China’s banking regulator has sought to reassure market opinion about the enduring status of Hong Kong as an international financial centre following concerns over Beijing’s plans to implement a National Security Law.
At the end of May China’s Two Sessions congressional meeting mooted a National Security Law, which critics say will undermine Hong Kong’s status as a special administrative territory.
The Trump administration subsequently responded by threatening to rescind Hong Kong’s special trading status vis-a-vis the United States.
At a press conference held on 4 June a spokesperson from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said that the National Security Law was “an important measure to uphold national security and maintain Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability, fully embodying the policy of One Country Two Systems, Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong, and a high-degree of autonomy.”
[It] is capable of pragmatically protecting the long-term security of Hong Kong and the lawful rights and interests of Hong Kong residents, and of benefit to firming up Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre. It will not impact the proper rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong.
A minority of politicians in the United States have called for sanctions on Hong Kong – this is conduct which harms others and not in their own interests, and will not be able to have any substantive impact on Hong Kong.
Hong Kong affairs are part of Chinese internal politics, and no interference by external powers is permitted.
CBIRC also pointed out that “Hong Kong’s status as an independent tariff zone is affirmed by the World Trade Organisation, and isn’t something that individual countries can equivocate over.”
Hong Kong has an excellent legal system, stable financial system, a large volume of high-quality professional financial personnel, a strong economic foundation and a first-class international commercial environment. It has USD$440 billion in foreign reserves and over one trillion Hong Kong dollars in fiscal reserves – it is fully capable of responding to various risk challenges.
At present Hong Kong’s financial markets are operating stably, the linked exchange rate system is stable, and there are no irregular capital outflows. This reflects the full confidence of international markets in Hong Kong.
We firmly believe that Hong Kong’s unique advantages and status as an international financial centre will not only neither weaken or waver, but will in fact become more solid, and Hong Kong will definitely have a better tomorrow.