 
"These remarks misrepresented the constitutional relationship between the HKSAR and the Central Authorities, smeared the implementation of 'One Country, Two Systems' in Hong Kong and interfered in the internal affairs of the HKSAR," a government spokesman said.