Contingency plans are in place, assures Chan

Top News | Sophie Hui 29 Jun 2020

The Hong Kong government has come up with emergency plans in preparation for US sanctions amid the impending national security law, says Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.

Chan, writing on his blog, said market concerns regarding the impact of the sanctions have added uncertainty to already tense US-China relations.

"[But the] government has made a comprehensive assessment and made relevant contingency plans," Chan said without elaborating.

He said the government has been explaining the national security law to various industries and that banks and their clients agree there is a need for the Beijing-imposed legislation,which can help Hong Kong restore order.

Chan also said the banking and financial sector has noted that there has been no obvious outflow of funds and added that the Hong Kong dollar remains strong. It closes at HK$7.75 per US dollar recently.

He said there is a new global political and economic landscape, which has moved from a single structure dominated by America to more diversified development and that global economic gravity has shifted from the West to the East. Chan added: "The mainland and developing Asia can provide Hong Kong a huge and dynamic market outside of Europe and the United States."

Regarding concerns that foreign investments and manufacturing in the mainland will be affected and may move abroad, Chan believes China will still play "a pivotal role" even if the global supply chain sees changes over the next few years.

He said many mainland advantages "cannot be easily copied," such as its "comprehensive" industrial system and infrastructure, high quality workers, low cost and economies of scale.

"If it [the situation] changes for political reasons, it is not only costly, but it would also be difficult for it to succeed," Chan said.

He said national security is a "real and urgent issue that cannot be avoided" and that the SAR government is prepared and vigilant at all times.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung reiterated that the national security law is a solution to ensure long-term prosperity of Hong Kong. It will put the city back on the right track after the unrest, he added.

Writing on his blog, Cheung said a series of violent incidents in the past year has caused "unprecedented trauma" to the city.

He said radicals have openly challenged the central government and the SAR government in the name of "Hong Kong independence" and "self-determination," which crossed the line of "one country" and made the SAR a loophole in national security.

Cheung said the law aims to prevent, stop and punish a small number of lawbreakers who endanger national security.

He added it will protect the vast majority of Hong Kong people who abide by the law, protect their lives and property as well as their basic rights and freedoms.

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