US: rule-of-law concerns in HK bad for business

The US State Department said early on Wednesday that the United States would continue to hold Hong Kong authorities accountable for what its spokesman called the “erosion of rule of law” in the territory.

The remarks came shortly after a report claimed that Washington will warn US companies of increasing risks of operating in Hong Kong, citing alleged threats including Beijing’s ability to gain access to data that foreign companies store in the SAR.

At a regular news briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price said concerns about rule of law that were formerly limited to the mainland are now increasingly a concern for Hong Kong.

“We know that a healthy business community relies on the rule of law, which the national security law that applies to Hong Kong continues to undermine,” he said.

Price said he had nothing to announce at this stage regarding future policy towards the SAR. The reports had said a business advisory for American companies could be issued as soon as Friday.

Beijing had said yesterday that it opposed the US interfering in its internal affairs.

Hong Kong’s Basic Law and relevant laws clearly protect the interests of foreign investors, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had told a regular briefing.

The US late on Tuesday announced a new business advisory for Xinjiang, warning companies with links to the region they were at risk of violating US law. (RTHK/Reuters)