U.S. companies in Hong Kong fret about nationwide security law: AmCham study

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U.S. firms in Hong Kong worry about national security law: AmCham survey

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Hong Kong’s Central enterprise zone.

George Rose | Getty Images

More than 80% of the U.S. business in Hong Kong surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce stated they’re worried about China’s strategy to enforce a brand-new nationwide security law in the city.

Out of the 180 AmCham members that reacted to the study previously today, 53.5% were “very concerned,” while 30.0% were “moderately concerned” about the security legislation. The study outcomes were released on Wednesday and are not planned to be clinical, stated the chamber.

Respondents mentioned issues such as hazards to Hong Kong’s general service environment, in addition to the legislation’s possible influence on flexibility of speech and other “basic civil liberties.”

Fears of deteriorating autonomy

Hong Kong, a previous British nest that went back to Chinese guideline in 1997, is governed under a “one country, two systems” concept that enables the city higher flexibility than its mainland equivalents. Those flexibility consist of independent power, minimal election rights, in addition to a mainly different legal and financial structure from mainland China.

Such autonomy has actually underpinned Hong Kong’s success as a worldwide monetary and service center up until now.

The procedure of enacting China’s brand-new law will bypass Hong Kong’s legislature, which raised issues over the city’s deteriorating autonomy guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” structure. The city has actually been reeling from months of pro-democracy demonstrations — triggered by a questionable extradition expense — which sometimes turned violent, and has actually sent its economy into an economic crisis.

The brand-new law is targeted at forbiding secession, subversion of state power, terrorism activities and foreign disturbance — some reports stated it might likewise result in Chinese intelligence companies establishing bases in Hong Kong. Critics state the law might approve the main federal government broad powers to punish dissent and protesters.

U.S. withdraws Hong Kong’s unique status

As Beijing pressed ahead with the nationwide security law, U.S. President Donald Trump stated he would “begin the process” of removing Hong Kong’s preferred treatment under American law.

“Hong Kong has been hit by a double-whammy in the past week, with China announcing a proposed national security law, while President Trump said he would begin the process of revoking the US-HK special economic status,” stated Tara Joseph, president of AmCham in Hong Kong.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have stated the legislation would not impact the unique administrative area’s autonomy. But 60% of U.S. companies surveyed by AmCham believed the law would hurt their service operations. 

Some business stated application of the law might lead to a decrease in foreign financial investments into the city, in addition to higher trouble in working with as individuals leave or prevent Hong Kong.

Still, around 70.6% of study participants stated their business do not have strategies to move capital, possessions or service operations out of Hong Kong, while 62.2% stated they personally will not think about leaving the city. 

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