Biden warns of the risks of U.S. companies operating in Hong Kong

The Biden administration will warn U.S. companies this week that as China’s control over this financial center increases, the risks of operating in Hong Kong are increasing.

According to three people familiar with the matter, these threats include the Chinese government’s ability to access data stored by foreign companies in Hong Kong, and New law Allow Beijing to impose sanctions on anyone who allows foreign countries to impose penalties on Chinese groups and officials.

President Joe Biden plans to issue a warning and impose more sanctions this week in response to Beijing’s repression About the Hong Kong democracy movement and Genocide The United States accuses Beijing of committing crimes against Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.

According to five people familiar with the matter, on Tuesday, the United States will update the Trump administration’s warning to Xinjiang last year.Business consulting will emphasize legal risks Unless American companies ensure that their supply chain does not involve forced labor in Xinjiang, they will face these problems.

Part of the reason for this decision was that the company did not take this issue seriously enough.

“The focus of the consultation is to emphasize [that] If you do not withdraw from these supply chains, you risk violating U.S. laws,” said an official who asked not to be named. “We want to clarify with the business community. .. They need to be aware of the reputation, economic and legal risks of their involvement in entities involved in human rights violations. “

in spite of Biden is strengthening The Trump administration will focus on Xinjiang, and this move will mark the first time the US government has issued a business advisory related to Hong Kong.

A person familiar with the matter said that there are dissent within the government, and some officials worry that the warning will prevent American companies from doing business in key financial centers. But more hawks have successfully argued that Companies need to master The nature of the risk of doing so.

In a separate incident, Biden may Impose more sanctions According to a person familiar with the matter, it targeted Chinese officials in Hong Kong.The warning will mention recent events such as forced shutdown Apple Daily, A democratic tabloid owned by Lai Zhixing.

Last week, the US Department of Commerce included 14 Chinese companies on its export blacklist, accusing these companies of participating in human rights violations and surveillance activities in Xinjiang. Beijing criticized the move as “unreasonable suppression” and vowed to respond with “necessary measures.”

The White House is also considering a policy that allows Hong Kong citizens to stay in the United States after their visas expire if they face potential political persecution in Hong Kong. But the policy is being debated and is not expected to be part of the package of actions announced this week.

This warning will reverberate in Hong Kong’s huge American business community. In 2020, the city’s American Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members and the regional headquarters of 282 US companies.

A year ago American companies were upset about the passing of the National Security Law, partly because it would allow Beijing Access to stored data On a server in Hong Kong. Recently, the company was shocked by China’s possible implementation of anti-sanctions laws in Hong Kong that allow the seizure of assets.

Although the decision on whether to provide asylum to Hong Kong citizens in the United States has not yet been finalized, any such developments will anger Beijing, which is hostile to foreign governments such as the United Kingdom and Canada. Provide asylum Those who escape political persecution.

Beijing Did not stop Hong Kong residents no longer accept the British National (Overseas) visa scheme, but it is more difficult for those who do so to redeem their retirement savings.

The White House and the State Department declined to comment on upcoming actions against Hong Kong.

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