US measures taregting HK 'a risk for markets'

Business | 28 May 2020 1:30 pm

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are urging the international community to pressure Beijing to withdraw proposed national security legislation that could further reduce the semi-autonomous Chinese city’s civil liberties.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress the Trump administration no longer regards Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China. That sets the stage for the U.S. to withdraw the preferential trade and financial status Hong Kong has held since it reverted to Chinese rule 23 years ago.

While Hong Kong’s role as regional trading center and financial hub has been to a large extent sidelined by developments on the Chinese mainland, removing its special status would be a huge blow to businesses located in the city because of its independent financial and legal systems.

With U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying President Donald Trump has a “‘whole menu’ of options, the market is on edge to hear exactly what those measures are, and how China absorbs them,” Chris Weston of Pepperstone said in a commentary.

“This is a risk for markets and the situation is clearly fluid - one questions if the equity markets are too complacent here?” Weston said.-AP

 

 

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