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Global Times

Pompeo slammed for chiding HSBC's support of HK national security law

Global Times

By Yang Sheng and Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/10 17:43:53

The Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for sowing discord, calling his view "narrow-minded" and "ridiculous" after Pompeo chided British bank HSBC for supporting the national security legislation for Hong Kong.

Chinese mainland experts urged Western banks and other financial institutions in Hong Kong to respect China's laws and be responsible to their clients instead of betraying the clients' information to serve foreign forces, or they will also be punished by national security law.

Pompeo said HSBC's "corporate kowtows" got little in return from Beijing and that the US stood with its allies against China's "coercive bullying tactics."

Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, stressed that Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs that brook no foreign interference, and urged the US side to take a correct view of the legislation, stop sowing discord, stirring up trouble and interfering in China's internal affairs using Hong Kong issues, and do more to contribute to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, rather than the other way round.

Hua also said some US politicians are dividing people around the world into two types: those attacking China along with the US, and those coerced by China. "These views are narrow-minded and ridiculous."

Facing growing pressure over its ambiguous attitude toward Hong Kong's national security law, HSBC came out to clarify its stance last week. Peter Wong, deputy chairman and chief executive of HSBC, signed a petition to support the new legislation.

Faced with growing controversy over the legal battle with Chinese technology giant Huawei, HSBC had been under tremendous pressure in recent days.

Legal experts pointed to previous legal documents that they said showed HSBC might have set a trap for Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that whether HSBC or other financial institutions, they should realize that if they want to do business in Hong Kong, they cannot use their influence and expertise to serve foreign forces, especially serving the long-arm jurisdiction against Chinese firms.

"This is also related to China's national security. Support of the new legislation by Western financial institutes in Hong Kong is a positive move that should be welcomed, but they need to show their support through actions," Lü said.

If the claims are found to be true, HSBC will no longer be a victim but a criminal set to face sanctions under Chinese law, Chinese legal experts said.

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