BEIJING: China rebuked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on HSBC (HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) backing the Hong Kong national security legislation, urging the U.S. side to adopt a correct view and cease “driving a wedge” and “making inflammatory accusations.”
Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks when asked to comment on Pompeo’s statement, in which he claimed that the “show of fealty seems to have earned HSBC little respect in Beijing, which continues to use the bank’s business in China as political leverage against London.” He also said China’s browbeating of HSBC should serve as a “cautionary tale,” and shows why countries should avoid economic overreliance on China.
In response, Hua told a routine press briefing that it is narrow-minded and ludicrous to take people as “being threatened” just because they are not following suit with the United States in attacking China.
As “living things can flourish without injuring one another” and “roads can run in parallel without interfering with one another,” Hua said that countries, parties and individuals are entitled to make independent judgments based on facts and take actions in line with their own interests.
“As we’ve stated on many occasions, the decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for Hong Kong to safeguard national security and moves to safeguard its long-term stability and prosperity not only serve the fundamental interests of Hong Kong society, but also will help to protect the legitimate rights and interests of institutions and personnel of all countries stationed there,” she said.
Hua said that, since the decision made by China’s National People’s Congress, parties including the business community have made fair and objective comments based on facts and according to their own fundamental interests.
Hong Kong-related issues are purely matters of China’s internal affairs, which brook no foreign interference, Hua said.
“We urge the U.S. side to adopt a correct view on the national security legislation for Hong Kong, stop driving a wedge and making inflammatory accusations, cease meddling in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong-related issues, and contribute more to Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity,” Hua added.