Ip says she's moving everything out of US - just to be safe

Top News | Wallis Wang 16 Sep 2020

Executive councillor and New People's Party lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is divesting all her US assets as a precaution against possible sanctions by the US government.

She told veteran journalist Michael Chugani on TVB's Straight Talk that she is moving everything out of America, even though the Executive Council played no direct role in the legislation of the national security law since it was passed by Beijing.

Ip said Exco members were not even informed of the legislation of the law and did not discuss it.

Hong Kong's political leaders were only given briefings by the liaison office "quite near the time [of enactment]," she added.

But she told Chugani that if Hong Kong passes Article 23 - which means "passing a national security law Hong Kong-style" - all lawmakers who vote for it could be sanctioned.

Ip said she was not bothered by being barred from entering the United States, where she received her master's degree, but she is also taking precautions.

"I used to love living in that country. I used to love studying at Stanford [University]," Ip said.

"But unfortunately, the US has changed. There is a lot of hostility toward China. It has changed."

She added: "I won't miss [going to the United States]. And it's unsafe because of Covid-19 and all the racial tension."

Washington announced on August 7 that it would impose economic sanctions on 11 officials, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, over the imposition of the national security law.

Under the sanction, all US-based assets and properties held by the 11 officials would be frozen and they have been barred from doing any kind of business in the country.

US firms as well as American citizens are also prohibited from dealing with them.

Lam admitted she has faced inconvenience when using financial services in an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CGTN days after the sanction.

"As for myself, of course it will have a little bit of inconvenience here and there, because we have to use some financial services and we don't know whether that will relate back to an agency that has some American business - and the use of credit cards is somewhat hampered," Lam said.

But she said officials were honored to be trusted by the central government at this "historic moment" to enforce the law to safeguard national security.

Ip also noted that there is an unverified "list" with her name on it being floated around.

But said she is not worried about being sanctioned by Washington, adding it is "outrageous" if people are sanctioned for their political beliefs.

wallis.wang@singtaonewscorp.com

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