UK warns China against destroying the 'jewel' of Hong Kong with crackdown

Reuters , Tuesday 2 Jun 2020

Dominic Raab
A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab making a statement on the government's response to China's proposed new security legislation in Hong Kong in the House of Commons in London on June 2, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

The United Kingdom said on Tuesday that China was risking the destruction of one of the jewels of Asia's economy with a crackdown in the former colony of Hong Kong that breaches international law.

Asked about the risk to the Hong Kong dollar peg, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "If China is willing to interfere on political and autonomy grounds, it is also likely to pose a longer term threat to the economic prosperty and economic model that Hong Kong reflects and embodies."

"The sad reality is that if China continues down this track, it will be strangling what has long been the jewel in the economic crown," Raab said.

"There is still an opportunity for China to step back," he said but added: "we think that it is unlikely that will happen."

Hong Kong fell to sixth place from third in the latest ranking of global financial centres, according to the Z/Yen global financial centres index, behind New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore. It was Asia's top hub in 2019.

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