Denis Kwok says Washington invite to pan-democrats shows concern

Local | 15 Mar 2019 12:00 pm

Legal sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok said today that Washington's rare invite to pan-democrats to talk about Hong Kong shows the US government is highly concerned about what is happening in the city, RTHK reports.

Kwok, along with IT-sector lawmaker Charles Mok and former chief secretary Anson Chan, will visit the United States next week to meet the members of National Security Council, local lawmakers, as well as officials who oversee the US-Hong Kong Policy Act.

Their testimony comes as American officials prepare their annual assessment report on the act, which allows the US to treat Hong Kong as a separate region from the mainland over trade matters.

It stipulates that the US president can suspend Hong Kong’s special status if the city is deemed to be "not sufficiently autonomous”.

Speaking to RTHK after attending a radio program, Kwok said he doesn’t believe the US will abandon the act for now, but stressed it’s important for Washington to continue to keep a close eye on Hong Kong’s situation, where high level of autonomy it once enjoyed is being slowly weathered away.

"I do not wish to see the cancellation of the Hong Kong Policy Act, but I think it does sound an alarm bell that this is the time when they are thinking about reviewing it, and they are looking at it very closely and those are the messages that I think this visit would send, or should send, to the Hong Kong government”, he said.

Kwok also criticized Financial Secretary Paul Chan for saying that Hong Kong "will survive” even if the Policy Act is cancelled.

"Maybe we will survive, but we will survive as a mainland city. And Hong Kong cannot just survive as a mainland city, we are more than that, we are much more than that”, he said.

"Paul Chan the financial secretary, of all people, should understand the importance of the Hong Kong Policy Act for Hong Kong as an international financial and business center.”

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