“Free Nations Must Ensure Corporate Interests Are Not Suborned by the CCP [Chinese Communist party] to help his political repression, ”Pompeo said Wednesday. “We are ready to help the British government and its companies resist CCP intimidation and defend freedom.”
HSBC, which struggles to balance its need to stay in favor of China as the United States and Britain remain critical of Beijing’s handling of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, declined to comment.
The bank has also been criticized by Aviva Investors, one of Britain’s largest investors and one of the top 20 shareholders, after Peter Wong, HSBC’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, signed a petition that supported the China’s plans to enact a security law in Hong Kong. .
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last month berated HSBC and other banks for supporting the controversial security law, saying the rights of the people of Hong Kong should not be sacrificed for the benefit of bankers bonus.
The HSBC chief executive and his Standard Chartered counterpart – which is also based in London, but also one of Hong Kong’s biggest banks – have already been censored in a letter from Labor MPs. Phantom Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy have urged the two CEOs to withdraw their support for the legislation.
Members of the shadow cabinet warned the banks in a letter that they could face a boycott and urged them to stand up for British democratic values.
The United States has criticized Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy opposition in Hong Kong after the security law was imposed on June 30. Beijing’s decision has also been widely condemned by other Western countries.
Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, prominent pro-democracy activist and top Next Digital executive, was arrested this month under the law, further fueling concerns about the media and other freedoms promised in Hong Kong to his return to China in 1997.