HSBC, Standard Chartered Publicly Supports China’s National Security Law for Hong Kong

HSBC, Standard Chartered Publicly Supports China's National Security Law for Hong Kong

HSBC (HSBC) and Standard Chartered (SCBFF) On Wednesday, he signaled support for the Beijing-drafted bill to be imposed on the city in the coming months. Lenders joined other major companies in Hong Kong expressing support for the law.

HSBC posted a photo on Chinese social media showing Asia Pacific CEO Peter Wong signing a petition supporting the implementation of the law. The HSBC press office in London confirmed the authenticity of the publication.

“We respect and support the laws and regulations that will allow Hong Kong to recover and rebuild the economy and, at the same time, uphold the principle of ‘One country, two systems‘”the publication said, referring to the guiding principle that gives the city political and legal freedoms not available in mainland China.

HSBC is based in London but was founded in Hong Kong and has a significant commercial presence in China. The bank statement comes almost a week after former Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying criticized HSBC for its silence.

Leung took Facebook (full board) on Friday, calling HSBC publicly express your support by law He said the bank should know “which side of the bread is buttered.”

Hong Kong and China are by far HSBC’s largest money producers. Last year the divisions raised enough money to eliminate losses in the UK and keep the company profitable.

Hong Kong’s listed HSBC shares rose 1.6% on Thursday, outperforming the city overall Hang Seng Index (HSI), which fell 0.1%.

Fellow British lender Standard Chartered also intervened on Wednesday and said in a statement that China’s proposed national security law for Hong Kong “can help maintain the long-term economic and social stability” of the city.

The proposed national security law would ban sedition, secession and subversion against Beijing in Hong Kong, which last year was stirred by anti-government protests calling for greater democracy and more autonomy from mainland China. Last week, China’s rubber stamp parliament passed a proposal to impose the law on behalf of the city, bypassing the Hong Kong legislature through a rarely used constitutional gate.

The law would also allow Chinese national security organs to operate in the city “to fulfill relevant obligations to safeguard national security in accordance with the law.”

Leaders in the United States and Great Britain have criticized the introduction of the law for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. The proposal also briefly rocked markets last month, sending the city benchmark. Hang Seng Index (HSI) to its worst day since 2015. And American companies have expressed concern on what the law could mean for the city’s future as a global business hub, particularly after Washington responded by signaling an intention to end its special economic and commercial relationship with Hong Kong

Still, HSBC and Standard Chartered are among a growing list of the top companies in Hong Kong that have come out in a show of support for contentious legislation.

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Jardine Matheson, one of Hong Kong’s oldest British trading houses, issued a full-page ad on Wednesday in the pro-Beijing newspapers Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po, which have strong ties to the Chinese government.

“Establishing the legal framework that upholds national security is very important. It ensures that Hong Kong continues to attract investment, improve employment opportunities and protect people’s lives,” the company said.

Swire Pacific (SWRAY), one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest family business empires, and billionaire Li Ka-shing, founder of retail telecommunications conglomerate CK Hutchison, has also expressed support for China’s move.

Swire said that “the enactment of national security legislation will be beneficial to Hong Kong’s long-term future as a leading global financial and commercial center.”

“It is within each nation [sovereign] right to address their national security concerns, “CK Hutchison’s Li said in a statement released last week.

“In the meantime, [Hong Kong] It has the critical task of strengthening the faith of its citizens and maintaining international confidence in the constitutional principle of “One country, two systems,” “he added.

– Alexandra Lin contributed to this report.

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