US bill targets banks linked to Chinese officials - RTHK
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US bill targets banks linked to Chinese officials

2020-07-02 HKT 10:43
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  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the new law is intended to destroy the freedoms Hong Kong was promised. File photo: Reuters
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the new law is intended to destroy the freedoms Hong Kong was promised. File photo: Reuters
The US House of Representatives passed legislation overnight on Wednesday that would penalise banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement a national security law that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a "brutal, sweeping crackdown" on Hong Kong.

The US senate passed similar legislation last week, but under congressional rules the bill must return to the senate and be passed there before being sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign into law or veto.

Earlier, Pelosi made an unusual appearance at a committee hearing on the situation in Hong Kong to say the security law marked the death of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.

"The law is a brutal, sweeping crackdown against the people of Hong Kong, intended to destroy the freedoms they were promised," Pelosi said at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

The United States has already begun eliminating Hong Kong's special status, halting defence exports and restricting the territory's access to high technology products.

Earlier, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had reprimanded HSBC and other banks for supporting China's new security law, saying the rights of Hong Kong should not be sacrificed for bankers' bonuses.

Senior British foreign minister criticised HSBC and Standard Chartered over their backing of the national security law.

"On HSBC and banks, I've been very clear in relation with HSBC and ... all of the banks: the rights and the freedoms and our responsibilities in this country to the people of Hong Kong should not be sacrificed on the altar of bankers' bonuses," Dominic Raab told parliament.

A spokeswoman for HSBC declined to comment. (Reuters)